Our Lives | NOTES FROM THE SMOKE Jan 21, 2003

A reclaimed city that's for the birds (and bees)

An unintentionally caustic remark on one of the information boards that adorn Rainbow Bridge exposes the Gordian knot resting at the center of the vast Odaiba reclamation project in Tokyo Bay. "In the distance are Mount Fuji and the Keihin/Keiyou oil refineries," it reads. The challenge ...

Our Lives | NOTES FROM THE SMOKE Dec 24, 2002

Veering from Brookside Close to Robocop

As Notes From the Smoke afternoons go, the one I spent in Monzennaka-cho got off to an unpromising start. The area around exit three of the station was dominated by a spiteful wind and a towering, mucus-colored amusement arcade that could have stored oil tankers. A ...

Community | NOTES FROM THE SMOKE Oct 25, 2002

Intestines, orange squash spur Celtic reverie

Culturally speaking, yakitori is as about Japanese as sumo wrestling, origami and the cultivation of square watermelons. Spiritually, however, there is something profoundly Scottish about your average yakitori experience; a lot of drinking, smoking, ribbing and swearing accompanies the joyful devouring of mysterious gizzards. It was ...