It’s 11.p.m. on a Tuesday night, and I’m waiting alone in Ikebukuro for Sudki Mansour. I’ve only met him once before, but tonight, he’s picking me up for a drive out of Tokyo and into rural Yamanashi Prefecture.

Contact has been sporadic from the jump. Mansour says he’s been busy with the akiya (abandoned home) he recently purchased, his Palestinian restaurant and a new place we’re heading to out past Mount Fuji. After letting me know he’s just closed his restaurant and is running late, Mansour pulls up in a bright blue Toyota GR86 sports car.

“It’s ¥20,000 for the ride,” Mansour says — it takes me a moment to realize he’s joking, as I come to find out he almost always is.