I’m not one to hang around kiddies’ playgrounds (honestly!), but when I strolled into Shimokitazawa’s Shelter last week I was instantly teleported into a school disco, and it kinda felt good. But keep that to yourself, OK.

The kids here are all 18 going on 14. They are all drinking tea or orange juice. I am the only one smoking and I feel a little bit guilty about it. Images flood my head of some spoilsport games master grabbing me from behind and forcing me to stay after the gig to write a thousand lines on how bad I’ve been. When I ask the barman for a beer he pauses momentarily as if confused. I wish I’d shaved. God, I feel old.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.