[Previously: Bristol, Camden, Newcastle, Birmingham, Shoreditch, Aberdeen, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stockholm, Leeds, Shepherd's Bush, Nottingham, Sheffield, Dog Tap, Tate Modern, Clapham Junction]
It’s the Friday before Christmas, and The Belated Birthday Girl and I are out on the streets of Tokyo, killing time between breakfast and kabuki. In the middle of the classy shops of Ginza, we encounter the Salvation Army – or, at least, one man with a trumpet playing carols, and one woman with a collecting tin. You could, perhaps, suggest that the Japanese have taken the idea of a Salvation Army band and made it smaller and more efficient. I wouldn't indulge in such blatant stereotyping myself, but I guess that's the difference between you and me.
What’s Japan like in the run-up to Christmas? 2014 was the year that we found out. So welcome to the first of three reports on our latest visit to the country. (See also: 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012.) In this part, we’ll look at the four days we spent in Tokyo, encountering cultural delights both ancient and modern. The BrewDog bar in Roppongi counts as one of the modern ones.