Number Seven – Tokyo
As I mentioned yesterday, my time in Singapore is now drawing to a close. When I moved to Singapore in 2011, it was at end of the of a long process of thinking about which city would be the best place in Asia to grow my music and photography business. I was expecting to be here for a few more years than this, perhaps until the end of the decade. I’m still shocked by the idea of packing up and leaving so soon.
But, from August I will be calling Tokyo home. This will be my seventh global city, after Santiago, Sydney, London, Delhi, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Unlike the move to Singapore, this is hasn’t come at the end of a long process. I grew up fascinated by Japanese culture, innovation and history and have always enjoyed visiting Tokyo, but I never really believed the opportunity would come to live there. As I explained yesterday, my spouse was offered a great job and looking at our circumstances, it made sense to go with it.
What Can Tokyo Offer?
Obviously Japan has a huge music industry and a rich heritage in many forms of visual arts. Moreover, the country is renowned for being at the centre of innovations in music and photographic technology. Of course, it will be inspiring to feel the pulse of these trends, but the reality is my day to day work happens several levels below all that.
To me, Tokyo seems to combine things I love about the great European cities, like London, Paris and Tokyo, with much of what I’ve come to admire about life in Asia. A huge bustling metropolis filled with little urban villages and corners of peace and calm. A place where you’ll find cheap, stand up eateries around the corner from some the most luxurious department stores in the world. A city which, despite a preponderance of cars and roads, still has great public transport and remains very walkable and filled with cyclists.
And, while it will be exciting to explore and experience all Tokyo has to offer, I know my working day to day will mostly involving shipping what I do now to a new location. Having shed many of the dreams I brought with me to Singapore, I’m still going to be making music and creating images every day. That won’t change.
I will be packing up and leaving Singapore in early July, probably the week before what would have been my second anniversary here. Until then life will just continue as normal. I’m not making lists of “things to do before I go.” I don’t know enough people to warrant organising a farewell party. I’m simply going to continue working, living and enjoying Singapore, saying my goodbyes as I go, until the removal trucks arrive at my home. Then it will be time to packup, give thanks for the experience of living here and move on to the next adventure.