Clark Parker describes himself as a writer who, in his spare time, is a full-time salaryman. Even though he has an workplace job, he prefers to spend as considerably time as achievable outdoors of the office, hiking in the hills or meandering along the back streets of Tokyo.
How extended have you been in Tokyo and where had been you just before?
I moved to Tokyo in September of 2011. Ahead of that I was in Boston, where I grew up and worked following college. There was also a year in Beijing ages ago, even though the memories (like the skies) are hazy.
What brought you to Japan/Tokyo?
In the fall of 2010 I went to Japan for a trip, almost on a whim. While in Tokyo I met up with a colleague from my firm who was functioning in Japan. In April 2011 I ran into him in Boston, where he had returned due to the three/11 earthquake. He pointed out that the organization was looking for his replacement. Simply because of the earthquake, no one at my company was interested in moving to Japan, so I jumped at the likelihood. A few months later I was in Tokyo.
Briefly describe a common day in your life?
Get to perform between 9 and 9:30, which appears super late compared to working in the US. Get coffee at the business cafe. Perform. Consume the 500-yen bento lunches that are delivered to the workplace. Operate some much more. Coffee #two. Leave work among 7-9 pm, based on the day. Once a month I have a drinking party (nomikai) with buddies from the workplace, which I truly enjoy. Right after function I usually grab dinner near Shimbashi station (ramen, sushi, tonkatsu – something that won’t cost much more than 1 000 yen).
What do you like most and least about Tokyo?
Least – Since I do not speak much Japanese, my responsibilities at work are limited to dealing with foreign, English-speaking clientele. This is not surprising, but it can really feel limiting and a bit isolating.
Most – Also considerably to list, but all round it is the feeling that almost everything is at your fingertips. Hop on a train and you can be anywhere quite speedily. Restaurants, parks, bars, temples, the ocean. I continuously really feel stimulated and constantly feel encouraged to attempt new issues and see new areas.
What’s your greatest expense?
Rent, but that is a bit of a fixed price, so I don’t notice it as a lot as the rapidly disappearing beer income. Beer, especially higher-top quality beer, is considerably much more high-priced in Japan. It is not uncommon to pay about 1 200 yen for a pint (if it genuinely is a pint) of European, American, or Japanese craft beer. If you drink three glasses and have a snack, you’ve just spent $ 40 dollars with out noticing. This adds up, but as long as there’s cash in my wallet, it does not sting as much as in the US – I nevertheless feel of Japanese Yen as Monopoly-income, to a certain extent.
What do you blow money on (i.e. what’s the fruit of all your cheapo savings)?
Beer (see above).
Motion pictures – I adore going to the films in central Tokyo simply because, unlike the US, there are hardly any loud teenagers, most likely since it is so expensive, like 1 800 yen. My preferred theater is the Waseda Shochiku, which has exciting film series, and typically does double-headers.
What are your best 3 Tokyo cheapo ideas?
Walk. Other than for function-related events (exactly where my organization paid the bill), I’ve only used a taxi twice in Tokyo. Tokyo is secure, and I like walking, so I don’t thoughts walking three or four miles residence after a night of drinking. Plus, it is a wonderful way to sober up.
Nomihodai/tabehodai. All-you-can-consume and all-you-can-drink menus are a surprising function of numerous Tokyo izakaya (pubs). I’m not very good at speaking or reading Japanese, so I normally hear about these areas from buddies and coworkers. Not too long ago we did a nomihodai/tabehodai at a place in Hiroo for 3 000 yen. The meals was fantastic, and the drinks kept coming. I don’t know how they stay in business.
Hiking – Wonderful value for income is going for a day hike in the Saitama hills west of Ikebukuro (on the Seibu Ikebukuro line). It’s not considerably far more than a 1 000-yen round-trip for a day of great hiking.
Do you have a site/social media account we for individuals/stalkers who’d like to uncover out far more about you?
My blog, The Tokyo Files, covers an assortment about, or inspired by, living in Tokyo. Early subjects included funny Japanese street indicators (something like the images above), and directions to Tokyo museums and art galleries. More than the years I’ve written about Japanese history and cinema, Tokyo’s infrastructure, art, and anything else that comes to mind as I wander via the city on the weekends. I probably have five years of material that I’ll by no means discover time to write about.
And, of course, you can comply with me on Twitter @thetokyofiles