Archive: April, 2017

Twenty-four years later...

Posted by David Chester on 2 April 2017

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I arrived in Tokyo on April 1, 1993. I was thrilled beyond belief. I had been to Japan twice before, once in 1988 when I was a musician on Royal Viking Cruises, again in 1989 as a pianist working at one of the last Playboy Clubs in the world (located in Roppongi). I had had a taste of the unusual, the bizarre, the beautiful, the strange, the enchanting... and more. I knew I wanted to return. 

I brought USD $8,000 with me, because I already knew that in order to "purchase a phone line" (that's what you had to do back then) and rent an apartment, I would have to shell out a lot of money. I did. I went through every conceivable emotion as I grappled with setting up my new life. Check them off the list: living in a 6 tatami-mat room and sleeping on a thin futon; struggling to get a visa sponsor; fighting homesickness; being shocked at the price of food; loving and hating everything at the same time; getting my own apartment (I was told that the landlord was "not a racist," so there wouldn't be any problem), and any other misadventure a gaijin could have. Finally, after about eight months of doing anything I could think of to make everything come together, I was "legally" in Japan and able to start my new life.

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