Pavement Tour Diary: Tokyo, Japan

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Welcome to the Pavement tour! My name is Jeremy Lemos and I'm on tour with Pavement as their monitors engineer. I get to travel a lot for my job, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

We spent three days in Tokyo! How can you possibly do all there is to do? So much to, see, eat, drink, and buy! The tour manager, lighting designer, and I flew in early to spend a day exploring before the Pavement tour of Japan began. . . . Pictures and more after the jump!

The author and his tofu
  • The author and his tofu
To start this tour diary, I'd like to tell you how I start every day in Tokyo. It’s a shame, but I’d say that 40 percent of my time here is under the influence of heavy jet lag and trying to cope with it. I’ve spent my share of hours wandering around Shibuya trying to find a cup of coffee and it was always pretty bleak until I found Syphon Coffee next to the train station. Tiny little café that probably hasn't changed much from the 70s and is straight out of a Hiroshi Teshigahara film. This place serves simple food—over here they are "sets"—and pots of siphon coffee.

The coffee siphon is a process invented by the Germans almost 200 years ago, but it’s been mastered by the Japanese. Heat up some water and push it through the coffee grounds, then take away the heat and the vacuum sucks the water back down. It’s actually a really simple process but it looks like a science experiment.

Syphon Coffee pot
  • Syphon Coffee pot

No English here except the adjectives for the blends. Who can turn down the “bold” blend? “Mild”? No thanks. . . . I usually pick “balance” for my second pot, though. The smoking section starts at the next table, and this place is filled with suited solo businessmen drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, and having a “morning set” of a small salad, boiled egg, and really great fat buttered toast. You can still smoke EVERYWHERE in Japan and smokes are still less than $3 U.S.! So sit back and watch this amazing city go by with a cup or two and plan out your day before hitting the town.

Stephen, the Herald Tribune, and his morning setu
  • Stephen, the Herald Tribune, and his morning setu

In my case today it’s catching up with old friends, eating conveyor-belt sushi, and finding the perfect bow tie, but that’s another story.

Mrs. Spiral Stairs, Chocolat, and Akito
  • Mrs. Spiral Stairs, Chocolat, and Akito

Cherry blossoms in full effect!
  • Cherry blossoms in full effect!

Jeremy also posts on Twitter and is probably on the road right now. . . .

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