I love the bright lights, the energy, the hurry-and-get-out-of-my-way attitude of people rushing from work to metro and home again. I love the technology and the great Izakaya bars serving yakitori and small plates.
I adore the ramen and dry soba bowl joints where a meal and a beer costs next to nothing. I love the rows of densely packed yakitori, udon and tempura stalls in hidden corners of the city like Shinjuku's Memory Lane (Omoide Yokocho) and the soon-to-be-torn down Tsukiji Fish Market.
I love all that and more, but for my latest trip I wanted to "light out for the territory" as Huck Finn said.
I was headed to the Shoryudo Region which lies between Tokyo and Kyoto. In Japan’s heartland, the nine prefectures or provinces of the region offer great opportunities to explore the unusual and the fun.