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Continuing with extracts from TheLawyer.com’s new ‘Postcard from…’ series, this week’s blogger is Anthony Raven, an energy and projects partner in Lovells’ Tokyo office.
Memoirs of a lawyer
Tokyo has a reputation for being vast, overwhelming and busy.
It certainly is all of those things, but it is also a fascinating, exhilarating and great place to live and work.
I live in an area called Akasaka, which used to be renowned as Tokyo’s business entertainment district. It has undergone a recent facelift and now houses some of the best executive apartments and offices in town.
It takes me about 15 minutes to walk to work as I join the sea of suits each day, which is intermingled with the odd kimono-clad woman on her way to a tea ceremony at one of the local five-star hotels.
I don’t need a car and when I’m not walking I rely on the city’s efficient metro system or just jump in a taxi. The taxi drivers may not have the same knowledge of the streets as London drivers, but the automatic doors and the driver’s chauffeur hat and white gloves always make for an amusing experience.
I have been here for five years on and off and I never tire of the place as there are still things that intrigue me. Japan is technically advanced, yet its people still hang on to their traditional culture.
For example, you can use your mobile phone to pay for food in a restaurant, and yet you will always be thanked by staff with a polite bow. People respect their surroundings and their wider social community.
It still astounds me that a city so dense can be so clean and the people so well-mannered.