Walking from Nogizaka Station to Tokyo Midtown this morning, I joined thousands of commuters who were forced to step over what appeared and smelled to be a smear of human feces on the Roppongi sidewalk. Was it anti-capitalist terrorism, or just the work of a partier who couldn’t contain himself?
Now that some of my anger has subsided, I can’t help but see this as an aptly pungent metaphor for modern Roppongi. While conveniently located in the center of Tokyo, for a long time the Roppongi area was not considered a business district but overwhelmingly the notorious nightlife center of Tokyo. But the construction of business centers such as Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown over the past few years has re-branded the area as office-friendly. Yet as long as the dozens of clubs continue to infest the Roppongi Crossing area, workers such as myself will be forced to commute each morning using the same streets taken by the drunks and gangsters to go home the previous night. I have had more than one run-in with drunks returning from a night out, but needless to say today’s experience trumped them all.