Japan’s vibrant, spirited, and stimulating capital, Tokyo, is famously a city that never sleeps, but tonight it’s taking a gentle nap. My friend Mike and I wander the streets of Ginza, a renowned shopping district normally flooded with pedestrians on a Saturday night, though there’s nary a soul in sight. A handful of locals hugging each other tightly rush to a cab as the heavens above unleash a spatter of raindrops. It happens that we arrived on the eve of Super Typhoon Phanfone, which was hot on the heels of our flight from Los Angeles. A Super Typhoon is like a tropical storm on steroids, and, already, we knew it would wreak havoc on our vacation.
But, as it turns out, Tokyo is a resilient city. After a huge blow from the recession that lasted six strong years, and a fatal tsunami up north that also affected Tokyo’s economy, the city known for its sparkle and charm finally said enough. It took reign of its economy, opened its first hotel since the recession, and banged out myriad new attractions. The typhoon, interestingly, lasted only one full day; chased away by the famous rising sun that now gleamed over the city. Tokyo had unabashedly emerged from its power nap, fully recharged, and whole-heartedly committed to its agenda of returning to its iconic splendor.