On a rare day off I decided to head into Shinjuku, for no particular reason. Well, I made up some reasons to get myself out of the house, such as visiting Tower Records to find more music (achieved) and looking for books to improve my spoken Japanese (failed).
Eventually after buying some wrapping paper and decorative sticky tape from Flying Tiger (why not) and consciously avoiding the eight different Starbucks around Shinjuku station I ended up at Move Café near Shinjuku Golden Gai.
Despite its’ western menu, there’s something very Japanese about the place. Quiet. Reserved. Minimalist in nature. And then there’s the physical scale of the building – you have to climb two flights of stairs to reach the actual seating space, while the kitchen and washroom are on the second floor. It’s tiny, or just normal for Japan.
Yet by no means does it feel cramped. It’s just a magical shoebox. Or a giant boot.
Taking a seat at the window, I ordered an Okinawan chai latte and stared outside at the line of gingko trees with their beautiful yellow leaves. Over the speakers, the Chef Cooks Me was singing “A Song of Four Seasons.”
I am always amazed at how you can find such tranquility in one of the busiest cities in the world. Despite being in the middle of Shinjuku, this is an oasis of calm. Hordes of people are shuffling along the main street just twenty-five meters to my left, yet all I see are a couple of leaves buffeted by the wind, eventually meeting their fate on the sidewalk below.