Every day I am passing through the Tokyo Imperial Palace on bicycle. From Kasumigaseki I enter outer Palace Area through Sakuradamon 桜田門 gates, which are located at the southernmost part of the palace. The gates built by the old moat and consist of two constructions: external facing Kasumigaseki and internal facing Otemachi. There is small inner yard in between them. Just in the yard leaning against the moat there is my favorite cherry tree. Right now it’s in full bloom.
I was passing through the Palace yesterday when I saw this aged man resting by his heavy duty bycicle.
I approached him and asked if I can take photo of him. Amazingly he answered in good English. We talked for while and apparently he is about 70 and still works as delivery man carrying fish from Tsukiji fish market to local restaurants.
He is peaceful and kind man and seems very balanced. Balance and peace shows in way he sits, talks, smiles. After short talk it felt like meeting old friend. He invited me to visit his home where he lives with his wife. You may not believe me but for 10+ years in Tokyo it happened first time when Japanese invited me like this. Of course I visited some very few Japanese homes, but those are of old long-term friends. And I received few invites, but normally it’s kind of politeness and people never expect you to visit. Most of times they actually would be stunned if you follow the invitation and come. In this case however it was real invitation at least felt like it.