Tuesday, October 28


I arrive in Tokyo for business, meeting Thierry at the hotel and off we go.

It's my first visit Tokyo and the city is BIG - the most populous metropolitan area in the world with 37.8 million people. From the 33rd floor of my hotel, Tokyo just goes on forever.

Tokyo has eaten everything around it due, mainly, to the decision to build the Shinkansen (or "new trunk line"), a network of high-speed lines in Japan that opened in 1964 weeks before the Tokyo Olympics.

The Shinkansen owns 1,483 miles of lines with max speeds of 150-200 mph. It links most major cities on the main island, making Tokyo ever more important as the central force of the economy while weakening regional cities. By an odd quirk, employers pay for the commute time making a 2 hour one-way somehow tolerable or even desirable. Any case, it carries over 300 million passengers a year. It runs like a Swiss clock.

I watch the World Series, game 5, which is broadcast on Japanese television delayed for prime time (Giants beat KC, 5-0. There will be a Game 7). The commentary is in Japanese. I note that restaurants and bars are showing the game to locals who watch, enthralled. No surprise, either, since baseball introduced to Japan in 1872 by HOrace Wilson who taught at the Kaisei School in Tokyo and the first baseball team here was called the Shimbashi Athletic club in 1878.