Tokyo's transformation has been phenomenal
First in a two-part series
TOKYO — I am 79 years old as I write this. Looking out my window at the Toyosu Urban Dock and Rainbow Bridge in the distance, I am content. I think there is no place I would rather be.
I have lived in many different places throughout my life, some during my bachelor days, some with my wife, during her 25-year career as a UNHCR officer: Those cities would include, New York City, Seoul, Mexico City, Geneva, Paris, Stockholm, Mogadishu, Karachi, and Dhaka. I have also spent a great deal of time in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C., Honolulu, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok.
From 1983 until 2014 I took round-the-world trips at least twice a year — sometimes three times. I discovered long ago that it is cheaper to buy a round the world ticket from Tokyo to Tokyo —14 stops, 28,000 miles— than it is to buy a return ticket from Tokyo to NYC to Tokyo. And it is more interesting. The first RWT I ever took was in 1986, via Pan Am. I went from Tokyo to Singapore to Bangkok to Bombay to Mogadishu to Nairobi to New York to San Francisco to Tokyo. The very last RWT I took was in 2014 via Star Alliance. My wife and I went from Tokyo to Istanbul to Vienna to Stockholm to Frankfurt to Buenos Aires to New York to Los Angeles to Honolulu and back to Tokyo. It was glorious and exhausting.