You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe


First impressions of Japan — meaningful or cliché?

F inding myself wide awake at 4:30 a.m., I took a photograph of the view out my window. Orange street lights, a deserted car park. A handy visual prompt, I told myself, if I ever needed reminding of what desolation feels like. I was alone in a drab hotel room in a city the color of smudged charcoal — a city I had not even heard of the previous week: Fukuoka.

Outside was dark and overcast, the kind of overcast you know will be around for days. It was, I couldn’t help thinking, all very “Lost in Translation” — except that one thing was missing: Scarlett Johansson.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week