Novelist Paul Auster observed that Tokyo (the backdrop for the fashion portfolio “Tokyo Story”) combines the sprawl of L.A. with the density of Manhattan. It’s that vast and overstuffed with superlatives and people. The metropolitan area is the most populous in the world, with about 35 million inhabitants. It’s also one of the most functional 21st-century cities. Crime is low, streets are clean and trains arrive on the minute. It has more top restaurants than any other city (in fact, in January, Noma is closing its Copenhagen restaurant and decamping to Tokyo’s Mandarin Oriental for a sabbatical) and will host the 2020 Olympics. But the reason to visit now is to appreciate omotenashi—Japanese-style hospitality—as the city prepares to welcome the world.
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