Tokyo is a city with an astounding number of restaurants, but even so - as is the case anywhere - there are only so many really special ones, so it's like most cities when you hear someone say "I know this great restaurant...", words which make your hearing sharper and provoke a response along the lines of "What type of food do they serve?" & "Where is it?"
So far, nothing out of the ordinary - what seems to me to be a little different in Tokyo, is how you need a sharper visual and mental focus to tune into a specific spot, and simultaneously train yourself to be unconcerned with the surroundings just outside that specific space you spend pleasant times in. Looking at the picture above, what do you imagine the surroundings to be like? The point is that it's not very important in Tokyo (beyond the reputation and image of the area in general)... nevertheless, let's see what you think as we walk the streets leading to Cosi-Cosi from Toritsu-daigaku Station (in Meguro-ku).
Naturally, the first step is taking a train there, in this case to Toritsu-daigaku Station on the Toyoko Line (the vast majority of people living in Tokyo don't get around by car, but instead get there three times faster via the efficient train system). Speaking of cars - see how they're lined up in the right-hand picture, which is typical... sometimes it's faster to walk even!
And here's the transition to one special restaurant in Tokyo. 1) walking down a nondescript (but luckily mostly devoid of fire-breathing machinery) street, 2) approaching the warm glow of the destination, and 3) entering an oasis with a good atmosphere, great food, and fun times with friends. In fact, in addition to the idea with this that you need to focus only on what you want to see, the nondescript lead-in to the destination can increase its appeal by way of contrast. A tropical paradise is viewed as paradise by city dwellers who can only get to the white sands for a week or two out of 52 - while for those who are there every day of the year, it's just the way things are, and perhaps the islanders dream of an exciting life in a mega-city....
Copyright 2005 by Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon, Images Through Glass, Tokyo