June 10

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Running Blind

Today in Yoyogi Park I saw a big group of runners warming up near the place where I regularly fall off the slackline. That’s not unusual – packs of them regularly lope through Tokyo, getting their exercise on.

What was different about this group is that half of them couldn’t see, and some couldn’t hear. The rest were guides. Volunteers are matched one on one with those who would otherwise have a bit of trouble navigating through the throngs of picnickers, costumed dogs and performers in the park.

As I walked home through the park later, I saw pairs like this, whose jerseys told me who they were, but their pace didn’t.

If you’d like to visit Yoyogi Park the next time you’re in Tokyo, directions & a map are on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.

Read a novel set in Tokyo

In the wake of a deadly earthquake, fans erupt in a frenzy of mourning when it’s discovered that their favorite pop star is among the dead. But when Detective Kenji Nakamura is sent to investigate a death at a local shrine, he finds evidence that suggests the impossible: How could the head priest have been murdered by…read more