Once I stepped out of the cab, the scent of the yakitori stalls along the streets snuck up my nostrils and sent a command to my stomach. In front of my eyes were thousands of billboards in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours across the spectrum in a language with letters that looked like scribbles. It wasn’t epilepsy-friendly due to the beautiful variety of flashing lights making the street look like a rave. I had to swim through the waves of people lining up for food, shops or the notorious pachinko parlours where people went to throw their money away, or simply just people walking through the rowdy atmosphere. I bumped into people as their suits brushed against my skin. There were more people walking on the streets on a weekday midnight than a Saturday afternoon in Shrewsbury.
As I finally escaped the crowd with my mild claustrophobia, I walked into a narrow alley that looked shady and saw a small garden with a temple in the middle. An empty temple. I could smell the incense around me making it feel like a safe haven. I knelt down in front of the statues staring down at me. I lit the incense and allowed it to burn as closed my eyes and held it in my two hands with my fingers. I prayed to the gods as they ate the sounds in the temple to ensure absolute silence. I was in deep thoughts as I sat in a sanctuary of peace. I continued to kneel on the floor as the secluded tranquility ran down my spine. I stood up, took a bow, punctured my incense into the ashes of the millions of other burnt incense in the pot then returned into the clamorous crowd.