When I came here the last time, it was enough for me to visit the parks and historical places of Tokyo; I didn't worry much about eating well or taking care of the environment. This time, I am starting out very differently; I have seen the sights, I know a great deal about the city, and it is more important to me to find the niches that satisfy my interests.

Over the years, I have added to my love of literature and Asian culture a concern for the environment and health. In line with this concern, one thing I don't like to compromise on in any country is the quality of the food I eat and the methods used to raise, harvest, and preserve it.

Japan, well-known for its long-lived citizens and the homeplace of the diet that influenced Macrobiotics, is unfortunately not leading the way in organic foods; they are quite a bit behind many other developed countries.

So I was very excited to find one of the few organic markets in Tokyo is not far from my house, about a 15-minute walk, near Gotanno, and while it is a tiny place, their produce selection is good, they have household products (I got a huge bottle of biodegradeable detergent for a fair price), and they even have a tiny selection of meats. They even have a delivery service (I'm not sure how far they go, and I won't bother anyway, since it is so close). I'll be visiting there quite often.

There is another organic market nearby, again tiny, in Kitasenju. They have a slightly larger shop and thus a little better selection; however, this no Rainbow Market in SF (god how I miss it!). It was called Tsubakiya 2 (not sure where the other Tsubakiya is) and is just a couple of minutes from the Kitasenju station, though it is difficult to find. I want to go here again, as their selection is different from the one in my area, and when I visited it I forgot there was a restaurant on the second floor—I would have liked to see the menu.

I have to consider myself very lucky to have these unexpected resources available.