Public eye #3

David Johnson (30) at Gaienmae

Public eye #3

David Johnson, Marketing Assistant

Where are you heading?
DJ: I’m on my way to work.

I imagine you’re pretty popular with the ladies?
DJ: NO! Plus, recently, I’ve been too busy with work for that kind of thing… [Laughs] Although… Japanese women can be very sweet. I lived in Osaka for about four years— the women there are really friendly and full of conversation. I get the feeling that the women here in Tokyo are generally more conservative.

How long have you been in Japan?
DJ: About seven years. I’m originally from Oregon, America.

How long have you been interested in cycling?
DJ: For about fifteen years. Back when I was a junior high school student, I remember thinking mountain bikes were pretty cool. Plus there were loads of really fun places to ride next to our house.

What kind of work do you do?
DJ: I work in the Specialized bicycle shop right over there. It’s really fun— I get to mix my love of bicycles with work.

How do you find cycling around the streets of Tokyo?
DJ: The narrow roads can sometimes make things a bit tricky. On the other hand, the drivers are pretty well natured here. In America, particularly away from the cities, drivers are usually much more irritable. Although generally speaking, the recent fixed-gear bicycle boom in both Japan and America seems to have unfortunately resulted in worse manners from each city’s riders.

Do you have any recommendations for good city-cycling routes?
DJ: For routes inside the city, try the area around Naka-Meguro, Yamate-dori and Kyu-Yamate-dori. Taking a leisurely ride from Shinjuku to Sendagaya with a friend is also pretty fun.

When you go for a ride, are there any particular places you like to stop off at?
DJ: I like Irohasushi in Naka-Meguro— the sushi’s great and it’s cheap.

More from David:

‘Both the people I work with and I take great pride in the products we sell; however, we realise that nothing is perfect. We are always looking to create better products.’

‘Japan is a great place to live. In America, going anywhere - even to the supermarket - requires a car. Moving around in Japan requires much less hassle.’

‘Tokyo is a really peaceful city. Not at all aggressive— in a good way I mean. Maybe it’s because of its small streets, but I think the people here have a good understanding of what it means to “share”.’

Interviewed on Jan 22, 2010

Photo by Mai Michitsuji
By Akiko Toya
Translated by Brin Wilson
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.



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