Japan: A Reek of Cement In Fuji's Shadow

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Pachinlco & Prices. But fleeing Tokyo by train is the last thing Olympic visitors will want to do. The city itself offers more action and interaction than any other major conurbation outside New York. There are 1,052 pachinko parlors constantly pocking the air with the jangle of small metal pinballs, 527 movie houses, 30 bowling alleys, a triple-decker golf driving range near the Tokyo Tower, four full-scale symphony orchestras, three opera companies, three baseball parks (drawing as many as 45,000 spectators a night) and of course there is the Kabuki Theater. There is also Tokyo's industry to be seen—the vast Honda plant that cranks out motorcycles of all sizes and speeds (see MODERN LIVING); the glittering edifices of the banking and manufacturing cartels; the movie industry that has given the screen the best and cheapest imitations of U.S. cornball westerns ever made, as well as great directors such as Akira Kurosawa. Tokyo has 32,000 restaurants—nearly twice as many as New York. The best of the Japanese establishments can cost as much as $30 per person for food and geisha entertainment, but at sukiyaki and tempura houses like the Ginza's Suehiro and Tenichi, prices are moderate. Tokyo also has excellent Western dining spots, such as Lohmeyer's (German) and the Crescent (French), as well as Liu Yuan, a four-story Chinese restaurant that ranks with the best in the world.

At a minimum, Tokyo boasts 30,000 establishments where a man or woman can have a drink. Prostitutes used to be everywhere, but a 1958 antiprostitution law scattered them to the winds, except for those who reappeared' as "bar hostesses." In the Ginza, Akasaka, Shimbashi, Shinjuku and Asakusa districts, such swank bars and nightclubs as Le Rat Mort offer unusual entertainment at prices that can be as exorbitant as anywhere in the world.

But the vices of Tokyo have been toned down for the Games. Lady Diet members pushed through a law requiring the masseuses in Tokyo's "hotsie bath" emporiums to wear robes instead of bikinis, and the police have enacted a midnight curfew that has already gone into effect.

"Prone to Feel Lonely." Despite all the efforts to primp for the Games, Tokyo remains the world's most primitive megalopolis. Less than a quarter of its 23 sprawling wards have sewage systems, and all efforts at city planning have failed in the discussion stage. Twice in its history—after the 1923 earthquake that took 100,000 lives and leveled half the city, and after World War II when it lay again in ruins—Tokyo had a chance to rebuild itself into a cohesive metropolis. Indeed, Ichiro Kono, the stocky, 66-year-old State Minister in charge of the Olympics and the man who is largely responsible for Tokyo's face lifting, blames General Douglas MacArthur and the U.S. occupation for the latter-day failure.

"Once we had a powerful agency known as the Home Ministry," he explains, "which had the power to step into local problems and solve them. The Americans abolished it as not democratic. Thus, this summer."

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