tourist in japan

flickr

Otemachi 8134 by Krzysztof Baranowski
Via Flickr:
Reflection of a golden sunset.

“Cats crowd the harbor on Aoshima Island in the Ehime prefecture in souther Japan, February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in souther Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing  village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one.”

photography:©Thomas Peters

h/t TIME

Clearly, a favorite assistant.


(A note: gay bars of this particular type (”okama bars”) in Japan are pretty popular with straight people, and sometimes even called “tourist bars” (where straight people come to be entertained by gay people). They are staffed by gay men, cross-dressing gay men, and sometimes transgender women (that’s… rare though), and don’t necessarily cater to a gay clientele. This type of bar often functions same as a host club.)

flickr

Tokyo Cityscape 5601 da Krzysztof Baranowski
Tramite Flickr:
4 shots panorama.

It’s day 1, and Chris is mooning over a pretty new thing - all rich dark skin and lips to die for.

Chris gets him to agree to a double date.

And Viktor, the amazing best friend that he is, has agreed to play wingman, despite not being the least bit interested in dating at the moment.

That all changes the moment he lays eyes on possibly the most beautiful human being to walk the planet.

A baby-faced Asian man a few years his junior - with porcelain skin and a shy smile, slender fingers and thighs that could probably kill a man.

He’s just broken up with his girlfriend of two years, Viktor soon learns. He finds himself genuinely upset for Yuuri, for how heartbroken he seems.

They both end up enjoying the date immensely.

And as they’re exchanging numbers, Viktor can’t help but ask.

“Is it okay to fall for you?”

Yuuri is silent for a moment.

Thoughtful.

“I’m still hurting,” he says. “Ask me again next time.”


It’s day 5, and they’ve been texting nonstop since they met.

They text each other good morning, and wish each other sweet dreams.

Viktor has watched Yuuri grow slowly more and more comfortable with him as time went by, and it’s only made him more and more smitten with Yuuri.

Yuuri tells him about growing up in a tiny little tourist town in Japan - about moving halfway across the world for college, about missing his home and his family and his toy poodle puppy, Vicchan.

And in return, Viktor tells him about St. Petersburg - about parents he stopped caring about long ago, about a little brother who screams and rages to hide how vulnerable he is, about the grandfather who raised them both, and the grouchy figure skating coach who’s perhaps the next closest thing he has to a parent.

It’s nearing midnight, and they’re saying goodbye, Yuuri still extracting promises from Viktor to bring Maccachin over to his and Phichit’s apartment sometime for a visit.

Viktor can’t help but ask.

“Is it okay to fall for you?”

He gets a smiley face in return.

“I’m still not over her,” he replies. “Ask me again next time.”


It’s day 11, and Phichit and Chris have decided they’d prefer to just be friends.

They still send each other selfies and flirt over social media.

It’s the weirdest breakup Viktor’s ever witnessed.

Though he must admit, he’s relieved they still get along so well. He’s gotten used to having Phichit and Yuuri join them on their Friday nights out.

This week, they’ve decided to stay in - watch a movie at Viktor and Chris’s apartment, and stuff themselves with unholy amounts of junk food.

Chris and Yuuri are in the kitchen, fixing up some dinner, when Viktor worries to Phichit that he might be coming on to Yuuri too strong.

Phichit asks, “Has he told you to stop?”

Viktor shakes his head no, explains that Yuuri always tells him the same thing.

Phichit’s face lights up into a wide smile.

“Then you have nothing to worry about,” he reassures. “If he really minded it, he would have asked you to stop.”

Viktor hopes that he’s right. His thoughts must show on his face, because Phichit’s face grows suddenly serious.

“When Yuuri loves,” he explains, “he does it with all his heart. So when it gets broken, it takes a long time to put back together. It might take a while, but it will be worth the wait.”

Viktor smiles, and accepts the encouragement.

Later that night, as Phichit heads out to their car, Viktor stops Yuuri to ask a question.

“Is it okay to fall for you?”

A shy smile is what he gets in return.

“I’ll have to think on that. Ask me again next time.”


It’s day 13, and Viktor sees Yuuri through a coffee shop window.

He’s sitting with a girl Viktor recognizes from Yuuri’s instagram.

Viktor doesn’t ask Yuuri anything that day.


It’s day 19, and Viktor hasn’t talked to Yuuri in almost a week.


It’s day 20, and Phichit’s out of town.

Yuuri asks Viktor if he wants to stay over.

Viktor never has been good at saying no to him.

They stay up late playing video games, joking and teasing as if they’ve known each other all their lives.

It’s almost 3 when they finally decide it’s time to turn in.

Yuuri hesitates at the foot of the sofabed Viktor will be spending the night on.

Viktor meets his searching gaze, and doesn’t know what to say except, “Sweet dreams.”

Yuuri looks disappointed for a moment, before smiling and replying in like.

He turns to walk away, hands twisting nervously into the hem of his shirt.

And with a shock, Viktor knows suddenly what he is waiting for.

Reaching out, he grabs Yuuri’s hand, and the words tumble out breathless and clumsy.

“Is it okay to fall for you?”

A soft sigh escapes Yuuri’s lips, and he turns to collapse into Viktor’s arms.

“I would want nothing more.”

flickr

Thanks for Giving… by TOTORORO.RORO

flickr

Tokyo Vertical 8411 by Krzysztof Baranowski
Via Flickr:
around Shiodome

flickr

Kennin-ji Temple (建仁寺) in Autumn in Kyoto (京都) Japan by TOTORORO.RORO

flickr

Tokyo night sky by Flutechill
Via Flickr:
Tokyo, Japan