This is service with a smile. You pick out a couple of inexpensive items at the two-day antique stall in the foyer of hostel Nui on this Coming-of-Age weekend, including some battered cedar drawers held together with what appear to be wooden nails, light but a bit awkward to lug, and stallholder Kazutoshi Shimada of Waplus, who does interior design and other things like run a coffee shop and help his dad demolish buildings in Saitama, asks, How are you getting these home, and you say I’ll get a cab, it’s very close, and he says, I’ve got a car, I’m delivering stuff this afternoon, and you say, Yes but I will be out, so he says, Well I can get the car now, but it’s a 10-minute walk to the parking, and you say half-joking, We could walk nearly the whole way in that time, and he says, OK I will walk with you and deliver it.
So you finish your coffee, say thanks to Mrs Junko Shimada and off you go, with Shimada’s partner Yuto Yamazaki who runs the quirky architectural fittings, ceramics and jewellery firm Alloy, who kindly carries the old silkworm-cocoon display case you also bought, for reasons not yet known.
What lovely conditions, along the Kuramae and Komagata lanes, the sun at your back, curiosity piqued by a couple of geisha types outside a riverside restaurant waiting to hello or goodbye a valued customer – and it’s barely noon! The little stall seems to have done well because the things they sold are interesting, and Shimada and Yamazaki are ready to do it again, in which case you’ll try and write about it in advance.