You can read ‘On The Trail Of John Rain – Prelude’ here.
At just after 12.15 I arrived at my first stop in Nihombashi which was ‘Cafe Peshaworl’ (below). This appeared in the second book ‘Hard Rain‘ and was where Rain and Tatsu determined how to take out yakuza killer Murakami. I’d bought a new big tripod only a few days prior to this adventure and was able to use it outside this cafe which got a few bewildered looks from the Softbank (mobile phone carrier) shop next door.
On to Ginza next for ‘Ginza-yu’ bath-house (above) and ‘D. Heartman’ of which the latter bar had closed down. After that I went to the Imperial Hotel in nearby Chiyoda-ku and took the lift up to a very high floor to see the ‘Old Imperial Lounge’ but couldn’t really go into the actual lounge as it was busy with people waiting for seats and I of course wasn’t wanting to stump up a few thousand yen to get lunch. Roppongi was my next port of call as I tried (but failed) to locate ‘Club Alfie’ Jazz Club. Well I found the given address but it wasn’t there so maybe its moved or the Eisler curse has struck again!
Minato-ku features prominently throughout the book series with seven locations dotted around Nishi-Azabu and Minami-Aoyama. I couldn’t find ‘Bo Sono Ni’ which I think might also have gone out of business as I couldn’t even really find it on the internet in advance of this cycle trip. At this point I was beginning to feel it wasn’t going so well but thankfully ‘Monsoon Cafe’ (below) seemed more normal and certainly open for business as it was populated with a fair few customers.
Just round the back of that cafe was ‘These Library Lounge’ (above) although I’m not sure what this place with a strange English name actually is. As it was mid-afternoon ‘Body and Soul’ Jazz club (below) was closed but there were some staff inside who were wondering what a foreign guy was doing outside their club with a tripod and camera. One woman came out but I got rid of her sharpish by saying I just wanted a photo. As I was packing away my tripod a guy came out and tried to speak to me in English. He asked me if I liked Jazz to which I quite bluntly said no and that it featured in a book and that was the end of that conversation apart from the inevitability of being asked where I was from!
According to my addresses ‘Blue Note Tokyo’ (above) should have been three doors away but it clearly wasn’t so after looking around for a bit (which happened throughout the day quite a lot and if it wasn’t for the fact that I was on bicycle this challenge would have been far too much of a task on foot) so I left thinking another John Rain location had gone begging. However, as I cycled on I ended up spotting it a few minutes away in a completely different address. This place was pivotal in the story as it was where Rain met Midori; the daughter of the man he had assassinated at the start of the book.
The final two locations in Minami Aoyama both featured in the original book ‘Rain Fall‘. ‘Tsuta Coffee Shop’ (below) was a tiny rundown place on a backstreet with a long counter bar as far as I could see (for I didn’t enter most of these places) and was where Rain took Midori to talk to her about her father.
On the other hand ‘Las Chicas’ (above) was a very large and popular cafe and restaurant with loads of outdoor seats full of customers enjoying the Autumn afternoon sunshine. This is a particular favourite of Rain as it has different points on ingress and egress and a view of the street from inside which are the kind of things considered to be important to such a person who lives his life on the edge.
You can read ‘On The Trail Of John Rain Pt II’ here.