Robert Campbell

The Appeal of Tokyo for Robert Campbell

I was in my late 20s when I arrived in Japan. I spent a year in Fukuoka at first, and I often visited Tokyo in those days. Later I moved to Tokyo and spent less time visiting other cities. That's how much of an attraction Tokyo had for me as a city.

Tokyo is full of attractions that are only available for limited times, and the turnover is really fast. It run the gamut from festivals like the jazz festival presented in Asagaya and the Awa Odori Festival in Koenji to smaller-scale sporting events.

You can find festivals like these in every corner of Tokyo, in an incredibly packed schedule. Even people living in Tokyo can't experience all of them, so there's certainly plenty for visitors from overseas to enjoy. The things you can experience in Tokyo depend on what time of the year you travel. Some events can be experienced only once. The ephemeral nature of events in Tokyo is part of the allure of this city.


Robert Campbell

Born in New York. Graduated from Harvard University with a Ph. D. in Asian Languages and Literature.
As a professor of literature, Campbell focused his research on Japanese literature (classical Chinese literature from the early modern period to the Meiji era, and related arts, philosophy, media, etc.). In Japan, Campbell served as a lecturer at the Department of Literature of Kyushu University, then as an associate professor at the National Institute of Japanese Literature, before assuming his current position as a graduate professor of cultural studies at the University of Tokyo. He appears regularly as a commentator on TV programs such as Sukkiri! (NTV) and Minna no News (Fuji TV), and is active on the lecture circuit and in media such as newspapers, magazines and the Web.