Without fear of being wrong, we can say that the race of Haruki Murakami as a writer he began in the classic Murakami style: out of nowhere, on the most Ordinary possible, for a mystical truth suddenly descended upon him and changed his life forever.
Because Murakami has always considered himself a stranger in his own country, all the places he presents in his stories are fascinating. universes parallels.
The basic structure of his stories —ordinary life lodged between incompatible worlds, but accessible to anyone— is also that of his daily life.
That is why today, January 12, the day the famous Japanese writer Haruki Murakami was born, we decided to talk about four places in Tokyo that are key both in his life and in his work, to celebrate his 74th birthday.
Jingu Stadium, located in central Tokyo, is the second oldest baseball stadium in Japan and home of the famous Yakult Swallows.
This is where Haruki Murakami discovered in 1978 that he could write a novel and this is precisely what he narrates (and in what way) in the book Wind/Pinball.
According to the text (that you can consult here if you are curious), the now world famous writer assures that it was an afternoon in April when his team played against the Hiroshima Carps and he knew he could write a novel (or at least he suspected so).
When Dave Hilton's bat, of the Yakult Swallows, found the ball and it resounded throughout the stadium, it was literally the signal that made him know that he would become a writer, which he himself described in said book as a kind of revelation that had no foundation.
In a match between the Yakult Swallows and the Hiroshima Carps, Murakami knew he would write a novel. Source: LITHUB
Meiji Jingu Gaien Complex
This route is the one that the writer likes to run the most in Tokyo and the one he talks about so much in his books as well as What I mean when I talk about running.
For more than three decades, Haruki Murakami has lived a highly organized life, like that of a monk, with every facet precisely designed to help him produce his work.
Most days he runs or swims long distances, eats a healthy diet, goes to bed around 9 PM and wakes up, without an alarm, around 4 AM to spend five to six hours writing with total concentration.
In the fall, the Meiji Jingu Gaien route turns bright yellow, red, and orange. Source: Japan Travel
1Q84 It is one of Haruki Murakami's most ambitious projects as it is a massive novel that takes the reader on a look at all sorts of places in Japan's Kanto region.
One of the most important and bizarre scenes in the novel takes place at the Okura Hotel, which unfortunately was completely rebuilt, which makes it difficult to imagine everything raised by Murakami.
The south wing of the Okura Hotel, which is less popular than the rest, is still in operation. Source: The Murakami Pilgrimage
Denny's at midnight, the setting for the opening of the novel After Dark, it's a classic and that's why going to one of these restaurants that Murakami loves so much to become hyper-aware of the incidental music, rises and falls and the shapes of people's ears is a true experience.