About The Tokyo Files

About me:

“Clark Parker クラーク·パーカー is a writer living in Tokyo. In his spare time he is a full-time salaryman. The Tokyo Files paints a portrait of Japan’s capital city through the lens of Clark’s obsessions, which include art & architecture, history & urban planning, and, most importantly, craft beer. Since moving to Japan in 2011 Clark has become increasingly convinced that Tokyo is the best city in the world, and is intent on proving it.” (Adapted from a bio I wrote for another publication – some details have changed, but the gist is the same, except now I live in Texas.)

Source: thetokyofilesmaps.wordpress.com
About the blog

The Tokyo Files 東京ファイル was created to share information about Tokyo’s museums, but has evolved into an examination of the changing urban fabric of Tokyo, with a focus on the impact of public transportation and danchi apartment complexes. The changing landscape of Tokyo is best appreciated by viewing classic Japanese cinema; for instance, Oshima’s Cruel Story of Youth (1960) provides stunning pictures of logs floating in Tokyo Bay, the current-day Odaiba:

Odaiba then and now:

Tokyo’s geography and Japan’s history are vastly interesting, and I hope to make this an entertaining and informative Tokyo history blog 東京の歴史ブログ. I like to consider myself a “biographer of cities”, with Tokyo as my beloved subject.

Points of interest mentioned in The Tokyo Files:
My other Japan blogs:
More about The Tokyo Files:

I probably should have called this blog “Tokyo Wanderer” or “Tokyo Drifter”, since I enjoy nothing more then setting off into (or out of) the city with only a vague itinerary in mind. I don’t know what I’ll find, but it’s almost always good. The following photograph is an example: towards the end of a long walk, I stopped at one of Tokyo’s ubiquitous vending machines to buy a drink. My hands were cold / I’m clumsy, and a 10-yen coin fell from my fingers onto the ground. The copper coin rolled for a few feet, began to spiral, and came to rest along its edge, wedged delicately between two pieces of asphalt. With haste, and a touch of nervousness, I photographed the coin, capturing a moment that may never pass in front of my eyes again.

A coin on its side is not important, and perhaps little in my blog is important, but the beauty of living in a foreign country is that the mundane details of life become richer. Perhaps this fades with time (I’ll let you know), but until that happens, I plan on taking notes (and pictures) of whatever magical or mundane moments cross my path.

If you have any topic suggestions or general comments, I’d be happy to hear from you. Follow me on twitter @thetokyofiles or email me: thetokyofiles [at] gmail [dot] com. You can also find me on Quora from time to time.

News and events:

(I) CEO Lunch – The Future of Transport (November, 2016): I spoke at The Future of Transport lunch held by the Delphi Network at the International House of Japan, in Roppongi.

(II) Stanford University curriculum: The Road to Tokyo: my post about underground rivers was included as a reference material for a curriculum in development by Stanford University: The Road to Tokyo.

(III) “Bohemian ghosts around Ikebukuro”my  take on the artists’ colonies of ‘Ikebukuro Montparnasse’ and Mejiro Cultural Village, published in Metropolis Japan (January, 2018)

(IV) “THE “HIGH LINES” OF TOKYO”: A guide to the city’s hidden railway parks, published in Metropolis Japan (March, 2018)

(V) Tokyo Cheapo interview: the fun and helpful website, Tokyo Cheapo, interviewed me, which you can read here. Tokyo Cheapo also was kind enough to include me on a list of Tokyo’s Top Tweeters. I advise you to follow the others on the list. They are much better.

(VI) An interview with Katie Adler (“English with Katie”): The audio from the following video is an interview I gave on the show “English with Katie” (broken link: englishwithkatie com/live-w-katie/). The photos are taken from my blog.

Sample of The Tokyo Files posts referenced in books, journal articles, & other sources:
  • Listed as an 英語タウン誌・フリーペーパー (English town free paper) on the Japanese website 英語情報 Eigo Joho
Urban Planning & Tokyo’s Development
Other blogs:

Unless otherwise noted, all photos and text in this blog are copyrighted by the author (or whatever the legal mumbo-jumbo is). Please contact me with any questions or comments.


  1. Dear Clark-san. I’ve been around your blog for some years now and was very impressed by your insight and wit. Especially the one on rivers and canals. Am a cruise tour guide (of an NPO, Suito Tokyo wo Tsukuru kai) and who has just started doing my debut at the Shibusawa Eiichi cruise in November last year. We’re planning to give cruise tours in English starting from April, of which I’m supposed to be a team leader. Can you please communicate with us and exchange ideas?

  2. Wow. Most excellent site. I lived in (and fell deeply for) Tokyo for 11 years in the 80’s and 90’s. I completely agree that it is one of the great cities of the world, and I look forward to rediscovering it through your blog.

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