Not a lot changes in nine months away from Fuchu. FC Tokyo banners hang from Edo-imitation lampposts, and I found the cheap tempura place opposite the keiten sushi and all-for-300-yen izakaya in a back alley behind the station. Between there and my flat is a whole row of room salons, still with hand-written signs advertising for "Filipina workers with proper visa."
My apartment is smaller than last time, overlooking the end table in a Nepalese restaurant, the top of a roof and the corner of a car park. The Shop 99 has changed too, replaced by a Lawson 100 store that costs a whole one yen extra for bags of misshaped aubergine and tins of tomato sauce flavour mackerel.