My non-average approach to living and working in Tokyo, Japan

I don't consider myself a typical traveler. I find most tourists annoying. I'm also not a digital nomad in the categorical sense. Yes, I work online and I travel often — but I don't like using that word to identify myself.

Am I freelancer? Kind of. I've outgrown chasing clients. Thank goodness. I rather work for a few clients at a time on an ongoing basis. If I need more work, I can contact a few connections and get projects lined up.

It feels strange to describe my life this way. I still have a difficult time believing it. It wasn't too long ago when I was hearing gunshots outside my $600/month rent apartment in Wilmington, California.

But now, things are different.

I have the freedom to work and live from anywhere. As of today, I've done just that for 52 days in Japan. My flexibility allows me to enjoy the day-to-day life. 

What's that like? Well, the best way to explain is to run you through how my day went yesterday.


I got my day started earlier than normal. At 9:30 a.m., I was out the door and on my way to a coworking space in Shinjuku. I booked 2 hours but ended up staying for 4. I didn't work over the weekend and I was too mentally fatigued on Monday to do much. Tuesday was a work-focused day.

What did I do? Wrote email copy for a client and uploaded videos for my new chocolate business.


After 4 hours of work I needed a break from the screen. And, from sitting down. I don't think it's healthy to sit and type at a computer for long periods of time. I went to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden to unwind.

It was beautiful there. Here are some pictures.

The long walk through the park was good. It made me hungry.


I decided on a nearby ramen spot called Shinjuku Gyoen Ramen Ouka. The reviews on Google Maps looked good. I went in with the plan of getting spicy ramen, but when I saw the wagyu ... I couldn't resist. Instead of paying ¥1200 ($12) I paid ¥7,000 ($70). Quite the price difference, but I love quality meat.

While the ramen was delicious, it wasn't orgasmic. It was also greasy and tasted a little like fish. I feel like I would've been just as satisfied with the spicy ramen. Lesson learned.

After dinner, I felt like dessert. I couldn't resist the urge, unfortunately. Initially I wanted fruit — a common Japanese dessert — but I couldn't find any. So I had cheesecake.

Bad Ray, I know. It gets worse. I had an espresso at 5 p.m. Which might've been okay, but I took a 2-day break from caffeine prior. The result? I didn't sleep until 5 a.m. 

Morning (again)

After forcing myself to sleep I managed to get up and get work done by 4 p.m. I now have my sights set on ramen again.

However this time, I'll skip the cheesecake.

Tokyo, JapanRaymond Duke