JAPAN 2003 - TOKYO
|The first thing I do when I arrive in a foreign land and jump on their clean, efficient public transport is pull down the strides and kick back in me jocks so the boys can get some air. Good to see a fellow traveller with the same idea. I took this on the Narita Express train from the airport to Ikebukuro. He was on my plane too. Click on the images to take a closer look.|
|After a nap and a quick shower Michelle dumped me in Shinjuku to look around until Ben knocked off work. Shinjuku is just one of the large shopping and business hubs on the western side of what I guess you'd call central Tokyo, although there really isn't a centre. It's kinda confusing. Anyway the shops are crazy, and I spent about 2 hours just in Tower and Virgin Records listening to CDs and reading music magazines.|
|Still feeling giddy from that evil image on the train earlier in the day I headed to a tiny bar in Shinjuku with Ben to wash it away with some local ale. Kampai!!!|
|One beer turns into many... me with Ben and Michelle, plus a couple of the guys in Ben's hardcore band "Black Line Fever". I'm giving the thumbs up because no-one's told me you have to make the peace sign when your photo is taken in Japan. Later on we get some warm sake (rice wine) and then everything is blank.|
|This dude ran his own little bar with a beer garden out back in Ikebukero. He used to be a jazz drummer in the US back in the 60s. Or something like that. This was taken before the sake came out. Hence the smiling.|
|Ben and Michelle's ultra cosy flat, in Hakawadai. Lets just say know each other a whole lot better now. I took this photo squatting on their balcony.|
|Kicked around the John Lennon Museum with a blinding hangover while Ben and Michelle were at work. The museum had a bunch of his original guitars, old school books, his beatles clothes, the hotel notepad he wrote "Imagine" on, and the stuff he had in is pocket when he croaked. There was even a phone that Yoko will occasionally call and if you are standing there when it rings she'll talk to you.|
|John doesn't mince his words, as you can see in this final exhibit.|
|This is me with Michelle and some of their friends in the backroom of a japanese bar where they give you telephone books and you get to make prank calls using the microphones while they bring you lots of free beer. Its hilarious, and i'm sure we'll see it in Australia soon. Yo, order me two more beers!|
|Actually we were in a karaoke room (er derr). 1200YEN each for one hour, all you can drink and sing. I did blazing renditions of Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4" and "Brown Sugar" with Ben. Michelle and I also did Xanadu, but apparently she does it with everyone. Xanadu i mean. Afterwards we went to a dodgy club called GAS PANIC and an American GI who was wearing a banana on his head tried to pick a fight cos I was laughing at him. Everything goes blank again...|
|Con's coffee in Harajuku. Perfect for the post-karaoke hangover.|
|The amazing Design Festa Gallery in Harajuku. It has a cute garden and restaurant behind it too. Worth a visit... http://designfesta.com|
|Let it never be said the japanese don't know how to rock! These guys aren't busking, they're promoting a gig they had later that night. They're called 'Jack and Terry' or something equally catchy. Also remember it's like 31 degrees and the humidity is at around 90%. I'm in pain just looking at those PVC pants! \m/\m/|
|This is as close to the Imperial palace in Tokyo as i could get. You can just see some buildings in the top right-hand side through the trees.|
|Bruce the guard makes sure no crazies get in. He was laughing at me cos I took his photo. Bruce isn't his real name, I'm trying to protect his identity.|
|A cool statue of a samurai on a horse near the palace.|
|Some signs specifically point out you can't walk on the grass, but nowhere does it say you can't sleep on it.|
|More people sleeping. The Japanese will sleep anywhere.|
|Some icecream to cool us down after seeing The Rapture and The Polyphonic Spree in Shinjuku.|
|Stumbling around Shibuya looking at retro clothing and searching for cool bars I stumbled on this cute record store. Unfortunately all they had was obscure breakbeat and house music otherwise I could have spent hours in here.|
The trains finish at midnight generally, so if you want to keep partying you have to pull an all nighter (taxi's are expensive, if you can get one at all) and take the first train home in the morning.
My last night was spent with these fab people getting slaughtered and belting out such classics as Nelly's "Hot In Herre", Bowie's "China Girl" and the theme from Sesame Street.
It costs 1000YEN each from midnight til 5am, and you get all the soft drinks you can handle, which is cool cos we'd snuck in a couple of bottles of vodka and had forgotten to bring our own mixers.
By the time we got on the train to go home at about 5:30am everything had gone blank again.
Next stop, SUMMER SONIC >>>>>