Tokyo: Backstage Pass
Trip Start Aug 28, 2011
46Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Well I had the chance to head back to Tokyo again last week and I have finally conjured up the will and strength to write about it! Now, some of you may have seen some incriminating photos on the Facebook in which I had chosen to lose the top half of my clothing. Let me assure you that it was by choice and that I have safely made it back to Ashoro all limbs in tact! I am not going try to justify to you about why my shirt comes off after a few libations...... Who knows.... but you should try it sometime! LOL
So yes, Tokyo was, in a nutshell, memorable to say the least. Going with my buddy Nori from Ashoro, who used to go to school in Tokyo gave me the chance to see and do a lot of things that I wouldn't have otherwise done
One of the highlights this time around was definitely the aforementioned Manga/comic book Expo. Nori's pal, Shotaro, works for Columbia, a record producing company here in Japan. We originally had plans to meet with Shotaro and just have your average Otoku (nerdy) hang session.... you know.... a maid cafe, talk about the latest video games, compare pocket protectors and push our thick rimmed glasses up on our faces. Last minute we got a call from Shotaro saying that he had to change plans and had to do some networking at the Expo where only business men were allowed in. Shotaro then asked us how good we were at lying and figured that we just may be able to wangle ourselves in with a little persuasion and ruggedly handsome good looks. Well it worked, I was the Senior Executive Assistant for the independent Canadian music production company Blackbird Records (came up with that on the spot, not bad eh?). I promoted the crap out of my company and realized that I should have gone into the sales industry and/or lying for a living!
The last night in Tokyo we decided to soak in the scene at an Izakaya, a Japanese drinking establishment that serves food along with beverages of the alcoholic variety. First off, according to Nori and his Tokyo dwelling friends, we set the new record for the most expensive bill they have had to pay at the end of the night. Who knew that a mammoth ice cream Sundae and the company of one thirsty Canadian and one thirsty New Zealander could make that much of a difference! I also learned that in Tokyo, if you are going for a night out you are either going home by 12:00am to catch the last train or staying out all night until 5:00am to catch the first train. This is a recipe for disaster if you ask me, or a really smart business move on behalf of the bars. So basically a group of people will go out, rent a room at the Izakaya and stay there having a few Chardonnays and even catching a few winks before the mosey off to their homes at 5am! So if you can picture a group of 12 -14 people having rousing discussion and as the morning closes in people start to drop one by one. The scene by 4am was three dudes sleeping on the floor at my feet, a bunch with their heads on the table, two or three people wedged and sleeping on a bench made for one, the New Zealander doing his best to fight off the head bobbing and me giving Nori the "wow, cultural differences" face!
So yes, this trip to Tokyo was a lot more focus on the new culture and not so much the "paper wall", reserved traditional Japanese culture. Once again though, Tokyo did not disappoint and it just re-solidfyed how cool it is to know someone with the inside scoop, like Nori. Going with him was like a back stage pass for a chance to see the inner workings of what really goes on under the surface of all the bustle, lights, noise and organized chaos.