DJ, play that music louder, お願い

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Thursday, 26 July 2007, 11.00 am JST

sotd: m-flo loves melody. and 山本領平, miss you
cotd: MHU38 Toyota Harrier Hybrid L

For the first time on this blog, I’m going to recap events of last weekend as a photoblog. It’s what sites like these are meant for, and it’s about time I got on top of things. Good thing I’ve got all the pictures uploaded.

Friday, July 20

Our epic journey begins, like most, with my customary 1.5-hour drive to Miki. After getting dinner, Kristine and I showered, cleaned, and finished packing, before heading out in the muggy rain to Shijimi Station. Roughly 60 minutes later, we walked into the Sannomiya Bus Terminal, joining our travel companions Heather and Dylan. Boarding the awfully cramped, slightly uncomfortable 青春ドリーム bus at 10:00, we were off for the Great Kanto Plain. Our only relief from the bus came around midnight, when we pulled into the Kusatsu Parking Area of the Meishin Expressway in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture. Hooray for Mini Stop.


Yo yo yo highway style.

Saturday, July 21

At approximately 7:30 in the morning, feeling not at all rested, we thus arrived at the one, the only, JR Tokyo Station.


Ah, city life.

From here, our two couples split up, Kristine and I opting to shoot immediately for Ikebukuro and reunite with a long-lost love: Burger King.


Three minutes before we Had It Our Way.

Remembering that the point of our trip was not to camp out in the middle of Tokyo sprawl, we jumped back on the train and headed for Yokohama.


Ta-da.

Swiftly escaping from the mess of the underground exit, we passed through Sogo and headed over the pedestrian walkway to the Yokohama Bay Quarter.


This generic facade belies the plethora of Hawaiiana inside.

Once there, we immediately found ourselves drawn to the smell of fresh-baked malasadas, courtesy of this odd-looking Ford van:

And then we chowed down:


We even had lunch at a place with stuff like this:

Afterwards, we headed to Sakuragicho to find our hotel:

And then set off for the Yokohama Arena:

To rock out for three straight hours with thousands of our best friends to m-flo and almost everyone who’s appeared in the Loves series.

Afterwards we walked down the street to the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, to have some ramen:

And show off our shirts:

And then we took the subway back to our hotel and slept very well.

Sunday, July 22

After we checked out of our hotel, we started with breakfast at Cafe de Crie.

We then went to Chinatown:

Where we saw this giant temple in the middle of everything:

And met this crazy-looking guy:


Lovely.

After grabbing a reasonable buffet lunch in Chinatown, we walked over to the Motomachi shopping area to see the shops:

And head up the hill to the Yamate area (read: Foreigner Area) to see some of the old buildings and lookouts.


山手十番館

We also got to see Taka’s school, St. Maur International School.

And after that, we walked over to the 港の見える丘公園 (Minato no Mieru Oka Koen, Park on the Hill from which you can see the Bay):


The Yokohama Bay Bridge.

And after that, we came back down towards the bay to see 山下公園 (Yamashita Park) and enjoy the bay for a bit:


Shipping container art.


The Hikawa Maru.

 At the end of the park we came upon this curiosity:


I was at a loss for words.

Inside, Taka demonstrates about 57 reasons why this kind of establishment could not exist in America:


Yeah, that’s a gin and tonic he’s holding in front of the kids’ playground.

After that delightful stop, we made our way to the 横浜赤レンガ倉庫, the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouses. Originally constructed as a symbol of the modernization and development of the port of Yokohama, today they are nothing but. . . a shopping mall.

After this, we headed back to Sakuragicho area, where we got to see the famous graffitti wall that is located on the back side of the station.

After viewing the wall, we got one last look at the Landmark Tower

And then pretty much headed back to Tokyo.

Having been taken back by Taka to Yurakucho, one of the “locals” areas of Tokyo, we wandered around a bit until finally settling in at a pretty awesome yakitori stand.


Yum.

We also went [were taken] to Hub, this time the Yurakucho branch.


Oh dear.

From there, we left, Taka heading back to his house, and the two of us heading back to Tokyo Station to get on the cramped, uncomfortable 青春ドリーム神戸号 night bus. All in all though, an incredibly AMAZING weekend. And hey: yay for pictures.  All the above and more can be found here.

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But now, for some real traveling.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Friday, 20 July 2007, 02.00 pm JST

sotd: m-flo loves Crystal Kay, Love Don’t Cry
cotd: GH8 Subaru Impreza S-GT Sport Package

Today, Friday, July 20: End of the first term of the school year.

Tonight: We will be on a bus to Tokyo Station, then heading to Yokohama to partake in the bound to be absolutely amazing m-flo Cosmicolor finale show at Yokohama Arena.

Gods.

 

More later. Like, after we come back.


Time To Get Packing

Friday, 13 July 2007

Friday, 13 July 2007, 04.00 pm JST

sotd: Clazziquai Project, Fill This Night
cotd: ZRR70 Toyota Voxy ZS

Apparently we’re going to China. Who knew?


Cosmicolored

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Wednesday, 4 July 2007, 12.30 pm JST

sotd: m-flo loves 日之内絵美 & Ryohei, Summer Time Love
cotd: ZRT260 Toyota Allion A18 S

For this time, I have three big events to report on.

1. Kristine’s family came to Japan. After roughly ten or so months of living in the Japanese ee-naw-kah (countryside, in English), with only ourselves, a few other gaijins, and even fewer English-speaking Nee-hawn-jins (Japanese peoples), suddenly we had an entire weekend with people we knew from Before Japan. Five of them, no less!

Since Kristine’s site already has a much more in-depth description of the weekend than I need to include, I should just say that it was nice to see them–ALL of them!–and show them around some of our oft-visited areas.


Yay for pictures!

 

2. m-flo had a concert in Osaka, and we went to it. No kidding. With an odyssey that started in March, coinciding with the release of m-flo’s latest and greatest, “Cosmicolor,” we managed to snag some tickets to their live concert on June 16 at Zepp Osaka. Because words cannot describe seeing my most favoritest musical group ever live, I will only say (1) my sole reason for coming to Japan has been fulfilled, (2) the tour finale in Yokohama which we will be going to next month will rock a hundred million times harder, and (3) it was absolutely ヤバイ.

Cosmicolor

 

3. For the first time ever, my entire house is clean. And for once, I’m totally serious. Granting a few loose articles left on the floor and not owning a vacuum cleaner, Kristine and I over the course of one Saturday (we originally budgeted both Saturday and Sunday to the effort) managed to clean practically the entire interior of my house, including the upstairs balcony, downstairs front and rear entrances, bathroom, toilet, and all rooms, AND THEN moved a whole ton of crap around until it morphed into an altogether much more suitable living arrangement with a general feeling of openness and organization.

But? No pictures on this one. At least not yet. Once I clean the rest of the books off the floor I may get around to that.

 

To come: summer in Japan, and the horrors of obtaining a Japanese driver’s license.