Once again me and my backpack are on adventures and this time I set a new personal record, only 6kg including my backpack is by far the most lightweight luggage so far. The big question is, what did I forget? So far its only my toothbrush I miss.
My trip started yesterday with a short flight down to Copenhagen, here I had a few hours waiting before boarding the direct plane from Copenhagen to Tokyo. After a short delay since the Swedish air space was closed because of major radar malfunction. Anyway the plane was really old and not really fun but for the price I paid for the tickets I must say it was Ok. Once arrived in Tokyo everything went very smooth and even if I arrived in a huge city it doesn’t feels like it. No stress and everything was really clean and even the boarder control went without any problem.
With a jet lag from hell we decided to check in at our hotel and sleep for a couple of hours before our dinner with the yakuza, neither of me or Andreas really knows what to expect so this can be interesting
Ps. We got a remote control for the toilet, from controlling the heat to play music and I dont know what, how awesome isnt that? Gotta love this country
I survived the meeting with the yakuza and what a night. Just as we had decided they came and picked up us at our hotel. Im not sure if it was planned from their side but all the stereotypes was fulfilled in form of they came in a big, luxury, discrete in a form that you know exactly who are in the car even if you cant see them because of the tinted windows. A short, kind a nervous trip later we stopped at one of their restaurants and we started to try out the Japanese kitchen. Sashimi, chicken neck and a lot of other different dishes went down together with plenty of sake. Overall we were kind a nervous and we both know that how you behave is very important in Japan but none of us knew/know how to behave then you are at a dinner with the mob. Anyway we tried our best by looking on how they behaved and do the same. A really fun and kind a weird evening for a swede like me and since we got invited to meet them again I guess we passed the test.
With a dry throat and a slightly headache we jumped on the metro and made a visit to Studio Ghibli museum. Probably by more luck than skills we successfully took our way through this maze of metro, commuter trains and railroads and were greeted by a huge, smiling Totoro. The museum was really nice, kind a small and everything were on japanese and only a few things were translated to english. Thats a shame but the museum is still worth a visit if you are in the neighborhood. Besides sketches, pictures and stories about the different projects they also had a cinema. The movie was in japanese only (no subtitles) so I didn’t understood much but it was really cool to see.
On our way back to the hotel we took a detour through an park. According to my research it should be autumn now and i’m kind a surprised how green and beautiful everything is, around 25 degrees and a blue sky is totally an ok autumn for me so I don’t complain.
Today we have been good guys and been working, well…we can call it working. It all started that with a pickup up at the hotel and and off we went so Andreas could do some interviews and take some photos. Me? I just tagged along for who could miss an opportunity like this. 8 hours later we are back at our hotel and discussion what we should eat to dinner, i bet rice will be involved.
Publishing some random pictures from the trip so far:
That japanese are very polite is a well known fact but yesterday I think they went over the line. Somewhere around 02:20 me and Andreas realized that we wanna go clubbing. Of course we have no idea where to go so we ask the bartender at the karaoke bar we are at if he knew any place. Now the crazy part, the bartender didn’t know any place but he take up his phone and starts to call his friend, in the middle of the night. While he is calling his friends more people at the bar hear about our dilemma and after a while the whole bar was involved in where we should go. We for sure got a place to go to and it may not be the best area of the city or the best club but fun we had and with all work everybody put in finding an place for us we kind had to go there.Today I spent the day as a true tourist, visited temple, “Tomb of Ronin” which is the cemetery where the 47 samurai’s are buried and just browsed some major shopping streets, unfortunately in rain but it was fun. To bad that Asakyusa temple was closed but I guess you cant get everything.
Back in Yokohama and hanging with Andreas and our new, highly tattooed friends we had an interesting yesterday. For the first time as I know of I tried to eat innards, cant really describe exactly what since I have no idea but it was surprisingly good even if it was a bit chewy. However when I showed a little bit to much interest in that chili-soya souse the rest of the evening was done, our hosts wouldn’t rest before he could buy me a couple of bottles of it. Street up and street down, store after store until we finally found a small store who sold it. Guess I should be lucky I didn’t mentioned that cute girl cause they are really spoiling us here and doesn’t rest until we what we want…or what they think we want.
After a advice from a russian friend me and Andreas jumped on the train and spent the day in the old city Kamakura. According to the history books Kamakura was the old de facto capital of Japan, note it has never been the capital but it been more or less working like the capital. The city is only one hour away from Tokyo, has a nice beach and filled with temples and holy places so its a perfect one day trip to do.
Anyway, the first thing we decided to do when we arrived was to get breakfast. As we are growing tired of rice we ordered a classic toast, well at least we thought so. Instead of getting a toasted sandwich or two sandwiches with some melted cheese as ordinary we got something that was around 5cm thick, lightly grilled and some butter/oil topping..together with an salad. Now 8 hours later…I’m still not hungry
The rest of the day was spent walking in temples and just watching the view, walking down the small streets and of course, took a walk on the beach watching some surfers trying to catch the last waves for the season.
This is starting to get ridiculous and I dont wanna know what out hotel personal think about us but around midnight the same black, discrete to an not so discrete anymore level turned up at our hotel and after a short bowing back and for we jumped in and disappeared into Tokyos nightlife. On the highway we mixed watching TV, talking and drinking and suddenly we saw a road toll where the street racers had started to line up. Mazda RX7, Nissan Skylines and Mitsubishi evolutions were all on a row just waiting for the race to start, such a cliché.
Once we arrived at the first club we realized that we night will be epic. There might be an queue but guy like us doesnt stand in a queue and the metal detectors, well they was turned off just for us to pass by (is that really a good thing?!?). Anyway we continued to the VIP-area for drinks and there we got one heck of a night. We met alot of of different people, from DJ’s to I dont know and by some mysterious reason they all made sure we had a blast. According to rumors Club Harlem is one of the best hiphop clubs in Tokyo, I don’t know if its true but its one of the best clubs I ever been to for sure.
The night continued in the same theme and in the early morning when the dance floor started to get empty and you could see into the VIP-lounge we saw our driver laying down in a chair sleeping like a baby, I guess its a hard work to handle two swedes who wants to party.
Its soon time to end this trip but before we can leave our host promised us and goodbye dinner. The japanese culture are using symbolics and gestures and I don’t know if it was a coincidence, because it was a really good place or just the symbolic that we had the dinner at the same place as we met them for the first time. Looking at the outside it doesn’t look much and inside, well I think the restaurant would have problem with the authorities in sweden but no matter what, it one of the best dinners I ever had. How about the symbolic that we kind a ended where we started? Well I liked it!This whole trip we kind a been spoiled by our hosts and this evening was probably the worst one ever. One dish after another and it was special this, special that, of course with a bottle of sake or two and a friendly conversation about everything. Its quite fun that they were at least as interested in our way of life as we was about their and I guess we are all way same, even if you choose different paths in our life.
Our idea to stay sober, get in bed early and wake up to get to the airport in time didn’t worked out. Actually it took like 5 minutes after we left the hotel we realized this and out plan change to lets stay out partying until its time to get to the airport. Our newly improved plan worked as a charm but as you probably understand we were not in out best shape once we were heading to the airport and by jumping on the wrong train it looked like it could be tight with time. Then for the first time in history we had some delays in train and suddenly a little bit tight would be very tight so off the train we went and instead took a taxi. 2 hour train ride were exchanged for 1 hour taxi drive and we didn’t even had time to leave the parking before we both were snoring in backseat.
The positive thing with our plan was that Ive been sleeping for like 90% of our 12h flight though, that is amazing!