Saturday, May 6, 2017

Tokyo, Day 1

4:48am: Wake up in a panic, realize it's not 10 am. Sun is bright like mid-day. Watch Cubs game on MLB At Bat. 

5:15am: Walk to 7/11, drink a premade coffee drink called "Mt. Ranier." PNW appropriation. Background music is a Beatles/Super Mario mashup. The music never makes any sense. 

7:00am: Fish Market. 

So cool. So strange. People as far as the eye can see. Guys on electric pallet jacks running people over with no regard for human life. Sample wasabi. Shop for knives. Eat breakfast at a counter that's on the sidewalk with people buzzing all around - Tempura with soba. I know a lot of people are into Japanese food but I'm really not. I didn't even know what it is. There's something invigorating about ordering something and not knowing what you're going to get. The food came out basically instantly. Pour your own drink. Clean up after yourself. Very intimate experience. Probably top 10 favorite meal I've ever eaten. 


Assorted fish market photos below. 


9am: Tsukiji Buddhist Temple 

I was nervous about taking photos. Other people were too, though. 

It was really peaceful. People were lining up to go to the shrine and when they got to the front they were tithing. I think it's weird that Westerners were just watching. Tourists don't watch me take Communion. I felt off about it. 


10am: Imperial Palace. 

They didn't charge anything for it - they should. A beautiful park with a huge grassy area, awesome trees, surrounded by a moat (!!!). 


Me: "I'd love to have a moat."
Kevin: "I think you may have to leave Minneapolis-proper for that."


It had a very San Diego vibe where there was some wide open space and also some trails that break off with some serious tree cover. 

Former military base from like the 1500s (among other things). It's mind-blowing to me that that area was in use 200+ years before the United States existed. 

There was a big concert hall there too and it's never been open to the public. That's kind of baller. 

They also had these ice cream cones that made me gasp when I saw them. 


12pm: Financial District

It's so strange because the Imperial Palace is very calming and slow-paced and just a quarter mile or so away is the Financial District which is a neighborhood that's probably twice the footprint of Downtown Minneapolis with buildings as tall as IDS seemingly as far as the eye can see. 

Tokyo's neighborhoods, when you're in them, feel like they go on forever. 

12:30pm: Tokyo Central Station and surrounding hood. 

I started really feeling a beer and we tried going to a bar to have a couple, watch a ballgame, and regroup. Pretty standard stuff. Except no. Nothing is open. Saturday, mid day, biggest city I've ever been in - nothing open. We finally found an Italian place. No bar. So we sat at a table and had beers. Music scene - Eminem Rehab album and Weezy F. Baby and the F is for what a fucking weird place. The music never fits the scene. 

1pm: Ginza. 

Ginza is pure excess, the likes of which I've never seen before. It's the Mall of America, Rodeo Drive, and the Miracle Mile all together, buffet style. There was a goddamn De Beers diamond store. We didn't go in. 

Highlight: macaroons from Laudree, which only has like three locations - London, Paris, and Tokyo I guess. Maybe NYC. I don't know. 


2pm: Hooters.

I saw a Hooters near Ginza on the way to the train station and we had to go in. A Japanese imitation of an American bar is really weird to a couple Americans. When you walk in, every employee no matter where they are in the establishment say "hellowelcometoHooters." It's eerie. 

There were locals there which I was surprised by, but I guess. 

There was Japanese baseball on the tv and Phil Coke was getting rocked, obviously. 



2:45pm: Shibuya.

My favorite populous neighborhood. It's like Shinjuku but less tacky. Good shopping, bad food. 

We saw this gem in a hole in the wall apparel shop. 


I thought about buying some Ultra Boosts at the adidas store. Bought roadies instead. Rich taste. Relaxing time. 


After, we walked toward Meiji Shrine and on the way we found what I think was a stadium hosting a boy band of some sort. There were THOUSANDS of women all dressed the same and almost no men around. It was surreal. 

I honestly think I was too dumbfounded to take a photo. 


3:45-5pm: Meiji Shrine. 

I know I've said everything is my favorite, but this was actually my favorite. Some seriously dense forest, beautiful green, right in the middle of a 40 million person metropolis. 

Unbelievably beautiful. 


We were the perfect amount of drunk for this. Kevin asked a Japanese girl to take our photo, she did, I said "arigato" really slow and she burst out laughing and imitated me to my face. I will never criticize a tourist in the US ever again. 



5:30pm: Shinjuku. 

We needed dinner and went into some place. At this point we are drunk, sunburnt, loopy, and hungry as fuck. We pointed to the steaks on the menu and five mins later, they bring a grill to our table. Oh fuck. I'm way too drunk for this. 

Everything is so weird. Every time we do anything, something extremely out of the ordinary happens. So now we are grilling our own food. And I'm happy we did it. It was just such a hilarious scene. And the people here probably think we are stupid as fuck but you just have to roll with the punches. 


6pm: Hacks

I was tanked and sunburnt and decided to hit the hardest cage which was 130 km. There was no timing mechanism. Just wasn't a good performance. Maybe hit the ball hard three times. 

I wish there were batting cages everywhere in the states. I LOVE just popping in, taking a few hacks, and moving on with my day. It's such a great reset button. 


7pm: shower, regroup

8pm: Golden Gai

We went to Golden Gai again. It's the best. The perfect spot to sit and get down to business. Figure it out. What are we doing next? What are we doing right? What are we doing wrong?


We chilled and drank sake in Albatross with a Brit who lives in Singapore and works in shipping. I caught a "I'm rich as fuck" vibe from this dude. He was smoking probably the most obnoxious cowboy murdering cigarettes I've ever smelled. I'm usually down to smoke cigs when I'm drinking but I'm pretty sure I would have bong-coughed for 20 mins. I passed. 

9pm: Shibuya. 

At train station in Shinjuku, a guy heckled us basically. 

He grabbed me by the arm and said shit in Japanese as if I knew what he was saying. Another guy comes up to me. Excuse my diction. 
Me: "Whats he saying?"
Him: "He say... "fuck you""
Me: "He's saying "fuck me?""
Him: "Fuck you"
Me: "No - fuck him."


Wise words of World Wide Wes - "You can't chase the night."

I chased the night. 

I tried to handshake a dude we were talking to and then knucks him and then handshake him and it will haunt me until I die. It was cringe-worthy. I had to call it a night. 

1am: back to Sjinjuku. 

Trains are stopped at 1 am Saturday. Uhhhh what. Cab to Shinjuku station. Crawl home. Dead. 

I'm living my best life.

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