HOLY SHIT! JAPAN TOUR DIARY – DAY 9
MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE: Over two months since my last update, huh? Crazy! Before I go on to day 9, I would like to thank everyone for their amazing compliments and comments when I see them about this diary, it really means a lot to know that you guys are enjoying this. My life has been filled with awesome things like planning my gastric banding surgery in December, seeing my nutritionist/doctor/psychiatrist, the second tour with my other band: Truthdealer, and collecting video games HARD. (Got some to get rid of on the cheap? HIT ME UP!)
Writers guilt is something that I have never experienced before. It eats at you, and the longer you take away from a certain obligation, the harder it is to return to it. I don’t like it at all. For me, it’s really come down to, “I gotta finish this, or my vanishing memory will kill any details that make each story worth telling.”
Day nine was our only day off on the actual tour, and it was Yoichi’s birthday to boot! Tboy’s sleeping bag was a true savior on this night, our last trip in the van. My mood for the trip was ridiculous. I was feeling delirious and giddy and overtired and cramped and many other things that come with traveling. In between sleeping and stopping a couple of times, I would swing from overtly annoyed to constantly laughing. I would peek over the equipment and see the two rows of guys head banging in their sleep and laugh for a whole minute about it. Why was this so funny? You know, why is anything funny in those moments? Everything is funny.
Our destination was Miso’s place in Shinjuku, a subsection of massive Tokyo. We stopped in front of a twenty or so story building that Miso lived in and everyone started to unpack the van. No one slept well, and Tboy and Yoichi not at all. Miso came down and greeted us. He played guitar in Brown Trout who played that first show with us way back in Saitama. YPB took the van away for the last time to bring it back and crash at their homes. I bet they were totally digging going home to sleep in their own beds. I always do after tour. I was terribly relieved to find there was an elevator after looking at the ominous stairs that were to our right. He lived on the third floor in a two bedroom studio, a tiny but well kept place. He directed all four of us to an empty room where we all organized ourselves like tetris pieces on the floor. I took the spot near the outlet for my cpap and my Nintendo DS to charge. Before sleeping, I played some Chrono Trigger. I decided it was my mission to beat it before I left Japan. I hadn’t played it for a while, and I hacked away at it. I also played Picross 3D (Japanese import) until my eyelids drooped and AHHH AHHH AHHH …… ZZzzZZZzzZZzz. (Awww, yeah.)
I woke at about 9 to find everyone still sleeping and I stole away to the bathroom to take care of something that I haven’t done in DAYS. Take a nice fat solid crazy stinky feel-good number two! Ohhhh, yeah, I have been waiting for this. I stumbled back to sleep after washing my hands clean of my deed and awoke again at 12:15 to find Eric on the computer in the living room and Yoichi watching more news on the TV. I told Eric I NEEDED to check my shit after he was done. (Internet was surprisingly scarce on this tour. [That’s a good thing.]) Miso was busy at the stove cooking a soup that was super. Udon noodles mixed with asparagus, fish paste, mushroom, wasabi, and other assorted goods. He served a freshly risen Tabman and Andy and the rest of us, and I finally logged into the interwebs. I checked the Internet to find there was not much interaction and it made me a little sad. I responded to my father and one other and checked around for updates. Tabman eventually knocked me off and I sat on the couch where Miso helped me translate the Picross 3D menu. After that I asked about him about Hiragana and to spell out every symbol for me. We took a sheet of paper and he went through every one. SOLID DUDE.
After everyone was up we planned out our day and briefly visited the store right next door to find some sweet backpacks that Eric was looking for, but he decided he would get the one he had his eye on tomorrow. I bought some snacks with some of the only borrowed money I had left and we walked the eight or so blocks to the train station. I borrowed 1,000 yen ($100) from the band which ended up making every member take $100 just to make it even. I don’t know how that worked, but it made sense to Andy, so that’s all I cared about. The train took us into one of the craziest shopping districts in Tokyo where we walked around and marveled at the sights. There was another parking garage that stacked cars vertically and I finally figured that out. Andy commented with something totally snark, and I just snapped. I bitched him out with a couple sentences and told him to fuck off. I was as tired of his sharp comments as I am sure he was of my inane remarks and caveman thoughts. He took it a little worse than I thought, and he avoided me and didn’t talk to me for a while. I guess I deserved it. Well, you know, something had to be done or said. There comes a point where the steam needs to get valved. Yoichi spotted a dollar store with foot insoles to help me with my sorry state of Wal-Mart twelve dollar shoes. Remember day 8? REMEMBER? Probably not. I had taken a two mile walk that completely destroyed me on the way to the Asahi brewery, and my feet were KILLING me, so this was a definite stop. The next stop was also just for me. Those that pay close attention know that one of my missions in Japan was to get some killer other country snus, and we descended on a killer tobacco shop in the largest city in Japan. Surely they would have a plethora of tobacco I could shove into my gums! We walked in and I quickly perused the store while Yoichi asked if there was any chewing tobacco. I scanned and scanned the shelves while keeping my ear to the conversation. Yoichi came up to me smiling and told me there was nothing like that here. My face drooped and I told him it was no problem while picking my face up. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST! EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU SMOKE BUT YOU THINK ITS TABOO TO ENJOY IT IN OTHER WAYS LIKE SHOVING IT IN BETWEEN YOUR GUMS AND RUINING YOUR TEETH?! Assholes! WHY?!
I. GIVE. UP.
We walked some more to our real destination: a record store called DISK UNION (Later on I joked to our Japanese friends in the only primal way I know how: I said, “dis-GYUNYU-ion”. Yeah, they laughed!) I walked around and didn’t want to spend anything, though I saw soundtracks to Final Fantasy and other video games that tempted me. Arggh! Why can’t I just be a millionaire?! I walked down to a place called New Yorkers Cafe and got myself a strong coffee and a bite to eat. I sat down and added to my digital recorder everything that happened both yesterday and the contents up until now so far while enjoying myself, because I knew these record geeks would be in there FOR EVER. I busted out my DS and enjoyed the Tokyo eye candy and pic’d out some Picross 3D. There was a caramel flavor that I have never seen of Snyders of Hanover pretzels so I picked up a couple. One of them was especially for Andy because I was feeling bad that I yelled at him earlier.
I got back to Disk Union and found everyone still shopping except for Tabman who just picked up a couple of choice records. I brought Andy those pretzels and offered some of mine to Yoichi. He declined and told me, “No thank you, I need to build a fire in my stomach for tonight.” I was very pleased to hear the way he phrased that. It looked like everyone was in their death throes of shopping but still perusing the sections they were half or slightly interested in, so I took care of something rare. Really rare. A second shit in a day here. My fifth overall. In day number 9 I take my 5th shit. What is wrong with me? Okay. I enter the handicapped toilet (Remember my rant in DAY 3?!) and looked to find the toilet was no robo toilet. Fuck. It looked American as fuck. Bah! I took care of business and joined up with everyone paying for their shit. Eric: Over $50. Andy: Over $100. Yoichi: Let’s just say he had a GREAT birthday haul. Way over what anyone got.
We exited the massive building and walked towards the all you can eat pizza place we were going to get our groove on at. When we arrived it was still early so Yoichi looked at the time and told us to meet back there at seven. We all went our separate ways. I headed straight for the Book-Off where Eric met me for a bit. I went inside an headed straight for the old school video games. You know, Nintendo (Famicom), Super Nintendo (Super Famicom), Sega Genesis (Mega Drive), Gameboy (Gameboy), and the such. I meticulously searched everything I could, but only came away with Nintendo products. Ogre Battle for N64, two (?!) copies of Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasies Four, Five and Six, and Dragon Warrior Six, among many Famicom games for a paltry price of 3300 Yen. Thirty three bucks. Damn. These RPG’S would go for crazy amounts in the states. But then again these were in Japanese. Who knows how much they would command there? I was going to find out.
After I triumphantly exited the Book-Off, I walked no more than 200 feet to an amazing three story arcade. The Taito Station! Upon entering I soaked in the essence of what arcades are in Japan. (PAST ALERT! To those not in the know: I practically grew up in arcades. I took the bus to the only arcade I knew of in Green Bay, where I grew up, inside the Port Plaza Mall. This arcade was called the Gold Mine, Later to become TILT Family Entertainment Center. I then went on to become the GM of that same childhood arcade, then went on to work in many arcade related businesses including Chuck E Cheese where I currently work. Yes, still working on games. A not so side note: I completely begged my parents for the Atari 5200 when I was a child and GOT IT! Ever since then, I have owned and still collect any video games that exist. So you can tell that my life has centralized around video games as a whole.) Holy shit, I’ll be damned…Arcades are a viable business in Japan! I walked around with the same wonder that filled me as a child. OMG! LOOK AT THIS CRANE MACHINE! THE PRIZES ARE DANGLING OFF THE EDGE! Multiple Japanese employees with headsets were commanding the sounds above the videogame din stating which machine they just were at. These employees were hard at work constantly adjusting the prizes in awesome positions for people to win that sweet stuff. Now THAT is the way to make some money! Like most of the time here, I couldn’t understand the things they were saying, but completely understood the message. I played a few crane games, and then made my way upstairs to the second and the third floors. All of these freaking games have taken a strange twist in Japan. The trading card avenue and the arcade game business have joined forces here. In many of the games (Especially turn based RPGs) you would insert trading cards (Adorned with bar codes so you could power up your wizard with +3 Boots of Speed or what not) to gain an advantage. This blows my mind. Two failing separate business models combining to make things better. The games on the third floor were for the hardcore. They centralized mostly on rhythm and musical abilities. I found myself enamored with a rhythm game that had 16 separate video panel buttons. It was called JUBEAT RIPPLES. They were placed on a platform where the user could press them within exact time that the graphics coalesced into a precise circle with the beat of the music. I stepped up and felt completely inadequate. The other Japanese boys around me were smoking the consoles where I was taking on the beginning levels and getting C grades. Ahh, the Japanese. Love it.
Despite thinking I would be late (I didn’t have a watch, and when the last time you saw a clock at an arcade or a casino? [READ: SMART]) I walked out and ran into Eric and Tabman walking toward me. I was all turned around from the desensitization of the huge city but they guided me to where we were supposed to be. We waited and Andy showed up along with Yoichi and his girlfriend whom we met for the first time. (I will amend this when I find out her name.) We all walked to La Puasa’s (An Italian themed place) and we waited in the rain that came down for Your Pest Band to show up, but after 15 minutes of waiting, we headed up and got seated. 2300 Yen, all you could eat and drink. We all signed up. Apparently, Yoichis girlfriend worked there and had the inside hook. We all got seated and they brought us an amazing array of delicious food including: baskets of french fries, multiple thin crust pizzas (with the first tour taste of REAL CHEESE!), octopus, salad, and multiple plates of assorted pasta. They kept refilling these plates continuously as we piled through them, but we had the inside scoop that if we waited we could order anything off of the menu. So, we pushed aside many of the dishes for YPB who eventually showed up, and started to order some crazy shit off of the menu. Many other plates of pasta and whole pizzas were brought to the the table as we all feasted. Yoichi’s girlfriend was a complete animal, ordering and finishing two drinks before I finished one. Let me tell you she just might have broke 110 pounds as well. Throughout the night I think she drank more than any of us save for maybe Eric who was ordering double gin and tonics.
The meal was still in full force for many, but I was feeling it and needed to piss so I got up and visited the bathroom. Oh! What’s this?! A ROBO TOILET! YEEEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHHH! I placed myself on the bowl and looked at the controls. I pressed every button I could to find out what was up. When I found the button that streamed warm water right onto my asshole, I let it be. You don’t know how good it feels to have that stream of water cleaning your rear. YOU DON’T. It was absolutely the best. I pissed and then jerked off and exited the bathroom feeling, well…AMAZING. Everyone was finishing up and the deal had expired so we all picked up our full bodies and walked outside. I asked Tboy and Maru to draw a sleeping chicken on my stomach today with the saying
“Today I rest.” Nice! I had not gotten anything for Yoichi yet for his birthday, so I stopped at a Lawson and got him a six pack of tall boy Asahi beers and gave it to him for his birthday right before he left us. When I asked him about partying that night he said pointing to his girlfriend, “She drinks, I sleep.” We all laughed and with some walking took the train home to Miso’s house. Finally back at the house, I found that my entire body ached, but it was the good ache. There was whiskey to drink, but after I stripped down to my underwear and took the quickest shower ever, there was no peeling me out of bed. I played Picross 3D for a while and then booted up my CPAP for one of the more restful nights of tour. Ahhh, yeah. See you in another under two months, people!
Hours on The Fucking Plane: 15
Approximate Hours of Sleep: 63
Shows Played: 6
Total # Of Different Bands: 25
Number of Crybed Sessions: 2
Number of Shits Taken: 5
Robo-Toilets Used: 0
Alcoholic Tours: 4
Chewing Tobacco Chewed: 0! GODDAMNIT!
Angry and Pissed-Off Count: 6
Pieces of Chicken Displayed: 18 (And 1 sleeping chicken!!)
Number of Times Bathed: 4