55 Days in Tokyo

February 22nd, 2007

Woke up later than intended. I had set my alarm for 10am in the hopes of getting off to a decent start but when it finally went off I set it to 11am. That alarm was ignored and I continued sleeping with occasional moments of being awake. This state continued until it was well past noon. Finally managed to drag myself out of bed to go take my shower. Went into the kitchen and cooked my chicken and cream before doing some writing and then headed out.

Walked down the street from my house towards the small railway station. I had decided to try riding the line towards the upper part of the city and see what I could find. Riding on these small little rail cars is fun and almost gives you an impression of how people got around before most of the rail and subway lines were put down. The average age of people riding on these cars seems to be older than you'd find on the JR and metro. Finally managed to get a seat and enjoy the sights as we clattered down the line. The cards are too small and the windows stop where someone as tall as myself cannot look out without almost squating. Got off the train at Machiya-ekimae (which basically means "In front of Machiya Station) and walked down the main street for a while until I arrived at a bridge crossing a river. I believe it is the river that seperates Tokyo from Saitama, but I'm not really certain. My atlas doesn't have anything for that area so I cannot confirm.

I stood at the bridge for a while, looking at the water and the other side. Neither looked very good. The other side of the bridge actually looked depressing and I didn't want to cross. The buildings all looked like they were rotting and wanted to collapse. Turned around and started walking back towards the station. There wasn't much more to see to this area. Interesting side note is that I have only seen such a large number of Pachinko parlors in the more populated and entertainment based parts of the city. I guess if you live out in the sticks you've got to have entertainment of some sort.

Returned to the station and got back on the line headed in the opposite direction. It's final stop was Waseda and I figured that it would be close enough that I could walk to Shinjuku. Thankfully I decided to look up some of the stations in my atlas and figured out that getting off at the second to last stop was best for getting to Shinjuku. Got off the train and started heading towards Shinjuku. I then remembered that Kama Boiler was playing at the Red Cloth and I figured I'd stop in and see if tickets were still available. After some confusion I got my ticket and ducked outside for a quick bite to eat so I wouldn't be starving during the concert. Ate some curry and hamberger meat before going back to the venue.

The place was packed unlike the last time I was here. Lots of girls, many more than last time. There was an approximate 3-2 ratio of women to men which was somewhat unusual until I learned why most of them were here. One of the groups, Pop Chocolat, was an all girl band and a bunch of the girls were here because they knew the bass player.

When the lights finally went down I was suprised to find that Kama Boiler was the first act. Last time they had been the final act. Naturally, the rocked the house and put as much energy into the performance as they did last time, a feat that doesn't happen often with most small bands I've seen. Sadly, since they were first that meant no chance of an encore but it was still worth it. Pop Chocolat came out but I wasn't impressed with their performance. They still made simple music mistakes and their songs were repedative with the same chords over and over. In between songs the bass player would talk and more than once she seemed absolutely terrified and almost cried up there on stage.

Stan was the final act of the night and boy did they have energy. They rocked the house and gave Kama Boilera run for my title of best band of the night. Their musicianship was excellent and when the bass player was flailing around the stage it was entertaining and you could believe that it was legitimate instead of just an act. Their drummer also put out the best performance of the night hands down. They came back out for their encore and performed one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard in my life. It was still a rock song but something about it touched my heart. I was somewhat sad when they were finished and even sadder when I discovered that their CD was 2500 yen, a tad bit too much since I was already getting the Kama Boiler CD. I can always order it at another time when I have more money. On my way out I ran into the member of Kama Boiler who saw that I had their CD and they thanked me for buying it. I told them that hands down, they rocked the house.

It was now a little past 10pm and I didn't quite feel like heading home just yet so instead I walked back to the main Shinjuku area and stopped into an arcade. Found out that they were having another tournament and I made a mental note to possibly return and see if I'd stand a chance or get destroyed. Watched some more gaming before finally getting tired. Took the train home and felt too tired to go to the bath house so I just used the shower instead before heading back to my bed and relaxing before going to bed.

Photos for February 22nd, 2007