55 Days in Tokyo

February 25th, 2007

Wow. Getting towards the end. Lazy day. Woke up at 11am and got online to talk with my girlfriend for a while. After she left to get something to eat I went back to sleep. It's amazing how much time I spend sleeping these days. Some people might think it's stupid to sleep so much when I'm in another country on vacation, but this is a vacation and part of the point of this trip was to relax and recover from the stress of college. Finally managed to drag myself out of bed and cleaned myself up before going out. Didn't want to get off to too late a start since I was going back to Yoyogi park and didn't want to miss out on everything. Before I left I ran into the friend of the Korean girl that is currently staying in her room with her. They stay up later than I do and talk. I can hear them through the walls. She seems to know more English than the Korean girl. Didn't really interact with them of course, I was on a mission and I haven't been very social with my housemates thus far. Why would I start now?

Finally got underway and got to Harajuku station at around 3:30pm. I decided to head over to the main shopping street instead of directly going to the park. Wandered through a few of the stores this time but not the clothing stores. Most of the clothing stores have nothing for me anyways. I'm not into the whole punk/rock scene enough for much of the ratty clothing nor do I listen to hip-hop so that pretty much kills any chance of me buying the ultra baggy pants and gigantic puffy jackets they all seem to wear. Did wander through a few jewlery stores so see if they had anything interesting but most of it was the kind of things you'd expect angst filled teenagers wearing while reading Anne Rice and writing bad LiveJournal poetry. I did find a few interesting pieces along with a large collection of halfway decent Zippos. Nothing I was going to buy then and there but maybe towards the end of my trip as a random gift to give. Also found a few niche stores with interesting items that I made a mental bookmark to remember. Got to the end of the street and headed back up towards the bridge and park.

Lots of people were still on the bridge despite the cold winds and the fading daylight. As before, there was a group of people that were holding "Free Hugs" signs. This time however they were being led by a girl in chanting or singing or whatever it was they were doing. Shortly after I got to the bridge and started watching, this man (American looking and sounding) from the other side of the bridge and started complaining in English about how the girl had been pointing at him and his friend. I looked to where he was referring to and his friend was still over there playing an accordian. A guitar was next to him that I assumed the complainer had been playing. The guy was really pissed about the girl pointing at them and told her to not do it again. Bloody putz. I thought it was pretty stupid of him to get pissed off about it. Even if she was making fun of them (which I doubt) they're in public and can't really complain about being pointed at. They're performing on a street, what did they expect? The same logic applies to the people who dress up and then don't want to be photographed without their permission. If you're in public you can't really complain unless someone is trying to make money off of your image.

Left the bridge and went towards the park to see if the Rockabilly clubs were still going at it dispite the low light. Sure enough, they were still rocking out. They were doing a line dance as I approached but the song finished before I could get close enough to take a photo. Normal rocking out continued afterwards and I saw a foreigner or two try to join in, but the rockabilly members calmly asked them not to. Don't know exactly why but maybe it's a territory thing. Perhaps a fight like the ones in West Side Story will break out if you do not heed their demands! Some of them had brought their kids and were trying to get them to dance, something that most 5 year olds don't want to be forced into doing. Walked down the rest of the park but it was too late and the place was almost empty. Started the walk down to Shibuya and went down the walkway in front of the NHK building where most of the musicians play. Most had left but a few were still straining their vocal cords. There was a group of break dancers practicing their moves and some of them were pretty good. One guy had his mime act going and so far he's the only person I've seen there every time. He dresses up like the stereotypical Chinese child (hat with red star and red scarf) and does a routine to the music you often hear playing in Chinese propaganda films. He almost never has an audience though. Call it dedication to one's art I suppose.

Got down to Shibuya and headed to Mandarake but only to look around. I had spent a fair amount of gifts the day before so I just wanted to browse and possibly get ideas for later trips. Then walked to the arcade and played a few games before going back towards the sushi bar. Ate a bunch of Mackrel, Salmon and Eel before heading back to the arcade. Played several more games before calling it a night. Got back to Itabashi station and next to the 7-11 I noticed a taxi cab idling on the side of the street with several salary men standing outside of it with another car in front. At first I thought it was an accident but as I got closer I could see one of the men was bent over, resting his head on a pole and vomit on the ground before him. He must have been in the cab with his two friends and gotten sick in the car. The other two were talking with the taxi driver and trying to make amends. The car in front had a women in it, seemingly pissed off. Must have been the wife of one of the men, called to come and get them. Continued to my house and, after putting my whites into the washing machine, headed to the public bath house. There were a lot more men there this time. Most of them seemed to avoid sitting next to me while I was cleaning myself. Soaked in the hot water for a while before heading back to the hosue to do some more writing. Didn't really get to sleep until well after 3am.

Photos for February 25th, 2007