Previous post for this trip: Reunion with friends and All-Around Tokyo, April 26-27 2014 (2)
April 28 2014
Last night me and my Japanese friend spent it at a hotel in Ochanomizu. We woke up in our yukata’s, changed, and went to get some food. We had Japanese style breakfast. I got to try nattou for the first time. It isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. If you had Taiwanese stinky tofu (chou doufu), this is nothing. It was good with the mustard that came on the side. I think some mayonnaise will go very well too. The difficult part about eating this is that it stretches like melted cheese, and it makes your lips sticky as if you got chewing gum on your lips. In all, the Japanese style breakfast was very filling, but it left me feeling better than a pancakes and bacon breakfast.
We head straight to Odaiba. The weather was fantastic. I got a good glimpse of the Tokyo Tower from the Tokyo monorail. The monorail goes directly to Odaiba, but we got off at Hinode Station to take a ferry to Odaiba. From the ferry, we saw the Tokyo Rainbow Bridge, and the Fuji TV building.
We went in for a public display tour for Fuji TV. They have a display for their variety shows and morning show announcer/news castors. I, of course took a picture with the SMAP x SMAP’s Bistro SMAP display. I sat on the guest’s side. The host Nakai, usually sits on the other side interviewing the guest. I want to Photoshop Nakai in heheh. They had this theme song for something on repeat the whole time, it was kind of driving me crazy. It should have been a SMAP song…
Speaking of Odaiba, here is the famous Gundam. I just had to have a picture with it (with the pose). My Japanese friend was surprised that I know about Gundam. She doesn’t know anything about them, besides them being this big robot thingie. I didn’t watch the original series, but I’ve watch a couple Gundam series from 2008-2010. I told her Gundam stories are war stories, and that these Gundam’s – or I actually meant Mobile Suits – are military weapons. Hence this soldier pose. Out of context, it might look inappropriate.
The surrounding area is pretty much a shopping mall. How does a city have so much clothing stores? I actually got some clothes today. After strolling around the mall, we had lunch, and then we parted at the Yotsuya Station.
From Yotsuya, I caught the Chuo Line Rapid to Tachikawa. Tachikawa is a city in the west side of Tokyo. It took me about 40 minutes by train to get there. My Japanese friends all think that’s a long commute, but that’s about a regular commute for someone like me from the Puget Sound area. When you think of suburbs, you’d think quiet mellow towns, but Tachikawa is quite lid up and filled with people even after nine pm. Bellevue is already asleep after the mall closes. I guess Tachikawa is in Tokyo, and Tokyo is after all one of the most populated place in the world.
So what brought me all the way out there in Tachikawa??! A Japanese friend of mine is in a rock band called The Bullets Fly (TBF). AND they just happened to have a gig while I’m in town!! I was so lucky to get the opportunity to see a live show while traveling. They played in the Tachikawa Babel live house (Babel The Rock Tower). I felt a little strange being there, because I was a foreigner. Though, I don’t think anyone but people I knew realized that – being Asian helps :)
There was a line up of five bands that night. TBF members were a fun bunch in the crowd..I got to talk to them briefly before their show. I really enjoyed their show! TBF’s music is just the kind of music I would listen to. I actually audio recorded the whole show (lol). I snapped a couple of pictures. I couldn’t get a clear one, because live music makes me bounce.. I jumped!!
They performed four songs total (I don’t know the song titles..). TBF’s music, performance and entertainment skills are not amateur level. I got a general grasp of their MC parts and lyrics. Although they present themselves with youthful enthusiasm through their sound, it gave me nostalgia from the first listen. Maybe it is a nostalgic genre for my generation.
My friend said that next time I visit Japan, they’ll definitely be much better. I am looking forward to when they come out with recordings. I’ll support them to the end of the world. TBF formed around the end of last year. I told my friend to not forget about me when they become famous in Japan haha. Just in case anyone is curious, this is the link to their twitter account -> TBF_JPN [Update: You can hear their music on their SoundCloud]
This was a good day. I got to geek out on everything I am geeky about: Japanese, SMAP, Gundam and music (okay, I’m not really a gundam geek). I was exhausted from all the socializing in Japanese, walking, jumping, et cetera. Somehow I still had the energy to take a bath before going to bed.
I barely made the curfew. The youth hostel has a curfew because the whole building shuts from 11pm to 6am, so no one can enter or leave the building during those times.
My journey continued in Nagoya!