Monday, 7 April 2014

Hanami




A great weekend down in Tokyo is enough to restore my faith that the decision to live here was the right one.

When you live in an Ibaraki-bubble (Iba-bubble? bubble-raki?) there is nothing more refreshing than venturing down to Tokyo and talking to strangers. Tokyo is an amazing place to meet people - so many different types of interesting people. Its just getting down there and experiencing the city with an open mind, which is something that I have not been doing enough.

Anyway, heres the weekend run-down.

Friday night: Daniel and I took a train down to Fujishiro - we stayed over at Chris Murray's. We also went to his favourite local bar and had a HEEElarious time might I add.
Saturday: Yoyogi park hanami. It was ridiculous. If I could go every weekend to such an event I would. The cherry blossom was just the icing on the cake. What a beautiful situation. Blake's parklife party occured. I moved between the base camp (which I had set up with Murray and Daniel early in the day) and Blakes gathering. So many humans, so many wonderful wonderful humans. I don't know what to say - I'm still trying to piece it all together really.

Some highlights: my own private toilet which I found and used - avoiding the hour long portaloo queues like a festival-going veteran. oh yes. The Italian meal following off that main little street in Harajuku. The most amount of tarpoolin I have ever seen in my life. Giving Daniel a piggy-back and pretending that I was a gun-robot using his legs as weapons. The Withnail and I hippy look-nd-act-alike and his delightful lady-friend I chatted to. I also met an enchanting Spanish woman called Marina who reminded me of another Spanish girl I knew from back at Kent. Teaching Hana pringle-lid frisbee. The existence of John Dicks.

We ended up at the hostel in Yokohama. I fell asleep on the train on the way there and so almost got left behind. We went for a drink in a tiny bar near the hostel. I misinterpreted a natural biological  process for a poetic metaphor. There was heavy rain and grapefruit juice.

Sunday:  The usual suspects shot-gunned beers outside a combini. Snapchats of this event were later recieved. We went to the Kanamara festival. It was way too busy. I ate some yakisoba. It rained - we got separated. I was stuck under a small shrine for rain protection. I tried to convince a group of foreigners that they should umbrella escort me to where my friends were - this of course got ignored. When the heavy rain passed we all gathered outside the station.

We explored the wider area. I bought some trousers. Me and Tommychan did pachinko for what I suspect to be the first and last time. Bucket list Japan experience tick off. We had some Krispy Kreme dougnuts. We all spent the rest of the afternoon at a massive arcade centre. I got piri-kura with Yukishmoo, tommychan & Laurence.

We befriended an abnormally genki couple. We travelled with them to Roppongi to go to the same Mexican restaurant we go to every time we spend a Sunday in Tokyo. Its always worth it. Robbie always returns to the same bar where he is known for his cosplay halloween costume and love for obscure American breweries. We befriended two musicians outside the mexican place. They invited us to a "party" round the corner. we went. It was at a "Brew Dogs", a brewery chain that I've seen back home. There was a band playing called "The Watanabes" ....not really my cup of tea, but it was pleasent and they seemed like very friendly blokes. We've been invited to watch everyone play at a battle of the bands type thing next saturday night.. not sure if I'm gonna go - theres other stuff going on that weekend back here. hmm.

I spoke to Robbie on the train home. It was emotional. I guess I'd never really spoken to that guy properly on a one-to-one basis. But I think it was a bonding experience, and I'm glad. I'm looking forward to my next Tokyo trip.

According to John Dicks, "make a face like you are eating spaghetti":









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