Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kobanes Japan Tour (Journal) 2009: Sept. 20, 2009

Tokyo - Hotel Kamatsu

We're staying in a hotel barely big enough to fit 5 bodies. And it's two rooms adjoining. We arrived yesterday afternoon around 2:35 p.m. after a 13-hour nonstop flight from O'Hare. We landed, went through customs and went outside, walked back and forth for a Kei (tour manager/label owner). Then we got some Yen. I exchanged $250 USD for a little over 22,000 Yen. So I got charged basically a $30 service fee for using the goddamn airport's currency exchange instead of a Post Office. Their money is cool though. I like the coins. Some have holes in the middle (50 yen, 5 yen coins). I'm wearing a Japanese pair of pajamas...some kind of robe thing with a cloth belt that wraps around you. I'd like to bring a pair or two home with me.
We ate at a place on the corner - beef and rice. It was 320 yen...about $4? Pretty cheap. Came with miso soup. That tasted just like it does back home. The bathrooms here are strange. You have to squat and hover over basically a hole in the floor to take a dump which I have yet to try. There's a regular toilet too, but what's the fun in that? Plus I've never tried the bede (sp?) before. Not that I want to. The toilets are just different.
We were all awake and restless around 3-4 a.m., so we got dressed and walked around for about and hour and a half to two hours. Luckily, we didn't get lost. The stray cats out here are really skinny and have clipped tails. The birds here look like ravens and are humongous. There are convenient stores every block. On one street, there are two right next to each other. After walking around a lot, we stopped at a place and got some food. Mark and I had burgers with egg and bacon and onions. It tasted exactly like McDonald's. We had coffee and a has brown too. There was some stuff called "gum syrup" - it tasted like if you mixed powdered sugar with just a little bit of water. We saw some wasted guy and girl walking (if you want to call it that) down the street too. He ended up giving her a piggy back ride. Outside our room, a cat screamed like I've never heard before and then it sounded like wings flapping. I suspected a bird attack over food? But it could have been anything. It screamed for about a minute though.
Shower time is downstairs in the basement from 7 to 10 a.m. It's all a community shower room. There's a big bath tub filled with hot water too. I tried this out after rinsing off and after there weren't other naked dudes around. I never really did get too into that locker room mentality of showing off your package to other people. Eddie's going to shower now, then I'll go. Kei says it's OK for everyone to shower together, but everyone told him, "In America, we don't look at each other's dicks."
I bought a can of Kirin beer and Autumn Limited Brew. It was 6%. Tasted OK. For 10 yen, I got a pack of Felix The Cat gum too. It's getting to be light out. I think I may be allergic to something in this room. Mold or dust, I suspect. I'm not quite sure yet how I'm going to dry off. We have little face towels in the room. That will have to do. Man, I love these pajamas.
We play a show at 4 p.m. A 44-band festival. We're the only American band playing. Two venues and a total of 4 stages. Should be a good time! We get about 40 minutes to play, Kei said. Oh - Eric said he might have diarrhea.

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