Japan! Fish Markets, Hangovers, and Northwest Friends

Japan! Fish Markets, Hangovers, and Northwest Friends

yo yo.


duuuuude. dude. it’s been a while, I don’t know how I got off track…but I thought I should finish up
 the pics from my Japan trip.

I learned many lessons on this trip. At the beginning of Day 7 one was very apparent.

Lesson 1

“Don’t try to keep up when drinking with a Japanese guy and an Army guy.”

You know those guys wearing sunglasses at 9am in the subway? Yeah. That was me. I wanted to 
take them off…really I did. But the lights…oww. They hurts.

Our first stop in the day was the world famous Tsukiji Fish Market.

I can barely describe how incredibly big it is. Have any of you been to the Pasadena swap meet? It circles
 the entire Rose Bowl Stadium…I think it’s safe to bet that most people have been to a big sporting event at
least once…imagine shops ALL THE WAY AROUND the venue.

Ok, now imagine that all of them are selling fish. And it all in a big-covered open-air warehouse type place.

And squid.

And eels.

And basically anything else that would be found in the sea…or fruit. Or knives…or…


These guys were everywhere. Flying in between the stands. They’d just barrel down the isles, 
cigarettes hanging out of their mouths. The people working in the market were exactly who you’d


Micah commented that it was “more real than real.” Like it was part of a movie. You couldn’t
 cast better people to be Tokyo Fish Mongers. 3 hours of sleep and a wicked hangover didn’t
 hurt the surreal aspect of the day either.


Each stand had a little booth in the back…and each booth had a lady in it. Some looked like
 they’d been working their whole lives there.


Part of going to the market is getting a sushi breakfast. We saw a bunch of people lining up
and figured that must be a good place. So we joined the cue. The place had been operating since the 60’s.

It sat 10 people and had a fixed menu.

Everyone would finish eating, then they’d bring in the next 10. We had to wait for about 30 minutes…but they 
brought us some Jasmine tea…


The Japanese love their uniforms.


No photos were allowed in the restaurant…(it was written in English w/ a pict-o-gram) The food was pretty
 amazing at least I think it was. Too bad I was feeling sick. I thought I was going to throw up…and I was mortified of offending
 the sushi chefs…and Hiro. Somehow I made it thru the dinner (er…breakfast).

Micah and I said goodbye to Hiro and headed back home.


We ran into some friends at the terminal…Americans! That night we’d all be going to Karaoke. 


Machida is the nearest gaming/amusement center. It’s full of Karaoke parlors, Pachinko places, and 
hostess clubs.


I made it an early night…still wasn’t feeling tip-top.

That night some of Micah’s Japanese friends wanted to go out with us. Too bad I was in bed by 11:30.

Lesson 2.

“If you go too big, you might not get to party with cute Japanese girls that speak English.”

Ok. So that one might not be that applicable to day to day life…but whatevs.

This is how I started, well pretty much every morning. The cans w/ the red line under them – those are
hot. Dang. I’’m totally craving some BOSS right now…if my car wasn’t acting up, I might just drive down
to Japan town and grab some.


It took a while, but I can read these things now. Different colors = Different types of trains (local, limited, express, etc.)


I love how colorful it is behind this guy…we were on our way to a mall I read about online…a place with good toy shops.


There were soooo many shop selling toys. It was kinda distracting, er maybe not distracting, but all the places kinda
 blended together after a while. I remember we did a lot of walking around in circles.

I let my blood sugar get too low….and I started to get cranky. Eventually we found a good place w/
noodles and tempura and soon I was right as rain.


Back towards Shibuya.


Our friends from Seattle, Jason and his wife Erin just so happened to be in Tokyo for Design Week.

We’d tried to do some sort of fun, “Surprise, Luke’s Here!!!” meeting, but it looked like it wasn’t going 
to happen. So we just up and told them. Or rather, while Micah was talking to Jason, he passed me the 
cell phone and I said hello.

It was pretty sweet. Several years back, Erin had suggested that we all save up and go to Japan
 together. Not just Micah and I, but a whole group of Seattlites. And here we all were…coincidentally in Japan
all at the same time for 3 different reasons.

Jason & Micah.


My friend/co-worker Bruce editing this…and here it was playing in the theatre! Micah and I actually went and saw it
 a couple days before. It was kind of a big deal in Japan…cause it’s a Japanese-anime, but voiced w/ big 
American actors…so it’s subtitled in Japanese. Go figure.

Next to the theatre is the A BATHING APE store…where I got some totally sweet shoes.


I think this is my favorite picture from Shibuya.


Micah and Jason and I went on an EPIC journey looking for a jeans shop for Drew. We walked around sooo 
much. Our feet hurt. We got hungry.

Eventually we found a map…as in a real map with ALL the streets, not just a few random ones. I still haven’t exactly figured 
out the Japanese mapping system. I think it does something like this.

• Reads south->North…or at least down->up

• Does not include all streets

• Counts streets up from the bottom until the correct street – then there might be a lot of absent streets before the next landmark.

We finally found the jeans place…it was right about the XLarge store. Micah and I had been there the day before.
 dangnabbit! heh


We headed back to Shibuya to have dinner with Erin and her friend from Seattle. Who was Japanese 
and living in Japan again…


Erin was tired of eating Japanese food. (Eeeeee-ehh? I didn’t know such things were possible!!!)

So we went to an “Italian” place…

Bruschetta…with squid. And garlic bread.


Sautéed mushrooms.


Curry Seafood Pasta.


Micah never failed to impressive with ordering the weirdest stuff. This is fish egg and mayonnaise pasta.

yeah. serious.

and it was actually pretty tasty.


After dinner we head back to the Ruby room…met up with Hiro and a friend of his and smoked some really nice Cuban 

We ended up staying out super late…but it was my last night. All we needed to do in the morning was get home and pack.

I needed to catch the airport bus to Narita at 1pm…the trains started at 7…the more tired I was, the more I’d sleep on the plane 
and in theory – the less jet-lagged I’d be when I arrived in LA at 9am…the same day I left.


Still, I was out a bit later than I would have like. Hiro kept introducing me to girls at the bar, but between the loud music 
and the language barrier, it was kinda frustrating to try and talk to people. Plus, I’d hit that “I’m ready to go home” point
 and I wasn’t really interested in anything but falling asleep.

That’s it for now…I need to do some ’The Real Luke’ stuff now…one more day in Japan…and cool stuff on the ground=)


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