Spring is a good time to be living in Japan. First there’s Hanami when the whole country appears to be stinking drunk for seven days straight. Then there’s Golden Week, a bunch of public holidays all squashed together to give the overworked population a mini vacation. It’s not the best time to travel. The trains are rammed and commuting anywhere far is generally just a pain in the arse. I wasn’t going anywhere anyway. There’s so much in this city I still have to see, and I haven’t been here long enough to be in dire need of an escape to the country just yet.
In 2004, Golden Week for me meant a week-long trip from Fukuoka to Tokyo. In 2012 it meant two long weekends featuring… Random izakayas. All-night karaoke with a random Canadian tourist. Rollercoasters. 60ft robots. Sunshine. Rain. Dogs wearing hotpants and sunglasses. Dogs wearing tartan blazers. More sun. More rain. BMXing. Gyoza. Cute stuff. Weird stuff. Arcade games. House parties. Skyscrapers. Fred Perry merch. Skaters. New friends. And Tako, my newly adopted Octopus.
Yomiuri Land: where surreal anime characters dance in the shadows of rollercoasters. And queues. Oh, how the Japanese love their queues. The beast of a ride in the distance was called the ‘Bandit’ for no other reason than it featured a small statue of a shitty pirate at the entrance. Good fun though. I also proved my deftness by catching Melinda’s hat when it flew off mid-ride. Go me.
Here’s a video someone else took:
The sun didn’t last long that day… Though thankfully we weren’t some of the poor bastards still stuck on some of the rides haha.
Odaiba, a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay. The shot above really does sum up the vibe as I walked out of the station: vast open areas, with people walking aimlessly about like from some Zombie Apocalypse film.
And this is what they were going to worship: an enormous 60ft Gundam robot. Unbelievable.
Tokyo Bay. Looks a bit like somewhere else.
Say hello to Tako!
Streetfighter 1. Utterly shit, but the start of something special.
A 45-year-old man on a kid’s arcade machine? Perfectly acceptable. It’s Japan.
I love Odaiba. It really does remind me of The Jetsons.
The NS Building in Shinjuku will melt your brain.
Late-night Gyoza & beer…
And early-afternoon coffees. ^_^