Arigato! Mr. Gabato | Sayonara | Japan Blog 3.3/4.4

Wow…it’ s been a while. The latter part of March and all of April have been an absolute cluster of craziness at home and at work. With that enough apologizing, and more Japanyness.

So where was I? Ah, yes. Wednesday and Thursday. Let’s start with the play-list:

March 10:

  • Tresspassers William_Different Stars
  • Moby_Everything is Wrong
  • James Brown_The Godfather
  • Saul Williams_Amethyst Rockstar
  • Yoav_Charmed & Strange
  • Sage Francis_A Healthy Distrust
  • Unkle_Never, Never Land
  • Radiohead_Talk Show Host
  • Serart_Self Titled

March 11 (The longest day of my life, literally):

  • Andres Segovia_The Art of Segovia 1&2
  • Radiohead_In Rainbows
  • Mirror’s Edge_Original Score
  • Me & You & Everyone We Know_Original Soundtrack
  • DJ Shadow_The Outsider
  • Sage Francis_The Human Death Dance
  • Solar Fields_Randomized Tracks
  • Sarah McLachlan_Surfacing
  • M83_Before the Dawn Heals Us
  • Dieselboy_The 6ixth Session
  • Jose Gonzalez_Veneer

Alright. With that outta the way. Let’s talk the experience.

So Wednesday I got up in the morning. (a good time to do it). I walked over to wake up at Odaiba park some more. I was hoping to get into the science and tech museum but they opened a little later that I had time for. I wafted back to the conference hall to have lunch with my co-worker. I noticed a wonderful social etiquette behavior take place within the hall. Everyone eating on the benches faced away from each other.

Eat back to back

I was one of 2 a-holes that decided to not follow suit. It felt pretty punk rock.

So through lunch I could barely focus on the conversation I was having with Ed, the co-worker. My mind was filled with all of the places I wanted to go and see. The bento tasted a little gamey, but made for good walking fuel. I then bowed out of the conference and walked to the local mall to do a retail audit and begin an adventure of architecture and yumminess.  I can’t say much about the mall  experience (if you are super interested, some of the photos from that can be seen in the architecture folder here.)

After the walk to the mall, I was feeling a little beat. So I came to the hotel room to rest a bit and watch some TV.

Funny thing about television. It encapsulates and compresses culture in such a fantastically truncated way, that you can really see the boiled down stereotypes and cultural symbolism in its purest uncut form. The above was from a kids show explaining the turning of the seasons from winter to spring.

After my break, I did a freaking huge architecture walk from deep Ariake to deep Ginza. It was about a 6 mile walk in total, but because of my pacing, it felt to be around 10 miles. Too many photos to post here, but again the link to the architecture set is here.

One of my favorites though was the eternal chase I had trying to see the Eiffel Tower. It must have been huge. On the skyline it appears to be right across the bridge, but the closer I thought I was getting, the further it appeared. It played as my leader while I scouted other awesome buildings.

Lots of buildings seen. My favorite shot of the evening below:

I was outside of an athletic club. The sun had set and I was beat. Time to head to the hotel, pack and prepare for a long ass day of travel.

In the morning, I woke up and stumbled into the bathroom and spotted a wonderful little refraction of rainbow on the bathroom wall. A nice little morning goodbye from my neat little bathroom before I headed back.

Long story short as far as the ‘commute’ back to Portland, I traveled back to Narita airport and waited a good chunk of time for my flight before flying for -8 hours. I ate lots of noodles, shopped a little, and drew. Milk tea is great.  I took off at 5P and landed at 9A that same day. Such a strange and long day. I came home to a completely f’d circadian rhythm and a short fuse of a timeline to find a new place to live…(but I’ll leave that for a future blog).

To summarize, Japan was an amazing experience. I have a hunch I’ll be back there in the future for business or recreation and have another humbling experience in one of the most polite and ‘smart’ places I’ve ever been. Thanks for reading.

A woman and her child racing across the "Dream Bridge" in Ariake