Sunday, March 05, 2006


One of the main reasons I like to write on here is to show people who have never been to Japan a little slice of what Japan is like. So far, I haven't had too many stories about domestic travel (because I don't do it that much), so this edition will be devoted to my trip to Nagoya and Osaka this weekend, with some groovy shots of the Shinkansen, aka the Bullet Train.

So after watching the Juggernaut cartoon about six times at work on friday, I cruised home, changed, and headed to Shin-Yokohama station to hop on the shinkansen.

Here's what it looks like coming into the station:

I made it to Osaka, and hung out with my friend. We had dinner, and since he owns a bar, we went there and began a night of good, wholesome fun.

The area the bar is in is called Soemoncho (pronounced Soh-Eh-Moan-Cho) and I suppose it's the "entertainment district" in Osaka. It's really shadey and scummy, so I really like it. Here's what it looks like during the daytime.

Now I know what you're probably thinking: "Wow, in an area full of Chinese gangsters and Yakuza, I bet shit is pretty serious."

Yeah, real serious.

No Parking. I know that sign strikes the fear of god into my heart.

Before, I mentioned that I like looking at something off camera when I'm getting my picture taken, as shown in a previous post. I seem to have met a kindred spirit.

I was shocked. I was like, "Holy shit! Your friend is choking. Go give her CPR."

My friend in the background was very concerned about her well being, but it turned out everything was ok.

Later, we met up with some other people, including some Brazilians. Mmmmm Brazilians...

Looks like someone is having a pretty overwhelming night.

Nice tattoos huh? Seeing a trend here?

So after taking a brief nap (6am - 11am, i,e. checkout time from the hotel) I hopped on a train up to Nagoya. I didn't take the bullet train because while it's about 45 minutes or so, I didn't want to pay an insane amount of money so I shelled out about $35 for a 2 hour ride. The time in Nagoya was a lot different -- I hung out with some friends of mine from the Rowing team in college. They're not the "go-out-and-drink-all-night-with-dirty-foreigners" crowd, so the night was mellow and more grown-up than I'm used to, which was nice and refreshing. I hadn't seen some of them in about 9 years, so it was nice to become reacquainted and catch up with what everyone's doing.

I stayed over at one of the guys' apartments and shoved off fairly early. My favorite part about taking the shinkansen from Osaka or Nagoya is the view of Mt Fuji from the train. If you're ever in Japan and you ride it from Tokyo down to either of those two cities, make sure you're on the right side of the train on the way down and the left side on the way back. The last few times I've been it's been hazy and shitty outside so I couldn't see it, but today I got my wish and was able to snap off a good picture.

I'm not sure if this works or not, but I took a little movie on it. I think it captures the surrounding area pretty well, as well as the speed that the shinkansen travels.

Hopeully that starts workin'.. Or I'll try to re-upload it. In any case, it was a bit of an expensive (well, really expensive) weekend, but I never sweat spending money to hang out with friends.


Blogger Jack Burton said...

Now all we need is Juggernaut Vs. Rick James! Cool photos btw..

5:26 PM  
Blogger brando said...

Looks like you had a pretty good time. Yeah, I showed my wife that Juggernaut cartoon cause I found it so funny, and she walked out of the room about 1/3 of the way through.

6:39 AM  
Blogger brando said...

Hey, Keep the tats comming. That's insane. And when I say "insane" I mean that I have the overwhelming desire to be her friend. For altruistic reasons.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

I'm trying to get you all excited for your trip down here. I hope you like the pic of Fuji, cuz we're climbing that bitch. Maybe I can organize a harem of Brazilians to act as our porters. Like a platoon of hot sherpas.

1:48 PM  
Blogger A Unique Alias said...

Holy crap! That train has a nose with nostrils and everything, right on the front of it.


10:21 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

That's cuz the shinkansen is alive.

Maybe you've seen it before, when it looked like this.

Atreyu, I love you!
Sebaastian, call my name!!

9:11 AM  
Blogger A Unique Alias said...

HAH! Oh, eff, that big flying dragon is creepy and the resemblance is uncanny.

As is this.

2:05 AM  
Blogger Jinxy said...

Mmmmmm. Brazillians.

Nice maroon valure shirt your friend has on there.

Lapdancer, mayhap?

P.S. Apparently Brando's not a big fan of "rape parties".

7:56 PM  
Blogger Jinxy said...

"The Neverending Story"

7:57 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

For one, Brando is a huge rape-party advocate. Secondly, the valure shirt is key. he can only pull it off cuz he owns the bar.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Travis said...

I concur with Brando, keep the pics coming. I am experiencing Japan vicariously through you.

10:05 AM  

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