Monday, June 12, 2006

tokyo drift (part 1)

- ANA plane to Tokyo has a camera under the nose of the plane so that the slow runway taxi provides a wide-angle view of an unpopulated concrete and asphalt abstraction. Yellow and white guidelines arc past or direct the view. Add classical music or synthesizer tones and you’ve got an ominous Kubrickian cinematic title sequence. Cool and scary vibe before takeoff and I’m not even afraid of flying.
- Asian jet-lag is a muhfuckah
- The hotel has a Szechuan restaurant with food designed by Iron Chef Chen Kenichi. Perfect MaPo Dofu spiciness and jet lag unfortunately do not mix.
- 4 AM taxi ride from Shibuya to the legendary Tsujiki fish market cost about as much as all of my subway rides for the rest of my nearly-two-week visit.
- Lost in Tsukiji market amongst cigarette smoking fish handlers, Styrofoam boxes and , oh yeah, fish, big fish, little fish, red fish, … “There ain’t no way we’re gonna find Sushi Bun!” (the restaurant we are looking for.) We line up behind some hungry folk at a joint without any English signs. We are treated to incredibly fresh and fine fish. I’ve easily paid thrice the price in NYC for comparable quality. The owner stops me after I snap the chef. Smiling big on our way out, wifey asks the name of the joint. The owner says “Sushi Bun.” And now we’re even happier.
- MUJI is like a GAP (unfortunately, unless the gear came in XL, I was nowhere near fitting into the clothes unless I adopted the skintight steez.) plus IKEA (if I had a kid the trike would’ve been bought!) with an excellent café (nobody does French pastry like the Japanese!), great convenience store (bitter melon snack chips!) and the most modern stationery stuff you could ever want, all branded and packaged to perfection.
- Hard to tell if the Harajuku ‘dress-up’ phenomenon is ‘between’ movements but at this point the ‘bandaged’ look is more interesting than the Lolita look (popular amongst men, by the way). The abstracted Minnie Mouse might be a spin-off of the Lolitas but a couple folks really stood out.
- Often, impossible to tell the difference between school-girls, ‘sexy’ older school-girls and grown women dressed like school girls. I’m not being perverse here. Really.
- Kit Kat flavors: Green Tea, Red Bean, and Fruit Parfait. (And of course a little ume and apple gum and Crunky for the road).
- Beverage vending machines seem to outnumber the crows.

A couple tracks from the DJ Jack Herer Mixtape I picked up from the Mousouzoku Store
般若 - おはよう日本 国際Ver.
Romero S.P. - ???