Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sayonara Party With a Twist

Last night was my goodbye bash in Tokyo. My friend Kazutoshi put together a nice program, so thank you to him. Zishan did some planning that I know of, and he put together a song list and DJ'd a bit, so thanks to him too. The biggest crew of Ashikaga-area people that I've ever seen hit Tokyo was with me, so another thank you to everyone who came out. It was great.

The night began at a little place in Ebisu that was rented out. Wine and champagne were ever-flowing and the food was high quality if sometimes a bit far out (one dish was squid cooked in some kind of squid ink crust.. not my favorite). I appreciated the laid back European atmosphere of the place. We then proceeded to a little club that I've been to once before, and we know assorted DJs and staff at the place so we got some sort of ridiculous discount usually reserved for attractive girls. Several friends who couldn't make it to the first joint graciously attended the second. At the end of the night a group of the boys all crashed at a capsule hotel. I won't get more detailed than that on the party to protect the identities of the innocent and whatnot.

I don't wish for a second to detract from the awesomeness of the party, but what happened the next morning was quite unexpected. I've mentioned Odaiba once or twice before(post here), and it's one of my favorite Tokyo neighborhoods due to its well-planned, cleaner nature. Odaiba's newest attraction is an 18 meter tall Gundam statue(Mainichi Daily News article here). Gundam is sort of like Japan's version of Transformers I might say, except I think these giant robots have pilots inside. I'm out of my element in any case, so if you want to know more check out the wikipedia. So, we are wandering around marveling at this giant robot and I get separated from the group while milling around. When I meet back up with my friends, they have some sort of TV news employee with them asking if we would like to participate in a segment about the robot. Yes, yes I would.

Shaun and I were the only two that felt like wasting a couple of hours, so we signed up. The two of us and 10-15 Japanese people were taken near the statue by boat and asked various questions about Gundam and the meaning of life by tv personality Karube Shin-ichi. Apparently the segment will run on a morning show called Mezamashi TV this Tuesday. I must have a copy of this!! He asked the two of us a few questions but we didn't say anything profound.... so I wonder if we will even make it on screen. At one point we were all supposed to act touristy and take photos, however my camera was dead so I used my cell phone's camera. Better than nothing I guess.

Here is Karube with Tokyo Big Sight in the background.

Another shot of the man with some staff.

As I've mentioned before, daiba means gun battery, like a little fort. Well this little fort island wasn't developed and has grown wild. The big trees growing from behind the defensive stone walls look kinda cool.

And here is what the big robot looks like from the water with his back towards us.

It was pretty wild. We got a free boat ride at least. Hehe.

Today I got home and there was this huge beetle spazing around on its back. It's weird, because I've had several big beetles stuck like this right next to my apartment. I think that they try to climb up my one step and flip themselves over. Today's was especially large.

I threw a yen coin down to show the scale. I guess it's about the size of a penny.

He has some pretty serious headgear going on. I bet I could use him for a bottle opener.

Isn't this guy huge? He really had some weight to him.

In Japan I haven't seen any ant farms for sale. What seems to be popular instead is keeping these giant beetles as pets. Whole sections of pet stores are devoted to caring for the insects. I was tempted to try raising one for myself but I would probably kill the thing. I don't need that on my conscience. Hehe. Until next time!


  1. Gundamn!!!

    I was just talking about it with a couple of folks online yesterday. I really want to go see that thing.

    I grew up on Gundam. The following the series has here is closer to that of Star Wars in the states, I think. It had a huge impact on the giant robot anime genre. I remember going down to Kinkonkan, the toy store in the city (I've heard that the owner now runs that Yakitori place by the bridge, Yakitori-kun) every tuesday to buy Gundam plastic model kits that were all the rage among young boys. They were so popular they would sell out within hours after the new shipments were put out on the shelves every tuesday.

    I am glad to hear you've had a good time in Tokyo. I will be sure to check out Mezamashi Terebi tomorrow morning!

  2. You don't have any way of making a digital copy of that show do you? I would do something terrible to get my hands on that.

  3. I THINK I can record it onto a shiny disc. The thing is, the TV/DVD recorder thingie that we have in our house is new and I haven't had the time to figure out how to do things that it's supposed to let you do. I will give it a try and let you know here tomorrow. My fingers are crossed that you two have made the cut.

  4. TRY!! I would be forever in your debt. I would actually prefer the commercials be included, if that makes things any easier. I might shed actual tears if I don't get a copy of this somehow. Hehe.

    I just reread your first post. Does the guy who owns Kinkonkan still run Yakitori-kun? The guy who runs Yakitori-kun now is named Shindo-san I believe. I've been in Kinkonkan several times(but have I ever bought anything??hehe). It's cool to hear about your childhood experiences here because I've only ever seen this city as an adult.

  5. I am so sorry... it did not work.

    I don't get up until later in the morning so I set it on timer last night, but when I got up this morning and checked, it had not recorded the show.

    Man, I feel terrible about this. I have sent Fuji TV an e-mail to see if there is something they can do but I seriously doubt that. Maybe someone will put it up on YouTube or something...

    Again, I am sorry I let you down. I hope you at least got to watch it this morning.

    Now, I'm gonna go bang my head against the wall.....

  6. Hehe, no sweat Kaz. You can count the number of frames I am visible in on one hand. Huge let down!

    Let me know if anything happens with Fuji TV though. I still wouldn't mind having a nice looking copy. Mine is pretty crap.