Monday, October 26, 2009

once upon a time...

"Once upon a time at the foot of a great mountain,there was a town where the people known as Happyfolk lived,their very existence a mystery to the rest of the world,obscured as it was by great clouds."from the song Fire Coming Out of a Monkey's Head by the Gorillaz
This is what i saw out my front door. I had to share.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

shiraito and a haircut. two bits.

I got my hair cut today at Toni & Guy in shizuoka. thats right. Jealous much? The thing is i've seen the gaijin who have dared the shears of the shears of the samurai barbers. Its never, been shall we say, pretty? But i needed a haircut. Like literally. My job requires that i look status quo. Or at least a reasonable facsimile. So i decided to go all out. i should have received my first real paycheck and i figured id go and get the director's cut (the owner, the head kabob) and not futz around. Well, the fact that japan's mail system makes no sense to me and i couldn't get my bank card and i happen to be at a bank closed on saturdays, i was, to say the least, annoyed. Luckily i had a little bit left in my american account, which thanks to this cut is probably close to bottom of the barrel status.
So on my day off my co-worker and pal, takayuki, picks me up in his phat ride and totes me into shizuoka at 9 in the morning. that's early considering our work keeps us up until midnight.

when we get there i see this. a big drum and some people in snazzy get ups dancing with maracas and other various percussion contrivances. it's japan.

afterwards, i mention how i wanted to go to the waterfalls i heard about. i told him i was going to morrow and asked which bus to take. out of the generosity of his huge heart he drove me the extra 30 minutes to see it.

this is not it. this is a waterfall, but not the waterfall. this is a waterfall with a story. so there were these two bothers that wanted revenge for their dad, but as they planed the assassination of the guy who did the killing first they found themselves unable to hear each other over the sound of the waterfall. so the waterfall goes quiet long enough for them to plan their killing spree and everyone lives happily ever after. except for the dad and the first guy who killed said father. anyway its a nice bedtime story.

the first guy is takayuki. just wanted you to see him. the second guy is me. im pointing at the sign that says something about the story i just told you.

this is the waterfall. pretty huh? don't you just want to go frolic? i didn't take a picture of the fences or the do not enter signs.

a lady selling various things on sticks at the falls.

the name of the waterfall is shiraito falls. it means "white threads". the water all comes from mt. fuji. it is filtered all the way through the rocks to this point. neat deshyou?

and last and probably least, the haircut. not really combed but im not in the mood to get all dolled up for a photo for a blog. there will be more photos of my hair im sure, and i just wanted you to get an idea of how short it was.

rock and roll shizuoka (and beyond)

I'd been frequenting live houses in Shizuoka on my off days (few and far between) there i met up with a cat from Hamamatsu who had a band called Free Hug. His name was Yusuke (yuu-ske) He was amazingly cool and we vibed right away, although he didn't speak much English and my Japanese is...well, still a bit on the dodgy side. However, we hit it off and i promised him the next live he had, even if it was in Hamamatsu i would travel the three hours to see him. Turns out his next live was on a day i was off and was of course 3 hours away in Hamamatsu. A promise is a promise.

This was the view of Mt. Fuji from the Fujinomiya train station. It had snow finally, which made me happy. NOW it looks like Mt. Fuji.

Three hours later i arrived at the station where Yusuke picked me up and walked me over to the live house.

This is the live house and the play bill featuring free hug.

Heres a bad picture of yusuke at the drums. hes also the vocalist.

ogi the guitartist. not robert johnson. different hair. he was sick but still rocked the party, he rocked the party. who rocked the party? ogi rocked the party.

hirohumi. the bassist. he left pretty quickly after the show so i didnt really get a chance to chat with him. seemed cool though.

rock in motion.

this was another band 3nd. (pronouned sahnd) they were purely instrumental but were crazy cool up on the stage.

me and yusuke started chatting up two girl members of another band. they heard we were going to rock and roll all night (since the trains in japan stop running at midnight, it was too late for me to come back to fujinomiya, so yusuke decided to stay with me and keep me company until the trains started rolling). they decided it sounded like fun so we were +2. the girl all the way to the right is yusuke's *secret* girlfriend. i probably shouldnt have told you but im sure you wouldnt tell. right? she spoke english and met us around midnight after she got off work. +3


we stayed at this restaraunt for almost 4 hours. it was called za watami. (even they didnt know what it meant)

cute. (kawaii)

hes hot (literally).

shes hot (figuratively).

this was a little place run by a brazillian friend of yusukes gf.

this map tells you where the bathroom is if you push this button. however its in japanese so i would probably have to use the tree next to it if it were an emergency.

everyone was super tired at this point.

sunrise in hamamatsu.

at the train station. one last look.

so that was that. it was fun. going to do it again. ill let you know.

also bonus.

take a look at the sign that says kool. its the black one with white writing. it was small and dark and high up so the pic isnt so great. but if you can make out what kind of music they play im sure youll groan or smile. oh japan. silly silly japan. you have no idea.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

just a(onther) little something

i'm going to hamamatsu today, in 2 hours. i thought it was right around the corner when i agreed to go but its like 3 hours away. i could have gone to tokyo. bleh. about this adventure and others concerning my rock forays tune in tomorrow.
as for now i just wanted everyone to know about the water coming from my faucet.
fuji and surrounding areas (that's me!) are renowned for having ridiculously clean (using the word crystal here would be overdone, but entirely appropriate) water. in osaka it was known that using water from the faucet was only (ironically?) for cleaning and if boiled. back in pensacola i could certainly use the water from the tap when making whatever, but if i did so instead of using the clean charcoal filtered water from the big metal machine we called the refrigerator, then there was always a sort of naughty feeling associated with it. It was if i was getting away with something. Something dirty.
since coming to fujinomiya i find myself eating a lot of rice. maybe not a lot by an asian's standards, but since its pretty darn near everyday, its a lot by my standards.
i just wanted everyone to know how nice it feels to be able to use water from the tap in everyday usage (the rice and drinking). its great. seriously. water is magical.

Monday, October 12, 2009

huhn. could of sworn....

so i thought i had a picture of mt fuji as seen from my front door up but i guess not. so here it is. this is what i see when its not cloudy every morning.
and a zoom.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

just watched zombieland. what can i say? when i grow up i want to be tallahassee. he totally reminds me of lemmie for some reason. but i guess that makes me the micheal cera wannabe.

which one is which?

(let me say this, if i was casting an anglo saxon version for reborn! then this guy would be tsuna, if, IF he can pull off serious. becuase even micheal cera can't do that. hes just too... stringy?)
however, all in all, bill murray (bill murray, son! yo bill murray! that don't sound no good bill murray!its not the flu or anything.. its just ....a smokers cough) during the zombie apocalypse. i love bill murray. and if given a choice on how to die, it would definitely involve the zombie apocalypse. so i got that going for me... which is nice.

Monday, October 5, 2009

So two (or three now? these days just blur together) i went to the tokyo game show. in tokyo (actually chiba, but thats like saying disney world isn't actually in orlando. meh). i saw a lot of video games being played by people who were willing to wait an hour and a hlaf for five minutes of game play. i also saw an alley of people dressed up as various video games, manga, and anime characters. i love the dedication of the japanese geek. here are some pictures.

this is me in front of the sign that says game wa genki desu. which i guess means that games are ... healthy? energetic? who knows, its japan.

these cosplayers dressed up as my favorite game franchise "metal gear" were awesome. and the props were out of control. can you see the ! behind the bad guy? nice.

this one is for daniel. its an all girl version of the turks from final fantasy 7. enjoy that.

giant floating chocobos.

geeks are pretty in japan.

i love the game okami. this was for the sequel thats out on ds.

new resident evil (known as biohazard in japan).

new metal gear game! yay.