12:45 PM, Friday, May 20th 2005:
That title was specifically for our special friend. Heh.
HOLY SHIT!!! Of course I'm buying the "Journey Man" luggage! Is this the coolest thing ever made? I'm surprised it didn't say reserved for Adam Kontras as he's the only guy stupid enough to pay $30 more just because it says "Journey Man" on it. LOLOL.
So I bought a bunch of loot today. I mean a BUNCH of loot.. Take a gander:
Yes, those are boob balls...
That's my take for the trip and 95% of it came today in my insane adventure in shopping. This may have been the most fun day I had in Japan. I got an all day pass to the subway and went cuh-razy. All OVER this city lookin' for everything under ths sun. I found some of the coolest (and grossest) stuff on the planet. And then I kept thinking of more people to buy for and before you know it, I had spent way too much, but had such a good damn time doing it I could care less.
All of which brings me to the "Journey Man" luggage as I simply couldn't fit this crap in my bag. So I'm looking at luggage and there you go. The luggage for Mr. Journey. LOL. Classic. Of course there was only one size and that size would be - FUGGIN ENORMOUS, but says "Journey Man". I don't think you guys realize the coolness that will now house my crap. Crazy baby. Crazy.
Ahh so I'm in a good mood. I don't want to look at my credit card bills for at least a year, but this trip turned out ten times better than I thought it would. I'll get to all the reflective shit tomorrow. For now - the journey today!
So today I got to navigate this:
Although it looks outrageously crazy, it's probably one of the best organized subway systems I've ever been on. It's completely color coordinated and once you get the hang of it, you're zoomin'. I stayed on the green circle in the middle most of the time and got everywhere in no time. And with the day pass every trip was about $1. WOOT.
Folks, this is the subway...
(Remember to CLICK THE PICS) Using the subway in Tokyo is kind of a metaphor for all things scary in life. At first glance, it's just fucked up. You immediately think there's no way you're getting anywhere. Same way I felt that first night in Shinjuku, everything is so backwards it's almost too much....
Then you just say, no, I'm gonna figure this out. You simply do it. Then you figure out just how easy it is. Ironically though I was slightly concerned on how I was going to find everything Billy had told me. I worked with Billy at Planet GameCube and he's thrown a few city names at me for fun shit. He said go to Akihabara for all the cool electric stuff. Of course all I kept thinking was: "How on earth will I be able to find that in the whole city?
...and then I stepped off the subway ---->
...the cleanest place on earth.
Clean, respectful chaos
Artsy Subway shot...
How will I find the electronics?
...well isn't that easy.
The exactness of this was accidental. I came back at night for a pic, but man - that's pretty dead-on!
Jessica Simpson is saved.
Akihabara was pretty cool. Electronic shops everywhere and toys and craziness surrounded. THat picture on the top left is actually a navigation system for your CAR that displays on the dashboard panel. Not only does it give you the overhead view, but it does a full 3D rendering of the area in real-time. How is that even possible?
The puppy bag is what they put my DVD in. This had to be the most outrageous thing I could find on DVD to represent the twistedness I've come to love from Japan. As I said in public they're very respectful and reserved, but close those doors and HO-LEE SHIT. I guess that's how you should do it, but the extremes... wow. Anyway the lady took the DVD and immediately put it in this PUPPY bag. BWAHAHA. So any japanese women reading this, next time you see that bag feel free to hit your boyfriend/husband as it's a big ploy to hide TEH pr0n.
Wait, 1988? '88!?!?!?! (sigh)
4tvs in Japan!!!!!
Plastic Sushi Keychains. Word.
Nothing hon, puppy book...
She was selling...uhm....
Now imagine screaming...
Ueno was pretty much the Tijuana of Japan as far as I could tell. People yelling and screaming all the stuff they have to sell. Everything from gawdy jewelry to clothes to fish. I didn't buy anything here, though I wish I would've picked up one of those rings. $10 ended up being pretty cheap and they were real silver.
The video I got of this one place is great. Two guys running the store and one guy was all excited about being on camera, whoopin' it up. I change to the next guy and he was rather annoyed. You even see the first guy giving a thumbs up next to his co-worker if you look really close at this entry's video as it's another super-fast street song. Of course this shows a bit more of what was on my mind all day.
I know it's just my ignorance, but it seems crazy to buy fish like this. I know they're probably fresher than in the stores at home, but seems like the risk of all risks. Stupid Americans...
Ashton, be proud young man...
Look at all the... all the... Look!
Fresh fish... really! Trust us!
The Mario Sunshine Squid!!
Time to change the bandage...
Niiiice shirt. You rule man...
Harajuku was completely not what I expected. It was something you'd expect to see in the high class areas of any town in the States. The shops were all American / European and it was wide open. Another place you could easily spend a whole day in. A lot like Easton for those Columbus readers.
There was a couple on the side of the street handing out pamphlets and saying Make Love Not War. He was british and she was japanese and apparently at Hiroshima. I mentioned that I agreed with his sentiment and he asked where I was from. (sigh). Can anyone from the US not feel embarrased about this? Could the pro-Bush people actually say to this guy "I'm from the United States" without feeling even a bit of trepidation?" We not only make war, which sometimes is needed, we make UP war when it is not needed.
Then again, this guy was from the UK which he said he jokingly calls the DK (Divided Kingdom) and he assumes much of the United States feels the same. Man I just hate that feeling. I hate saying where I'm from and people actually shaking their head at it. I just know I'm not ready to give up the opportunities in the states because of that principle. Luckily, most people understand that your country's government is rarely a representation of the people within. But it still sucks to have to feel embarrassed to be from the United States. C'est La Vie...
Nice, uhm dress. You
Uhm, ok.
Very cool billboard...
That's where 1981 went...
Uhm, close enough...
Anyway, it was an awesome day and as I said one of the best days in Japan. I bought so much cool stuff and hopefully every friend and family member will get a kick out of the stuff. The boob balls are totally for me though. LOL.
I'm glad I did all this right before I left as the whole "wondering alone" aspect of the trip when I got there was definitely growing old. I guess that's why I didn't feel the urge to traverse the subway system.

The subway is a bit different at night though. Still just as safe and clean, but very crowded and everyone seems pretty pissy. Also, there's a huge groping problem in Japan going on right now (no, no one groped my big american penis) and after 11 PM, there are 4 WOMEN ONLY cars just because of this. So I guess it's not that safe, but everyone was well behaved from my perspective. Then again I'm not an attractive asian woman, so maybe if I were I'd see things a little differently.
Well my last adventure in Tokyo has come to an end. :-( Soon I'll be fighting LA traffic and have to face a million questions with absolutely no answers. Yippee. There's much more to say, but I'll leave that for the final entry (#10, damn I pull off round numbers well) that I'll type from the plane tomorrow. Laptops RULE.