Sleepless in Tokyo

Photo 10I am currently writing after more than 30 consecutive hours awake. I might rewrite this if I see it’s just nonsense but I’ll give it a try.

After searching for Womb a while we thought we might have better luck after eating some sushi and found a really nice place in Shibuya, not top notch stuff but above average and definitely cheap. Just outside we were offered massage by a female japanese with broken engrish (a fitting description of japanese english) but after the discussion with sho we felt we should skip that. We had asked him about whether prostitution is legal in japan or not and he actually didn’t know, we thought this was strange but he said that it was legal to ‘pleasure’. We asked what the difference was but he just laughed and said that he would not say that loud at an restaurant. We dropped the subject but this added another mystery of the japanese culture.

Anyways we found a nice pub while searching for Womb and had some new chochu on the rocks, we have tried most flavors if you may call the chochu variants for that now. We were a bit tipsy when we decided to start asking bouncers for directions instead of trying to remember the map we had seen on a web page. This quickly helped and we found the club much sought for. The entry fee was a whopping 3500 yen, that is something like 200 Kr which we fought was quite hefty. They had the same price for beer, food and water which sounded strange until we realized that you could refill the plastic water bottles with tap water on the toilets. The possibility to grab a nice meal 4 in the morning for 500 yen (30 Kr) is really nice though.

Womb is one of the best clubs I have ever been to. And this was a ‘regular saturday’, nothing special. It focused on drum’n’base and hard house, having one main floor with three different DJs during the night and a lounge with smaller dance floor and some tables when you wanted to slow down the dancing a bit. We stopped drinking beers so we could enjoy the music as much as possible and was sober from 2-3 and forward until 6 when the club closed. We danced for approximately 5 hours, say 3.5 effective and didn’t have time to chat with the other dancers more exchange glances and quick apologies if bumped into each other. I recommend everyone that visits Tokyo to check this place out, regardless what music you like.

Then it was time to get back. This proved easier said than done since we were quite tired and thought that the orange train on the yellow platform was just some ‘ugly morning train’. After awhile we realized this was a parallel line, which didn’t go where we wanted at all. So after some transfers we arrived at our old youth hostel around 7. A nice american girl we chatted little with the other day was already awake and after showers we had breakfast with her discussing US, religion and politics (the classics). She seemed really OK and was nice, too bad we were on our way elsewhere. She had given us several tips and recommendations regarding what to see and to while traveling Japan though.

Me and Ulf weren’t capable of winning any spelling contests after this so when we headed off for the new youth hostel in the boiling sun (around 35, with all luggage) we off course read the maps, or the reality, entirely wrong. An open network saved us a lot of trouble and we went to the correct neighborhood this time. We got to the hostel just a bit too late to catch the manager so we could put or stuff in before lock-in but repeated banging on doors sent him happily running out to help us. We dumped or main luggage here and unfortunately we also left my digital camera at the youth hostel, causing us to miss to photograph stuff that caused us some hysterical laughs and nice sightings while looking for some park to sleep in.

First of all, there were guesthouses everywhere, why wasn’t these mentioned in any web page known to google? The prices and budget hotels were very cheap, a little to cheap actually. Then we realized that the noticeable less amount of stores (especially those we now were so used to), the facades of the buildings, the trash everywhere combined with the large amount of crippled and homeless could mean only one thing. We had found the slums, or at least the less fashionable suburbs of Tokyo.

This we found hilarious after 30 hours without sleep. So we decided to make the best of it and made social as well as geographical excursions. We walked around and got some help from the homeless to recycle our garbage, but couldn’t find any parks or even benches to lay our soon malfunctioning bodies on.

We saw on a map we stumbled upon that there was a big park quite a walk from here but we really didn’t have much of a choice since the youth hostel was closed until 16 and it was about 12-13. After a long walk we found this ‘park’.

It was two baseball fields or whatever you call the area where you perform this sport. This caused another session of laughter since we were once again betrayed by John Blunder. We thought of sleeping on the sidewalk but It just didn’t seem right with the homeless circling us as vultures and all. So we watched a division 2 baseball game for an hour or so and chatted some with a player who had a really good english with an american accent. Apparently baseball is the biggest sport in the country, I had no clue.

This would have been great to capture with my camera we left behind, we instead used my web cam to get some kind of picture, not sure how bad it looks though. The clock was ticking and we went for a beer while waiting for the the magic 1600. After some interesting effects such as while reading our pocket dictionary I started dreaming half awake and then snapped back I had found really weird translations in my dictionary.

We thought we also had the opportunity to see a decaying (literally, I will spare you the details) man cough his noodles like he was done for, but he somehow made it and started breathing again. I hope I never get that old.

Current status is that we have checked in, I’m finishing this text in my bed after a shower and it’s time for sleep after 33 hours, three showers, two drinking sessions and miles of walking and dancing. Over and out.