Karaoke, Pachinko and Arcades

IMG_5537.1We started out the last whole day in Tokyo by browsing Takeshi Doori in Harajuku again. After I’d checked the items on my list from Lotta we strolled around and got back to the hostel quite early in order to do some packing.

The main idea for the packing was to fill one bag good enough to protect my precious liquor and consider the other one to be lost or smashed. The plan was to meet Megumi and her friend Haruna at Takashimaya Times Square just outside the ‘Tsukiji Tama Sushi’ at 18.40 but we were running a bit late so we called (like an hour before we should be there) and said that we would be 20 minutes late.

We arrived more or less on the new time only to find that Megumi and Haruna had been waiting in line to get a table and it was our turn just when we got there. Nice timing, for us at least. Megumi had presents for us and we hadn’t thought of to bring her any which felt kind of bad but at least we managed to steal the check for the Sushi restaurant this time. The Sushi was really nice, although Megumi said it would be better at another place in the same chain.

After that it was time do practice some Karaoke. So we got a small room with a TV, a karaoke machine and a bottle of Shochu. Ulf and I argued that we would need the help of Shochu in order to start singing since we normally don’t do this. The girls were now on alert and quickly paid for both Ulf and me to our dismay. I’m not sure whether guys should pay for girls or not in Japan, I guess we should look it up till next time. That is unless we would want to show how equal we are in Sweden by splitting all costs 😉

We were taking turns with the mic and I started out really really bad-IMG_5538.1 I thought Mrs Robinsson was a song I knew quite well but apparently the score-system on the Karaoke machine and I disagreed. They had really a diversity of songs and the girls were entitled to hear me and Ulf sing songs from groups such as KLF, Pantera, Slipknot, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Depeche Mode among others.

It was much more fun than I’ve expected and I maybe will buy some karaoke-game for my PS2 when I get back to Sweden. Even though many songs were on the lists, when played they didn’t quite sound as the originals. I can assure you that singing ‘The Perfect drug’ to what more sounds like a midi-file than the song isn’t as easy as you might think. I think the following were the best performed songs by each participant;

Megumi: Green Day – Basket Case
Ulf: Ace of Base – All that she wants
Viktor: Slipknot – Surfacing
Haruna: The theme song of Neon Evangilion Genesis.

After the karaoke we tried some Pachinko (extremely addictive game in Japan and the only legal one where you can make money) for a very short time. We had been there less than five minutes when a guy told us the place was closing and we needed to change our metallic balls (part of the game and also serves at a currency) for toys. After some arguments between Megumi and the management at the place we got our money back and we decided to spend them at a regular gaming/arcade hall.

It seems like in Japan very much is about music, the unmistakable ‘game-music’, theme songs from anime, the traffic lights, cleaning machines and about everything else you can think of. In a regular supermarket IMG_5559.1I guess you can count up to perhaps 3-5 tunes if you listen carefully at any given spot. So of course the games focus a lot on music/sound as well. We tried some games where you played drums or the guitar and quickly realized that the girls were far superior. It should be noted that in comparison to what seemed to be the standard clientele the girls were mere rookies. If you have seen really really skilled people playing games involving dance mats you get the idea.

Time was running and we all to soon had to say goodbye to the girls and catch our train back to the hostel. It wasn’t without some reluctance we were leaving the Yamamote line and saying goodbye to the never sleeping Tokyo, for this time.