Day 14 (Bye Bye Boyfriend)
Saturday morning of Ian's departure had come. Although I wasn't allowed to check into my next sharehouse until 4pm, I still woke early to see Ian off from Tokyo Station. Waking at 8am wasn't so awful so much as the fact that it was hard to sleep the night before because our new roommates were two couples with partners that snored horribly loud. One was loud but has a consistent snore whereas the other had signs of sleep apnea with varying levels and speeds of snoring. In any case it was a miserable night of sleep. I accompanied Ian from Shinjuku to Shinagawa (where Tokyo Station is located) and it wasn't until he got on the express line to Narita airport that I realized I hadn't gotten a goodbye photo with him. 😭 I was pretty sad to see him go because I knew the next month would be packed full of excitement and while I was glad for that, I also knew I'd be sad I couldn't share the experiences with him.
Once his train took off, I drearily walked up to the main floor of the station and since I had nothing better to do with the next few hours, I spent about 20-30 minutes reading the display of history that was in the station. Interesting facts include that the Ueno station was once the main station and two political figures were attacked at different times, one ending in death and the other severe injury ending in death about 8 months later. The Tokyo Station was once a posh hotel, the first train station to ever have a hotel for convenience of travelers. A couple years ago it was revamped into a hotel again. And there are currently many stations undergoing construction in preparation for the 2020 Olympics.
Anyways, there's a breakdown of the more interesting facts. I then grabbed a snack at Andersen, my favorite train station bakery in Tokyo, and finally I dragged my way towards Sasazuka, the area I'd be calling home for the next month. Once I checked in I passed out in order to catch up on sleep from the night before. I have to admit, I was pretty bummed about my room. The ads for the Airbnb showed tatami mat rooms for a traditional home experience, my room however was just a box with white walls and two windows with bars. So basically a prison like room. In order to make it less droll I used cute paper shopping bags as decor on my window sill, as well as a handful of gashapon.
After settling in and getting in touch with my clients, I took another nap because I was going to have a very long night. I was going to meet my friend Tetsu for the first time at the venue he was playing that night. Tetsu and I met via FB about 8-9 months ago when I was browsing folks in Tokyo area with similar interests (music, rockabilly). We began conversing about music and have stayed in touch and he's been nice enough to put up with my attempts at learning to write in Japanese. Haha
Anyways, I left my place around 10:30 or so to make my way to Koenji where the venue, Club Missions, was. I admit, that without Ian around, I forgot to really eat that day, and many days following. 😖 The show that evening was actually a reggae show, and while Tetsu's band, The Discovers, doesn't really play reggae, I think they have a couple ska-ish riffs that made it match enough.
This was my first experience at a live show in Japan, though it wasn't necessarily the common show experience in Japan. For example, most shows start around 6pm, but this one started at 12am. I know, 6pm sounds sooo early, right? but that's so that the shows are over in time for everyone to catch the last subway train home around midnight. This show was an exception and I was a little concerned about how I'd get home. If I wanted to walk, it would probably take me an hour assuming I didn't make any wrong turns in an area of Tokyo I was unfamiliar with. If I wanted to take a cab, I'd have to fork over about ¥6000 ($60)!! And if I wanted to take the subway, I'd have to wait til 5am. Or hope my friend had friends with a car--most people don't have cars here in Tokyo because there's no room to park them anywhere and if you do want to park one it costs a zillion dollars.
When I asked my friend about how he and everyone there expected to get home, he said the subway. So staying up late it was! Now the two things I think I enjoyed most about the late night experience was the fact that because many people were tired as is reasonable at 3,4,5 in the morning, people were passing out on the floors of the venue even though music was blaring.
The second part I enjoyed was seeing the 'zombie walk' to the station in the morning as people from many venues and areas of Tokyo shuffled sleepily into the station at 5am. It was interesting to see who showed up at the time of morning, anyone from rock 'n rollers, clubbers, bartenders and businessmen (not sure if they're going home from a late night out, or getting an early start for work). In any case it was an experience I wouldn't have been able to have otherwise. I only wish I had gotten photos of it.