tirsdag den 3. juli 2018

Performance Bloom


I succesfully got on the plane from Osaka and it wasn't delayed this time! I had arranged to sleep at another couchsurfer host's (Shobhit) place. We talked a little bit before turning in but saved most of our conversation for the next day where we walked around his neighborhood Nihombashi. We talked of India a lot which was a nice change!
I loved seeing a commemoration of a new child at this super modern shrine we went to. And I had to paint this Oji-san sat at the blue bridge.


I persuaded Shobhit to go with me to Yoyogi Park - he was doing something in that area anyway and I really wanted to see the rockabillies !


I stayed for a few hours photographing, laughing and sketching - they absolutely lived up to my high expectations! They had a lot of attitude, even telling some people off from dancing k-pop on "their" square and took their entertainment very seriously. You could see how they were passing on the torch to younger members and how long they had been doing it - just look at their gaffed-up shoes!


I then grabbed a "Danish" snack (I have never seen a pastry like that before) and changed my Nihombashi couch out for a Daikanyama one - the fanciest place to live in Tokyo. It was super close to Shibuya, about 15 minutes walking. I had gone to get my luggage at Shobhit's place myself so I met up with him to give him his key back at a big International meeting event at a dart bar in Shibuya! Something funny about Shibuya is that there are so many restaurants and bars "tucked into" the higher levels of the sky scrapers - and you don't even think about them when you walk around below!


I had gotten tired of hanging out with tourists though, so I had stopped using the LINE group for some days - but when they started posting about a free sumo event, I knew I had to go to that. So I got up early (even before Christian, who had work) to head to the shrine.


All information on the event had been in Japanese but thankfully a Japanese girl called Saori had found the LINE group and told us all the needed information. We ended up being a group of ten people going - and we got there early enough to get really good seats. 
It was a very long morning with an opening ceremony, practise and real matches and singing intermissions - and the sun was beating down on us even though the weather forecast had said it would be cloudy the whole day.
It was super cool though and really nice to experience with others - it would have been many hours of silence otherwise. I even chatted with a little hanbun girl, who was part American. She complimented my drawings ("I've never seen anyone draw that pretty in real life") and we talked about Disneyland and how she loved seeing the real characters (adorable). 
Saori was super sweet and we had some things in common ! She also talked to some people around us who had a lot of sumo knowledge which enriched the experienced a lot.


The heat had been too much though and when the others went across town to get lunch I had to duck into a close-by restaurant and rest, realising that I had heat exhaustion - I stayed there for many hours, even calling my parents. I pushed myself tho and got to Kyle's place to pick up my luggage I had left there while in Osaka and after getting it to Christian's house we got the best piece of fish on my trip! And I showed him purikura haha.


I had planned a karaoke night with some people from the LINE group and a few people from the couchsurfing event I had gone to the night before. We had a fun few hours even though the LINE people were not very punctual haha.


Monday had been too much tho, with the heat exhaustion and then pushing myself so I just stayed sick in bed all of Tuesday (thankfully I was allowed to stay when Christian wasn't there) - only going out for dinner at night when Christian got back. We watched a weird Romanian movie too haha!


Wednesday I felt a LOT better. I did my laundry and went to lunch with the two British blokes that I had arranged to go to Fuji with on the Friday. We went to this Ebisu sky scraper where we got the best 3-course meal for 1,500 yen. Wow.

 

I walked back to hang my clothes and then swung by Akihabara and went for dinner with Laila, a Danish girl from the nerd community that I hadn't seen in like 6 years!


Thursday I finally went to Shimokitazawa, a trendy vintage hood. There were some really cool stores, but I only found pieces that spoke to me in one store. 


This was super cute, but the sleeves were too short. I cry.


 I wasn't feeling my best yet after the heat scare of Monday, so I got to my meet-up with Saori a little late - but everything worked out as the Harajuku Monster Cafe wasn't even open yet when I arrived! We met up after her uni classes ended for the day and had a really good time together. It was nice to have a female perspective after meeting so many dudes and I got to ask her the questions about educated Japanese women that had been on my mind for a while - how it is to be a woman with aspirations in a country designed mainly for men. She told me of her struggles and her dreams and it was really nice to exchange life experiences.
I then walked down a few fancy streets to Omotesando and the jazz bar where Christian had gotten us free tickets for the live performance (Billy Childs).


Friday fun at Fuji! We (Stephen, Robert and I) drove to the Shibazakura pink moss festival and didn't get lost! The fields were pretty, but those greying green mountains seemed so mystical and attractive to me.


We could not have been luckier with the weather though, it was intense.  That cloud that is by Fuji-san in the first shot from our drive was litereally the only obstruction to the view all day.


The guys had missed the sakura, even the late bloomers - but due to the higher altitudes we passed some still in bloom to their delight.


And these purple trees under the taller thin trees looked so gorgeous that I had to walk into their fairy tale landscape.


I had bought onigiri which was great - we just walked down to one of the Fuji Five lakes and ate with our feet in the water. And then I guided us around more lakes and scenic views.



 Last stop of the day was the Chureita Pagoda which was pretty, but the tourists were a little too intense at this location for some reason. And the distance to Fuji-san made him a little clouded too. He was in sharp focus and lovely colours on the drive back tho.
I was super happy to have seen it so close ! Even more so because I didn't take the shinkansen and pass it on the way to Osaka.