Kabuki Za

This is the park near my guesthouse, Komazawa park. I usually run and practice kung fu 3 times a week in the evening/night, as late as midnight sometimes. I had missed a lot of days so decided to try and do it in the morning as soon as i got up. not the best results, due to my forced japanese food/portions regiment i am usually hungry and any given time of the day/night. so once i started running in the morning i could really feel how extra deprived my body was of sustinence. anyway i could only do 4 km instead of my usual 6 before i was completely drained. it was nice to see the park in the daylight for the first time though. and i ended up seeing that boxing champion from kyuushu again. still don't know if he's homeless or not. homeless guys here are more dignified and i even see them drinking jonny walker black sometimes.

i finally know for real how far i can run in 30 min cuz this park was built for the 1966? olympics in tokyo so every 100 meters is marked on this 2km track. there aren't very many people that have passed me here but when they do it stings.

i finally got a bike! do you know what i've been through to get this? no crazy stories, just lots of surfing the web and fruitless trips to varies places. Tokyo has something like 1 bike for every 3 people or something crazy like that. So thousands and thousands of bikes get abandoned all the time. and the green craze is in high gear here, you would think there would be an awesome used bike thing going on here but there isn't. it took me 3 weeks to finally get this bike from a foreign guy on metropolis foreign mag website. the advice given to me by all japanese people was to just buy a new one because there isn't really anywhere to buy used ones, and its true. unless you want to spend a ton of money on cool guy racing bikes, you can find those used. for like $500 and up. i got this one for $150 and feel better that i have resisted the consumer cycle of buying new and trashing later. If i ride this i can save at least $6 a day not riding the subway and see more. i picked up my love for riding in Beijing.

skatepark at komazawa park. on the same lot is baseball practice. back in highschool this would not be cool because the skaters and jocks were not supposed to intermix. but japan is more polite i guess.

grind box

japanese graphic design is awesome lots of times, like this bottle. so whimsical and simple. some might look at it and say its a crappy drawing done by a child. maybe so but it looks great, lesss is more

Kabuki Za, THE place to see a Kabuki show in Tokyo. it is slated for destruction in 2010 cuz its not earthquake safe and other reasons they say. Its the only traditional looking japanese structure in the middle of Ginza, which is like the 5th avenue of tokyo, with all the luxury brand stores and what not.

not my photo, copyright notsorry.com i saw no one taking pictures inside, even foreigners who obviously were just visiting. so i didnt take any photos (remember how japan has turned me into a little pansy?) how is it possible that everyone was so well behaved? that would never happen in china. and no one moved, or made any noise or rustled papers or talked to each other, no cell phones went off and no babies cried. how is this possible? that's japan for you, which meant i saw lots of people sleeping too. Kabuki is less flashy than say, Peking opera, and a full show is 4-5 hrs long so it is def super easy to fall asleep. You can buy partial tickets 1 or 2 sections of the show though which is what we did.

196 days before they take Kabuki Za down

outside the 3rd floor balcony. which felt like the commoners level, which thats what it is really, tix were $10 at night! $7 in the afternoon! the souviner shop only allows you 15 minutes in their shop if you have the common scum ticket.

ate sushi afterwords down and across the street. pretty good, spent $20 and was full.

the chef slaps your sushi down on that wooden tray up on the counter and you reach up and grab it and eat it. the chef was also yelling out stuff frequently which i guess is normal.

giant oyster

the maranouchin line subway has these doors. i am guessing to prevent suicide jumpers amongst other things, don't know why they wouldn't make it go all the way to the ceiling though like they do in some beijing and seoul subway stations.

afterwords Hiroko went to meet her other friends and i went to Golden gai in Kabuki Cho to find a bar to get a drink at. I found this one that said jazz. i went up super small stairs, if you're claustrophobic a lot of the bars in golden gai will def freak you out. they are super old too and look like fire traps. anyway i went up, one wall was completely filled with jazz cds, they were playing chet baker and i had a big beer and soaked it all in for a while. the bar tender lost his left hand. the patrons were talking about jazz. the downside, as with a lot of bars is there was a "service charge" or something to that effect of 1000 yen ($10). Boo to Japan and their crap hidden charges/fees.

another late night bargain grab from the supermarket. this was 250 yen ($2.50) pretty awesome. a sampler of japanese food, salmon, japanese fried chicken, fried fish, kelp or seaweed, tamago egg thing, dumpling of some sort, rice, tak kwon(wats it called in japanese?) pickled radish.