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November 11, 2011
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Time is certainly displaced. We're not really suffering jet lag but it's obvious our bodies are weirded out by being here.
My girlfriend and I traveled today to Atsugi, about an hour train ride from Tokyo. We had some business to take care of there. It was a bit frustrating because we couldn't get everything done we needed to, but the traveling to and from was delightful.
I was amazed, looking out the train window, there was not ONE piece of litter. I think we traveled 20 miles or more before I saw so much as a tissue paper beside the tracks. The Japanese, even in the less affluent areas, are incredibly tidy.
During the morning commute, the subway trains are packed so full there are literally uniformed individuals called "pushers" whose job it is to shove people into the cars as tightly as possible. As the doors slide shut they get very aggressive and carry out their job of sardine commuter packing very seriously… and they do it with smiles and white gloves and a charm that everyone not only tolerates but respects.
It seems there is a favored practice here, especially in Tokyo, if one desires to remove himself from the gene pool, to use a swiftly moving subway train as an exit strategy. Flinging oneself in front of said speeding subway is pretty effective and dependable. It's also an efficacious way of thumbing one's nose at those left behind because there is a hefty fine levied on the surviving family of the jumper. Today we sat in the subway for an extra 7 minutes so the cleanup crews could gather parts and pieces of some disgruntled soul. I don't think "cleanup crew" is a job I would ever apply for. I prefer to interact with human beings with all their parts assembled correctly and firmly attached. What amazes me is we were only delayed 7 minutes…these guys clean up fast! In Japan it is disgraceful to be late, so perhaps this manner of suicide has more implications than the obvious.
We continued our journey and it was amusing to see modern architecture blended in among old old temples. We passes mile after mile of packed high rise apartment buildings. It terrifies me to imagine what a lethal virus could do in Tokyo.
We did have a short bit of entertainment from a psychotic dude on the train. Seems a few of his personalities were along for the ride and they decided it was a good time to announce he was gonna take a singing test. He then became his teacher and said a few corrective words, then went back to being "himself" and proceeded to sing for us all. It was short and ceased to be amusing after the third or fourth time through his recital. But it was a way to pass time as we sat waiting for arms and legs to be tossed into plastic bags somewhere down the tracks.
Then there are all these young Japanese girls in school girl outfits. Perhaps it is the better part of discretion not to comment here.. Geeeeeeez
Tonight we went to Budo Kan and saw Def Tech. I had no idea what either of those things were but there I was shooting photos of the whole thing. It was loud, young, and Def Tech certainly seemed well received.  Maybe I'm getting old but I'm truly not impressed by electronics. BUT there were some tunes they played that made it obvious there was talent on stage. Guess I'm an old fart… I just LIKE rock and roll.
After the concert we took a long stroll in the rain and went to a little hole in the wall restraint I love here in Tokyo. If you've never had shishito peppers….yum…. get some!
I passed on the horse sashimi.
I am here with my girlfriend and my dear friend, Jim Beaver, who is one of the lead cast members of a TV show called "Supernatural". I've know Jim many years and it's fun to see his career doing so well. He gets recognized a lot here in Japan and he said there was a "small mob" waiting for him when he got off the plane here. How do people find out these things??
Tomorrow night there is a dinner here for him… a bit of PR for the show.
More later… Asahi  in Japan, mmmm….good beer.
  • Listening to: the hum of the G5
  • Drinking: Heineken
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:iconbulloney:
bulloney Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012
About the "Asahi in Japan" comment...

When I was in Australia a few years ago I had lunch at a sushi restaurant in Sydney and ordered a bottle of Asahi. They didn't carry it, so I settled for a can of Sapporo instead.

While waiting for my food I was reading the can. "Brewed in Guelph, Ontario" and labelled "Product of Canada".

The waitress gave me a funny look when I burst out laughing with the realization that I'd travelled to the opposite side of the globe only to be served a can of "Japanese" beer brewed only a couple hours drive from my home...
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:iconpelicanh:
Pelicanh Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012  Professional Photographer
LOL....good one.
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:icononceuponatime08:
onceuponatime08 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Professional Photographer
I am so excited for you!!! and very tragic story about the guy who went into pieces, how sad. I know that Japan has the highest suicide rate. I want to visit Japan someday...but horse sashimi, really? You have to post photos real soon, and they don't have to be great either, just post some even if it has to be outside of dA like facebook or something else. :heart: What I took away from this wonderful journal was, don't commit suicide in Japan and you're are friends with Jim Beaver, now he isn't no Jensen Ackles or that Sam guy...lol but he is still pretty dam awesome!!!!!

Have fun in Japan!!!! or as google translate tells me, Nihon de no tanoshimi o motte iru.
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:iconpelicanh:
Pelicanh Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2011  Professional Photographer
wish you'd been with us Sammi.....it was a hoot. Although I am still recovering! lol
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:iconbubblecolourslut:
BubbleColourSlut Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011
Ah,I'm insanely jealous. Sounds like you are having a good time (And hey-I even learned something from this post!) Can't wait to hear about more of your adventures and to see your photos from the trip!
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:iconashigaru:
ashigaru Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you for posting this. I spent 2 weeks in Japan in 2008, but wish I had much more time to spend there!

I hope you and your friends enjoy yourselves! Looking forward to seeing the photos you'll share!
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:iconlucidaemon:
Lucidaemon Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Perhaps taking one's life in this manner is seen as more honorable than burdening one's family with ongoing expense and suffering, if that person was ill or seriously maimed or injured. I've come face to face with darkness of taking one's own life and I was still able to find a reason not to take my own life. Namely, my daughter. I do not advocate taking one's life, as so often it is a selfish way out. But sacrificing one's life voluntarily to benefit another is honorable and beautiful. Of course, if these people are doing it as a way to stick it to their family, then that is shameful.
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:iconmjranum:
mjranum Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011
Suicide by subway is so uncreative....

If I wanted to commit suicide, I'd take a spray can and go do graffiti on a philadelphia cop.
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:iconpelicanh:
Pelicanh Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2011  Professional Photographer
It's such a weird place in my (and your) head...first thing I thought was to wonder what color of paint. Pink, of course, was MY chosen Philly Cop color.
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:iconrandom-highjinx:
Random-Highjinx Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Student General Artist
Welcome to Japan! lol
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