(this description is mostly stolen from the one I posted in the Moped Army Members Forum)
Sometime a few months before I left for Japan, I somehow randomly got in touch with a group in Tokyo called “RUNS n’ MOPEDS”, and they decided to put together a mini-rally in my honor (“Welcome to Jap Run”). Even though I had never met a single one of them in person, I had three different people offer me up a loaner ped.
So in the morning I rode several trains to Koiwa, where Billy and antique◇cube (they all have crazy nicknames, by the way) picked me up and took me to antique◇cube's house, where he gave me a moped, and we left for our trip. Immediately after leaving I was smiling and couldn't stop, because it was like a dream come true for me (or at least, the first small step to a bigger dream... to tour Japan by moped). Also, the moped broke down a little bit, because that's what mopeds do. Somewhere in a more crowded part of Tokyo we met up with most of the rest of the group, and we went down to the Tokyo Bay to the Wakasu Campground. The ride to the barbecue wasn’t terribly exciting, but the fact that I was in Japan, I was on the left side of the road, and I had no international driver’s license (because I forgot to get one before I went) made it amazing.
The barbecue was grossly hot and humid, because Tokyo is disgusting in August, and the cicadas were loud as hell, but the food was great, and it was fun trying to explain what Moped Army is, and then pulling out the picture of my mopeds that I keep in my wallet and explaining what those things are. [WARNING] I must apologize to my non-moped readers for turning the rest of this paragraph into a moped blog. People mostly rode Tomosses ese se S, but there were a couple of Ciaos, a Sachs, and a Motebecane. One guy actually knew what Minarelli is, and that made me happy. All of their bikes were shiny and new. The Tomomomoses were mostly from the early 90’s, but that’s as vintage as they got.
After the barbecue, we rode through Odaiba, one of the busier parts of Tokyo, where I actually recognized my surroundings (which was a neat feeling). In Tokyo, you’re apparently allowed to make your own traffic laws, so we split lanes and cut in front of traffic to make weird 2-point right turns while avoiding cars that didn’t feel the need to stick to a single lane.
Our destination: Shiokaze Park in Odaiba to see a giant robot. A real one. I think it was Gundam's 20th or 30th anniversary or something, so we stuck around to watch it light up and move its head slightly (which was pretty cool, but it would have been WAY cooler if it had flown away or just started randomly punching buildings and trees). After Gundam, I gave them all the swag I could find before I went to Japan (mostly Mosquito Fleet and Guns t-shirts and stickers) and they played rock-paper-scissors (janken) to determine who took it home. Finally, there was a long night ride home, where I couldn’t stop smiling because I knew it was just a preview of future awesomeness to be had in Japan for me. I can't wait to start a moped gang in Sapporo!!!