Road to Sapporo Yuki Matsuri in EZO 2010 → Day 1

Because my dear frieand Tarbus demanded that I write a day-by-day (bidet) account of my most recent trip to Japan, and because my Flicker account is now something like... 15 years behind, I'm going to start that today.

When I go to Japan every year during summer (except for 2008, that jerk), my goal is to travel around to see as many of my friends as possible, to go to karaoke a lot, to eat a million tasty things, to waste time and money hunting CDs, and to see as many shows as possible (besides Rising Sun Rock Festival). Every summer, I tell my friends that I need to come back in winter, especially to Hokkaido. This past summer, I told Aya and her parents that I would for sure come back to visit. Probably.

Then Miwako and I "officially" started dating after a million billion years. Not only does she provide the motivation I really needed to start working on a plan to moving back to Japan to live, but it made going back in winter seem not just like something I really wanted to do, but like something I HAD to do. Because the point of this trip was to see Miwako, I barely told my other friends I was coming to Japan. Some of them didn't find out until they got an email from my Japanese cell phone when I was on the train from the airport to central Tokyo. And yet, a million of them still did whatever they could to find time to hang out with me, and to remind me of how much I love that place.

Okay so anyway, there's the rambling back story. The side stories (main stories?) for each day probably won't be so wordy.


I won't count the day of life I lost due to travelling to the future. I watched a Japanese movie called "Kaiji" on the plane (which was pretty good), and I already forgot the other one, though I think it was also Japanese. A big fat man sat in the aisle seat next to me and had his arm well over the armrest for the entire 9-or-something-hour-long flight.

In Tokyo, I reactivated my phone, called Miwako, and then called Takkun, since he was basically the only person in Tokyo I contacted. I met up with TAKMIZ and Tsukuru in Shinjuku, and then we went to an izakaya and met up with a bunch of other people.

Mi-kun and Sachikun were there (two old friends I first met on the gyoza tour of '02 where Mizue first met Takkun and I woke up one morning and realized I could suddenly speak Japanese), as well as Yukari, my first Japanese friend at WMU, who first introduced me to Mizue. Then there were some people who's names I forgot, Minako (whom I first met in the hospital last summer when I went to meet Mizue), and Taisho and his wife. I also first met Taisho at the gyoza tour, but he is always at Rising Sun without fail. I met his wife Hitomi for the first time at RSR09. Got all that straight?

After eats + drinks + catching up, I presented TAKMIZ with some souvenirs of Mizue's favorite American junk food, and then as we were walking out I said "so, uh, by the way... I don't know where I'm staying tonight". After some discussion, Taisho and Hitomi decided to take me in. Ahhh, I love that I don't have to plan things when I go to Japan. I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to go with TAKMIZ to meet their cats, though. So when we got outside, everyone besides TAKMIZ and the people I didn't really know decided that karaoke was in order. Hell yes to that, I said. To that. To them.

So we went back upstairs into the same building and sang some karaoke. I pretty much eliminated everything from my repetoire besides Unicorn, Fishmans, and Polaris. Those are listed both in the order of number of songs you're likely to find at karaoke places (Unicorn a million, Fishmans a decent amount, Polaris very few), by the way, as well as the likelyhood that someone will sing with me. Everyone else sang a bunch, too, but Sachikun (she's a girl, by the way, even though "kun" normally indicates a boy) rocked out the most.

After getting drunk on cheap-ass-karaoke booze and singing until the last trains were in danger of leaving, Minako decided to join the myself and Taisho & Hitomi for a sleepover. So we went back to their place, where the former three of us (Hitomi was too drunk on cheap booze) continued drinking. Then I remembered that I was exhausted and that I get sick if I try to sleep while I'm drunk. Good thing the exhaustion took precedence over the drunkenness.

Okay I lied, this description was way longer than it needed to be. Maybe because I was drunk when I wrote it. Or maybe because I like typing, and it's way easier to do it this way than to email people individually.


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