Japan-arific, me and my guidebook. Photo Jeff Greenwood
After hours upon hours of travel in planes and trains, and trains and buses, I have made it to the land of the rising sun, or as I like to refer to it now, the land of sounds that just might drive you effing insane. Japanese resorts are known for the untouched pow in the trees, their un-obeyed rules and the sound of the chair lifts BING BONGing day and night. This place is a cacophony of sounds, all relatively harmless alone but when combined, the Bings and Bongs, and Dings and Dongs of everything electric is enough to drive you to your wits end. The sound system is always on, speakers in the hallway subtly play the sound of birds chirping in the morning and then some sort of weird musical score throughout the evening, there is a player piano in the hotel lobby that plays The Carpenters greatest hits album day and night so you find yourself and everyone you know singing ” why do birds suddenly appear, everytime you are near…..” in unison as you head to the hill and the final icing on the cake is the constant Bing Bong of every chair on the chairlift as it passes over the loading point from 9-5 and then again from 6-9. If you need to get away from it all just head over to the pipe for the loudest rave music and a Japanese announcer screaming Shaun-O White-O and Kerry Crark from the PA system, yeah Japan.
Shibuya Crossing, pictures don’t do this seemingly choreographed cross walk justice. We watched for hours as massive amounts of people crossed the worlds busiest crosswalk. The crowd just disappears when the light turns green, so crazy.
Okay, you get the idea, Japan is awesome and crazy and the hub of awesomeness and craziness would of course have to be Tokyo. We spent a day there wondering around and literally ran into everyone we knew on the street and managed to see a little bit of everything Tokyo has to offer, crowds, neon lights, temples, sars masks and crazy Japanese fashion. Here is a smattering of photos from our day out.
I haven’t been to Japan in a few years so I forgot about some of the things you really only see in Japan like plastic food displays, and vending machines that serve up beer and hot coffees and all the other little conviences that put the cherry on top of your daily life routines, like heated toilet seats and automatic taxi doors.
It’s true, Japanese people love their SARS masks. The first time I came to Japan this startled me but now I am all about huffing my own germs and pretending I am on Grey’s Anatomy Japan Edition.
Gretchen and I peace it out Japanese style in Harajuku
Oh yeah, we’re here for the Nippon Open in Alts Bandai. the pipe is small, the slope is a one jump, one rail, one hip “park Style” course and it’s snowing so fun times for sure, and of course the live webcast starting Wednesday……yikes.