This IS my second attempt to write about our first night in Japan. My laptop crashed and erased everything. From this point, I can’t remember shit from yesterday. I do recall a 12 hour flight that was hard to get comfortable, then getting through the Japan’s airport was a hassle with forms and what not. When we finally got out we weren’t close to home yet. The train ride took 2 hours to get to our loft. That made me hate riding in the train hahaha. I was just tired and cranky. But fuck all this talking and skip to the photos since everything I wrote got erased.
OH wait, I do love Japan so far. Especially the food and the cars. Woke up at 530am this morning for a run. We got lost and ended up running 7 miles. Alright! Last night we went to a restaurant and ordered a bunch of stuff off the menu by pointing out the pictures since we don’t speak or read Japanese.
We didn’t get much sleep on our first night in Japan. We were basically up for 24 hours till we had a few hours of sleep. It is now Saturday morning in Japan and it’s 2:30pm in the States right now. Fortunately we did get some sleep last night, a couple of us are still asleep while I’m down stairs whipping up this blog post about yesterday’s adventure in Japan.
My brother and I woke up at 5:30am yesterday, it was just hard to sleep in. We decided to go for a run. I thought we were going for a 2-3 mile jog but we ended up getting extremely lost and we were out jogging for 7 miles looking for our house haha. We eventually found our home an hour later and everybody was up and dressed up. We got ready for breakfast to fuel our bodies for a long walk. We took the train to Shibuya. We spent the whole day shopping, Shibuya was like fashion capital of Tokyo. There were so many stores to shop, everyone on the streets were dressed for a fashion runway show for every season and genre available! It was nuts! I couldn’t tell you what they were doing out there, I wasn’t sure if they were hanging out or dressed to look fresh with their crew. They were all loitering on the street corners and sidewalks, possible waiting to be photographed or just stunting on each other. I even felt like I was walking into a ASAP Rocky’s music video at one point or a Japanese fetish porn scene. Japan is fucking amazing though, so much to see, and so much good food! I love the fucking food out here in Japan.
All this walking after our run in the morning I ended up with 45K steps on my Fitbit.
Good morning!!!! It’s officially our third day in Japan and it’s finally setting in. I finally realize I’m sitting my butt on a chair in our living room, in Japan! So far it’s been a great experience, it’s been really fun chilling in Japan. The only down part is, we don’t get much sleep. There’s a lot of walking during the day and we stay up late drinking and chilling. So the most sleep we get is about 5 hours or less.
Saturday morning we didn’t go for a run, instead we took a mile walk to Mister Donut. My feet was hurting from yesterday’s jog and long walks so I was pretty much limping the whole day. Kinda glad we walked though because we found some really cool spots to buy snacks to bring home and spots to grab lunch. First two days I didn’t take much photos with my Canon AE-1 but after seeing Marteena’s random photos she took of us she inspired me to just shoot random shit around Japan. That’s what I did, took random photos of things I saw. It wasn’t easy juggling from my Canon to my iPhone. I had to shoot with my phone for the blog. Anyways, It was extremely fun just walking around looking like a fucking tourist taking photos every 50 steps. Mister Donut on the other hand was fucking delicious. We killed time in a alley while we waited for Jay to meet us at the location for lunch. We found a very small spot…..and I mean really small restaurant for some Japanese Curry.
The random curry spot we checked out turned out to be a fucking killer! That shit tasted soooooo good!! To remind you, they don’t speak english here and they tried their best to speak the basics as we try to communicate by pointing at pictures and hand gestures. The curry was made with cow stomach or intestine, I’m still not clear since we didn’t have a translator but according to his body language, he was rubbing his belly to let us know which part of meat we were going to eat. Then in the evening time we went to Roppongi Hills to check out Takashi Murakami art work at Mori Art Museum. I’m a huge fan of Murakami so I was definitely geeking out!! Soon after the art gallery we had dinner at Miyabi. A restaurant with private rooms to dine in. I must say I’m proud to cook the steaks for my group, considering I don’t know shit about cooking but I’m crazy about food! I’ve watched enough cooking shows where I’m mentally “Gordon Ramsey.” Cooking was mad fun! Food was mad good! Why does everything in Japan taste good so far!!?
Sunday we kinda chilled since we’re planning to go to a night club called Social Club, wanted to save our energy for it. We went back to Shibuya again to look for some Nike F.C.R.B stuff that I’ve been longing to purchase. I’ve searched in the US and no stores carry the Nike F.C.R.B stuff but in Japan and I think Europe. I could order it online but since I knew I was coming to Japan I waited to try it on. The only shop that popped up on the radar that had it was SOPH. So yeah, basically I flew 12 hours to Japan just to buy this jacket, haha JK. I love how the shops treat people here. They all bow and say hello when you walk in, when you spend a pretty penny they’ll carry your bag out and bow as we bid farewell.
The streets were packed as usual, beginning to feel claustrophobic. We had a hard time looking for a place to eat since the area were full of clothing stores, or we just couldn’t see through the heavy crowd. We walked by this Italian restaurant, which had their menu posted outside. The food looked great so we wanted to give it a try. I’ve been warned by my peers not to try anything other than Japanese food in Japan but we wanted to see what their take on Italian food was like. I must say, I DID NOT LIKE IT one bit. I ordered the steak and fries, that was okay. And a side of margherita pizza. The margherita pizza was horrible! Tasted just like the tomato sauce from those Chef Boyardee can food. Don’t get me wrong, I fuck with Chef Boyardee but I wasn’t expecting my pizza to taste like that. We killed our lunch anyway, no point of wasting food. We went back to the loft to rest, we were in bed by 5:30pm and woke up around 10:30pm. Got dressed, drank a little of whiskey and we were out to find the Social Club. The club opened at 11:30pm and they closes at 7AM. We ordered Whiskey Coke all night, they make their drinks really weak so we kept ordering them. The music was great, upstairs they played Funk music and downstairs was straight hip hop. They played mostly east coast shit but maintained a good mix of everything. Had a fucking blast though, I thought being out all night would hard but time flew by. Made it home by 5:30AM and it was time for bed. I have a really hard time sleeping in so I only had 2 hours of sleep. I will go back to sleep after I publish this post. So with that said, it’s 12:39pm right now and it’s 7:40pm in the US.
We got up super early Tuesday morning to take the train out to Nagano for the snow. It was a long and treacherous ride. Just a tip for you first time travelers, in order to get on the bullet train you’ll have to purchase the tickets at the machine and then purchase another ticket at the booth by the gate. We couldn’t figure this out for about an hour and a half. It still sound complicated reading this post but it’ll make sense once you get there. Then you’ll have to get on a bus to ride to Hakuba which was an hour ride. The train was about 3 hour ride by the way. But this is if you’re taking public transportation.
As soon as we got to Hakuba Dook and Robert went snow boarding and Marteena and I walked around Echo Land to check out some restaurants and souvenir shops. It was pretty cold as you can imagine but luckily for me I’m dressed in the Nike Hyper Warm tights underneath my clothes. The new Nike F.C.R.B jacket I bought kept me feeling like I’m in a fucking sauna. We took a lot of photos with my GoPro, iPhone, and my Canon. Eventually Dook and Robert made it back and we went out for a walk to search for more food. It was about a mile walk to the nearest Yakitori stand (that was fucking delicious). Did some more shopping, Marteena bought mostly snacks to take home. We walked a little more and found two food trucks, one was selling pizza, hot dogs, and churros and the other one was selling Rice Burgers! Yes! Rice Burgers! Wagyu beef in between buns made out of rice. Super innovative and tasty. I would recommend you to search for this yellow truck and tell him California says hi.
Chillllllll everyone! I’m talking about Blowfish! We’ll get to that later.
The hardest part about traveling so far (for me at least) is getting some really good sleep. Well the biggest challenge for our first time traveler (Marteena) she has to sleep in a room with 3 snoring men and I snore the loudest (as I was told). So she ain’t getting much sleep too. I realize I can’t sleep well anywhere beside my bed. I don’t do sleep over and sleeping anywhere else is just a no no for me. I can pull a 3-4 hour sleep and after that I will just toss and turn the rest of the night and checking my phone for time every 30 minutes, yes, every 30 minutes. And I’m usually the last person to hop into bed since I like to whip up this blog post before I go to sleep.
We left Nagano early in the morning, we got up before the receptionist was even operational! So we couldn’t catch a shuttle to the bus stop to get an early start.
Since the next Shuttle won’t be available till 8 am we decided to mine as well eat their continental breakfast.
I thought we would take a nap and rest up a bit after returning home from Nagano but nah, we took showers and got ready to go out. Back to Shibuya for dinner, for the third time. Shibuya is a really dope place, full of fashion and interesting people to watch. My homegirl Megan who just moved to Japan had some time to meet up with us!
So back to the topic, Robert and I have always wanted to try Blowfish. Now that we’re in Japan, we wanted to cross that out of our bucket list! We do not know what it’ll taste like and how much it would cost. We didn’t care, we wanted to try it!
My brother ended up meeting up with his boss’s friend and while he was having dinner with him, we (Robert, Marteena, and Megan) chilled inside the bar drinking and eating appetizer. It was the best way to stay warm.
We found there’s more to fashion in Shibuya. We found an alley full of food!!! We will definitely be checking that out tomorrow!
We left the restaurant and headed to the subway station. But of course we made a few stops on the way.
Let me be honest, I woke up drunk and I’m having a hard time whipping this one up. I need more sleep and some coconut water. Where do I start, we went to the fish market yesterday since they’ll be moving to a new location due to new development there. It was basically a food alley with everything fish. We nibbled on a few things but I guess I’m not a fan of fishy food because I wasn’t feeling it.
Megan met up with us at the fish market then we hopped on the subway all the way to Diver City just to see a fucking Gundam statue haha. Took a group photo, checked out the Gundam Cafe, grabbed snacks and back on the Subway to Roppangi.
After an hour of walking we got hungry again!!
We headed back home early, I think 9pm? But we didn’t go home, guess what we did, fucking eat. Always fucking eating. We checked out a place called Brooklyn Ribbon Fries and discovered they carried Saint Archer and Modern Times beer! That’s what up!
Oh yeah, check this shit out, we kept it gangsta haha.
First and foremost I’d like to give a special shout out to Jay Yuch for helping us out with the loft in Japan. You made the trip so much sweeter my dude. Shout out to Megan for coming out to chill for a couple of days, good luck on your endeavor and I’m sure you’ll be a great english teacher (tell your mom I said that lol). I’ll see you again soon. My brother and Robert for being the tech guys and navigating us through Japan, got lost a few times but that was our plan in the first place. Jenny Lam for meeting us at Hooters Shibuya, great seeing you out there. Marteena, you made my Japan trip more memorable, more sweeter. I was already passionate about Japan but now you’ve given me memories that I’m even more passionate about. Japanese food will never be the same in the states, living a normal life in the states will never be the same without you since I spent 10 days with you in Japan. Remember how I said music records memories for me? Because of the boy band truck that be driving around “iKon – My Type” will forever be the soundtrack to my Japan trip. See you around my lady, maybe Bora Bora will be in our future =).
OH! And a special shout out to the random Chinese dudes who gave us a ride off the Aqualine since we were the only one who took the taxi out to the middle of nowhere with no ride back. Great driving you fucking assholes, If you weren’t three cars deep I’d put you in the hospital just for putting our lives in danger, but since we made it out alive, I appreciate the ride bitches.
Now that I got all that off my chest, we spent 10 days in Japan. Most of the time we took the train, walked about 10 miles a day (25k steps a day), shopped a lot, ate a lot, but thankfully we didn’t gain any weight since we walked so much. We spent our second to last day chilling at the loft playing my favorite card game, Killer. Then we had our last dinner together at Broooklyn Diner. I’m telling you, the Japenese on our block are obsessed with Brooklyn. But damn they did a good job on the food though.
Saturday morning we spent our day packing, the only agenda we had was Tokyo Auto Salon and then the Auto Fashion x The Chronincles night week on the Aqualine. I took Marteena back to the Brooklyn Ribbon Fries for our last lunch together in Japan. She planned on staying in all day to rest while we go out our way to the Auto Salon, that’s about an hour away from where we were. It was colder than I remember, I had to buy a scarf that night to keep my face warm. It was a good and bad experience all at the same time considering the Auto Salon was mad cool and putting ourselves in strangers car just to get off the island by testing grim reaper himself with his suicidal way of driving. He was driving a fucking Prius for fuck sakes, not even a tuned race car! 180kmp, what does that translate too in mph? 111mph through the tunnel with sharp turns and inches from the wall and semi trucks. N***** you ain’t in Initial D! Anyways, it was good seeing my friends Hiro and Takeshi in their hometown, and the Chronicles team, DPK crew, and Auto Fashion USA fams. People say it’s made peaceful in Japan, it sure is. Most of the time the strangers will not look you in the eyes, they are either to shy or scared. While conducting business with them is another story, they are friendliest people you’ll ever meet. They are so polite in Japan, and bikes are hardly locked up, the trust system in Japan is fucking crazy. I love their customer service, their head nods and bow. 7-11 USA will never be the same!! We visit 7-11 in Japan twice a day! I miss their food already.
Now to the photos from Tokyo Auto Salon, I spent most of my focus on the exotics and race cars. The photographers out there are just the same as the US, none of them are interested in the cars and only on the girls. They be acting hella thirsty out there!! I get all excited when I see a group of photographers crowding around to take photos thinking its a new car or a celebrity but nope, just a freaking model. Thirsty ass.
Yo Japan, thank you so much for a great time, thank you for clean bathrooms, for the great fucking food, it will never be the same here at home. I’ll see you again Japan, arigato gozaimasu!!!
As most of you know I was in Japan in January for the first time with some friends and family. I haven’t been able to get Japan off my mind, I loved it so much there so I decided to go again this winter.
I brought my Gopro, Nikon F5, and my Canon AE-1 camera to shoot some shit and bring it back home to share with everyone in a photo exhibition. That didn’t pan out for two reasons, I didn’t like it enough to have an exhibition and 2nd, I didn’t want to print these photos and toss them out. Picked up a new project anyways so I’m excited about that.
After holding the images back for a couple of months I decided to put them up on this site and do a quick blog on my favorite photos with a little insight on what was on my mind when I shot it.
I’m not sure why it took me this long to eat at a Yakitori restaurant. Maybe because I was never a fan of the meat my family usually make at BBQ’s seasoned with Lemon Grass, I HATE lemon grass!! Laos and Cambodian love putting that in their food, so every time I see meat on a stick I’d passed.
I was hoping for my typical Sunday evening of doing nothing and binge watch Netflix shows but I ended up going Downtown for some Hookah. We worked up an appetite from our long conversation and made our way to Yokohama Yakitori Koubou on Convoy. Tonight was the first for everything. It’s been a long long time since I’ve gone out with someone new, it was refreshing hanging out with a new face. It was also my first time to a Yakitori restaurant, thanks to Gina (the “new” person I hung out with). I ended up staying out really late, which is not my typical Sunday but it was all worth it, felt young again but I can feel my body slowly craving some sleep. Made it home by 1 AM so I’m feeling pretty tired today.