Elvis is alive! He lives in Tokyo and there is…more than one person.
But from the beginning. Before going to bed, I put an alarm clock at 10, because I had an appointment at 2 pm and I did’t want to be late. As I wrote earlier, I haven’t slept for over 30 hours . When I woke up – it was 12. So somehow I turned off the alarm and went back to sleep .. I turned on the computer to see how to get to Harajuku – because it was a meeting place. I wanted to make sure if I had a good time on my watch and it turned out that I don’t !That was already 1 pm! So I slept 14 hours and will probably be late. I jumped out of the room and ran to the doors.
I found a metro station very quickly, I recharged the card and waited for the Hibiya subway line. Before going to Tokyo I was afraid that getting around the city would be difficult for me. I can be lost even under my house. It turned out that when I got on the subway map (where fortunately the station names are also written in the Latin alphabet) I have no problems. I had to change at Ueno and Shibuya. When I got off at Harajuku station I wrote a text message to Tatsu explaining where I was and waited. There were plenty of people around. It was a Sunday. After a moment I heard my name – in Japanese way. Tatsu came with his girlfriend Rika. He is a photographer, she is an English teacher .
On the way to the park, after the bridge, I saw him … Elvis Presley. Actually, several Elvis – Japanese . They danced to the music of the ’50s . These are the people who were his fans and still are. Making Elvis still alive.
The Yoyogi Park held food festival! As it turned out – every week in this park there is an event, but the food festival is once a year. What a happy coincidence! Even they were happy because there was food from other cities as well, not only from Tokyo.
I tried there:
Monaka, cake with sweet bean
Kiritanpo, sweet rice balls
Takoyaki, balls with octopus
Shochu, the Japanese vodka made from seaweed
Shirasu, small fish
We spoke on a variety of topics. When I brought up the subject of the earthquake, I heard that today was already one earthquake. I was in the subway and I felt nothing, but they felt . Rika gets even a text message before the earthquake with the information that it’s coming. What intrigued me the most was when they said that the Japanese are not straightforward. If they want you to make something they will tell you that in a way that you will have to guess. Imagine that. You live in Kyoto. Neighbor comes to you. You ask whether he wants to drink a tea and the neighbor leaves. You wanted to be polite and have a good time over a tea, and a neighbor understood that as a request to exit ( it really is like that in Kyoto ) .
We went to Takeshita Dori. It is quite a narrow street with boutiques, restaurants and cafes. It is famous mainly because the fact that it’s possible to meet there Japanese in a variety of clothes. Lolitha, Gohts, dressed as maids and characters from anime or manga (then it is called cosplay ) . We managed to see only a few people dressed up, I expected a lot more.
Later we went to Shibuya. High-rise buildings, shopping malls, clubs, restaurants . Full of people . And the famous pedestrian crossing. We went to a shopping mall, and drove all the way up (shopping centers here have about 10 floors ). The view was amazing, but I could not do a good picture because the room we were had a light that was reflected in the glass. I learned then that Tokyo was brighter but the closure of the nuclear power plant in Fukushima resulted in saving power so they illuminate banners less than they used to. For me, it was very bright though.
When Tatsu asked what I would like to do, I thought of one thing – KARAOKE ! What is Karaoke everybody knows and it comes from Japan. Kara means empty, and Oke is an abbreviation from the word orchestra . In Japan, karaoke is different only in that every group of friends has a separate room. The rest remains unchanged. The rent of this room with karaoke paid 600 yen per person, 100 for unlimited drinks. I ordered an interesting drink – Calpis . It tasted like yogurt. A lot of different songs to choose. Talking with them earlier I said that I like anime and Tatsu chose a song for me. L’arc en Ciel – Drivers High, as it was also in the anime GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka). Again, I had this moment where everything seemed to be untrue. Because how is it possible that I am in Tokyo on a karaoke and sing one of my favorite songs ? We sang the Pixies, Queen and Deen – Hitori Janai (I even know some of the text in Japanese, because it was at the end of the episode of Dragon Ball GT).
At the end we went to see a festival organized by the university where Tatsu studied, but when we came there it was already finished his friends were going to the bar. Tatsu had to go home because his brother came to his house (they both live in Tokyo, but they see each other twice a year, because his brother works in a bank), but he said we could go there for a while so that I could see a traditional Japanese bar. Izakaya is a name for it is the place. As a seat they use tatami floors, tables are very low. To order a drink you have to order something to eat as well. But this is no problem, Japanese love to eat . And I don’t blame them, the food here is delicious!