Dave's Photo & Travelblogue

Photo shoots. World travel advice. Tips on Munich & environs.

Karaoke, Japanese Style

For my final day in Japan, I got up quite late after a night of clubbing. A word to the wise: clubbing in Tokyo is serious business. The subways stop a bit after midnight, and taxis are paid in gold bars or firstborn children. So once you decide to go out, you’re in until dawn!

Anyway, on July 3rd I headed to the seaside district of Odaiba. There’s a lot to do and see: shopping, Tokyo’s huge Ferris wheel, the Future Museum (officially the emerging sciences and technologies), waterside stuff, and cool Toyota showrooms.

I took a ferry to Odaiba from Asakusa, where I saw this building known to locals as “the golden turd.” Well, it’s supposed to be a flame representing the heart of Asahi beer, but judge for yourself:

Asahi Super Dry Hall, a.k.a. Golden Turd

Unfortunately due to my late wake-up (and I do mean late), I missed the Future Museum with its Honda walking robot. But Toyota rocked!

Yes, that’s right. A car showroom rocked my day.

First there was the museum of old cars in the Mega Web shopping complex (free):

Cars in the Toyota Museum in Mega Web

Then, a showroom of new cars with lots of concept vehicles and a few rides (like a self-driving car!). Also, free (well, not the rides). I got a laugh out of this decorated city car:

A cute car in the Toyota Mega Web showroom

After this adventure I met friends for KARAOKE! If you go to Japan, you have to do karaoke with some Japanese. Not only is it a great way to chill with the natives, but they are good singers! I bet due to the culture’s love of karaoke, they have the highest singing skill of any nation.

One of these people is not Japanese. Hint: super tall!

Did I mention that karaoke is all in private rooms? You don’t have to embarrass yourself in front of fifty strangers in a bar… just your closest friends, and perhaps some people you met in a hostel, or out clubbing the night before (haha).

Waaahoooo! Now THAT is some awesome singing.

So here’s my shout out to all my new Japanese friends (who shall remain anonymous). We’ll have to meet again next time I’m in Japan! DAVE LOVES KARAOKE!

Rock on Karaoke singers!

After all that singing I feel an Elwood moment (or perhaps Ellwood if you go by the street name where I used to live). I feel like saying… “We’re getting the band back together.” Long live Electric Bacon! That is all.

Posted 11 years, 3 months ago at 3:52 pm.

4 comments

Eat All the Fish!

On my red-eye arrival in Tokyo June 19th, I was pretty beat. But I was too early to check in. Fortunately a few people in the hostel were ready to head out for the day just as I arrived. So I had a great time wandering around the city with them. We went to a park, then to a “running sushi” / conveyor sushi (known here as Kaiten Sushi, I believe). Kaitenzushi, doku des-ka?

Eat All the Fish! at Kaiten Sushi - Running Sushi

The etiquette for these restaurants is simple. Sit down, and pour yourself some soy sauce. Spoon some powdered green tea into a cup and add hot water from the nearby tap. Then just pick a few plates and chow down. A word to the wise: don’t put the powdered green tea into your soy, as I did (thinking it was wasabi). To get the spicy stuff, ask the chef. Also, in case your dish of choice doesn’t come by, the chef will make it on request – no problem.

For those who say Japan is expensive, think again. Sure, you can find ridiculously expensive restaurants, but that’s the same in any major international city. I had 8 plates of 2 nigiri each (including one toro: fatty tuna!) for about $14 USD. And the meal was damn good, equal to better sushi restaurants I’ve been to in the States (where I paid ~$40 for this much zush).

Next we went to the Tokyo Aquarium. It was not as large or impressive as the Sydney aquarium (and had a similar $$$ price tag), but had a few interesting twists. A diver feeds the fish in one of the tanks about once an hour, sometimes with interesting results:

Eel and Stingray - Best Friends Forever

Besides fish (including a tank of “Nemo” clownfish), there are some other animals, like penguins, birds, and this sleepy Southern Tamandua:

A Southern Tamandua at the Tokyo Aquarium

Outside the aquarium, a street performer was getting 110% out of his monkey. Seriously, I felt bad for the little guy, and had no qualms about leaving without giving any coins. I’d feel bad supporting this kind of literal jumping-through-hoops. But it is impressive what an intelligent animal can accomplish.

A Levitating Monkey in the mall near the Tokyo Aquarium

To round out an awesome first day in Tokyo, I went to karaoke with some of my new friends from the Anne Hostel Asakusabashi. The way karaoke works: you rent a private room. The fee is per person who is in the room (either per hour, or as a full night package price), like bowling. Drinks and snacks are available (but expensive). You program the songs on a touchpad; there are literally hundreds of thousands available. Nick and I even sang “Pull Me Under” by Dream Theater! My voice regretted that for a day or so. But it was fun!

Karaoke in Tokyo near Asakusabashi

So, Hi Joao, Nick (hidden), Bart, Dan, Michaelle, and Nathan! Expect more photos (and perhaps some video, mu-hahaha) later on.

For those who are regular readers, just wait for tomorrow. That’s when things really start to get crazy!

How’s about a question for you today: what’s your favorite kind of sushi? Drop by the blog website and leave a comment :-) I’ll tell you what my best piece of sushi was, after I finish the Japan leg of my trip.

Posted 11 years, 3 months ago at 3:29 pm.

4 comments

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