Japan Day 6 and 7
Arsenal and I woke up bright and early so we could start on our busy schedule of… absolutely nothing. We had burned through all the spots throughout Tokyo that we had wanted to see in the past couple of days. The only plans we had were to meet up with Platypus one last time before we headed back to Beijing.
As we considered our options for the day, our roommates woke up and joined in our conversation. The guys from Britain (henceforth known as Trident and Soupy) were planning on going to a club in Shibuya that night, a friend of a friend was having his birthday party there so they were planning on dropping by. The Australian girl (henceforth known as Gnat) was dead set on finding a T-shirt shop she had stumbled upon in Shibuya when she went shopping there earlier. Unfortunately she didn’t remember where it was or what it was called. Not having any plans of our own, Arsenal and I decided to form up with the rag-tag group and head out for Shibuya.
Since the party wasn’t going to start until much later in the evening, our plan was to confirm the location of the club, find the t-shirt store Gnat had visited earlier, and then walk through nearby Harajuku to window shop. After getting to Shibuya station we found the location of the club fairly quickly, unfortunately finding the t-shirt shop would prove to e a lot more difficult. It didn’t help that the only pieces of information we had to go off of were:
1) It was on the second floor of a building.
2) It had a small art gallery.
3) They printed designs on shirts.
Seeing as how that described about half the shops in Shibuya, it was rather hard to pinpoint the location of the shop. Luckily, after wandering around Shibuya for the almost 2 hours we managed to stumble across the entrance to the shop, which turned out to be about a block away from Shibuya station.
Armed with spiff new shirts courtesy of ArtOn, our group walked to nearby Shibuya for some window shopping and to grab a light lunch. Checking the time, Arsenal and I realized we needed to meet up with Platypus for dinner soon. We temporarily split off from the group planning to meet up with them again at the hostel after dinner so we could all go to the club together.
Aside from a slight mishap where I lost Arsenal and I got separated from each other in the vast underground subway network, dinner with Platypus was fairly uneventful. We went to an English style pub/eatery in Ginza, ate, drank, talked a bit, and then bid farewell to each other. Arsenal and I then braved the subway system once more to meet up with our group back at the hostel before heading out once more to Shibuya.
We got to the club to find a large line waiting outside. As we stood in line we made small talk with people next to us. When we finally got into the club we spent the first 30 minutes trying to track down the friend of a friend that Trident and Soupy knew. Our persistence in this endeavor eventually lead to finding the party boy and a most enlightening conversation.
Soupy: Are you PartyDudex13?
PartyDudex13: Yeah. Who are you?
Soupy: Oh I’m Soupy and this is Trident, were friends with RandomGirl587
PartyDudex13: Well, enjoy the party!
And we never saw him again.
The club itself was an underground that went down two levels. There were small rooms and subsections that each had their own DJ and type of music. But the soundproofing/acoustics in the place weren’t really developed to the point where you could make a clear distinction where one section began and the other one ended. But, I don’t think anyone went to a club to enjoy high-quality acoustics. After making the rounds (and downing a few) I felt like I had taken in enough of the atmosphere the club had to offer. Gnat shared similar sentiments.
Gnat: All this cigarette smoke is making me nauseous.
Me: Yeah, it doesn’t help that there’s no circulation down here either.
Gnat: I’m going to go outside and get some air.
Me: Yeah… that sounds like a good idea.
We got to the entrance of the club and told the bouncer that we wanted to step out for a bit and get some air. At which point he helpfully pointed out that if we stayed outside too long we’d have to pay the entrance fee again. After thinking for a bit we decided to cut our losses and leave the club for sweet, sweet, oxygen. I went and told the rest of the guys that we were going to leave and that’d we would meet them back here when the trains started running again. I should probably mention that Arsenal and I had an 8 AM flight back to Beijing the next morning, so we had to bust ass and get on the first train to collect our stuff and make it to the airport in time.
As Gnat and I left the club we considered our options. It was way too cold outside to just wait the 3-4 hours until the trains started running again so I started looking around for a 24-hour shop to stay at. I considered a manga café, but I only had about 1,000 yen left on me. We wandered around the almost deserted streets of Shibuya until we stumbled upon a CocoIchiban. My eye lit up in excitement, unfortunately Gnat didn’t share my enthusiasm. We walked into the CocoIchi and claimed a booth where we would spent the next couple of hours. I ordered a Katsu Curry and basked in its gloriousness.
Around 2AM Gnat and I left behind the CocoIchi and headed back towards the club where Arsenal and everyone else was. We didn’t have to go all the way however as we stumbled across them and their new friends about halfway to the club. Soupy was trying to show off some skateboard tricks despite being too drunk to stand on his own while Trident filmed the chaos and Arsenal kept yelling “Shibuya!” in the background.
Gently reminding Arsenal that we had to be the airport in about 4 hours, our group bid goodbye to their new found friends and made a beeline for the subway. Back at the hostel Arsenal and I grabbed our belongings, snapped a quick photo with our group in the t-shirts we had bought that day, said our goodbyes, and dashed back out to the subway to catch a train to Haneda Airport. Despite having to navigate the public transit system with a half-dead arsenal, we managed to make it to our gate with about 30 minutes to spare before boarding. As we sunk into some chairs I struggled to stay awake. I didn’t want to think that’d we’d miss our plane by falling asleep 50 meters away from the boarding gate.
Once the crew opened up the plane for boarding Arsenal and I dragged our sleep deprived bodies to our seats and passed out. 3 hours later we had safely arrived back in Beijing.
-End of Japan Trip-