Falling to pieces in a broke down brothel

Osaka Travel Blog

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Tossing and turning with stomach pain, a bad headache and a sore throat is not the way i wanted to spend my time in Kyoto. I would like to tell you about the events that got me there.

A few days ago India and I left our new home in Hidabadi to go visit some friends in Osaka, and go watch some sumo. At the time I thought I was recovering from a cold. I have to admit that the trip to Osaka on the train was much much better that my previous trip to Tokyo by buss. There was plenty of room and it only took about two hours. India had arranged for us to stay with some of her friends, seeing how we were arriving at 11:00 P.M. with no hotel. We arived at their house and every thing was going smoothly until alcohol got involved. It seemed like a good idea because we were going to be sleeping on a floor and only had one set of cloths for the next few days. It turns out that some one can't hold their liquor, because they were vomiting all night and we didn't get to sleep until 6:30 A.M. However there were some great conversations and new friends were made. The next day, or maybe I should say later that day we had a delicious lunch at an Italian restaurant. Hands down the best pizza I have had in Japan. Unfortunately not every one was able to keep the pizza down, but at least I enjoyed it. Later on we went on a ferris wheel that was on top of a building in Osaka. The view was great, but I think that is were I started to feel the effects of the previous night and my could that apparently I was not quit over. This time it was me who had to run to the bathroom. To my dismay when I kicked open the bathroom stall door it was a Japanese style toilet, also known as a whole in the ground. Luckily the stall next to it was a western style toilet. Unluckily it was occupied. I refused to have my first experience on a squat toilet be a bad one, so i decided to hold on as long as i could. After a few minutes of dancing around the bathroom the western toilet became free, and it's a good thing because I was at my braking point.

After those exiting moments we were on our way to Kyoto to meet another friend of India's named Simon. When we arrived in Kyoto it was all ready dark but from what I could see it was a nice place. Simon's house was interesting to say the least. Apparently it used to be a brothel that some one has made into a sort of community living house. Fortunently for us their was a spare room. The bad news is the walls were paper thin, the floor was falling apart, and their were no locks on the door. The front door was just a sliding Japanese style door. Also the house was located next to the headquarters of a certain gang that is very famous in Japan. I won't mention the name of the gang but apparently even the cops are afraid of them. I was told that if the cops come to the neighborhood to arrest any one the gang members will chase them off. It almost made me feel safe in a weird sort of way.

So any way after seeing the house and setting down our things we went out to a live show that friend of Simon's was playing. We stopped at a convenience store and I bought some drinks and food from the rotisserie oven. I felt better after eating and we headed toward the live show. It turns out that it is twenty dollars to get in and that wasn't the funny part. When we did get in we discovered a women in a red dress with red hair and red makeup all over her face screaming into the microphone; Which I might add was completely unnecessary, because the room was maybe twenty feet wide by thirty feet deep. What ells was I supposed to do but drink? Let's just say the more I drank the better the music got. A few more people played, and it actually got pretty good. Apparently Simon was friends with some of the people performing so we all went out to eat. This is when things went wrong. I didn't do the ordering so i'm not sure what i ate, but from what I could tell one of the dishes was hard chunks of cod fish. Another was octopus chunks in wasabi. Did I mention that I hate wasabi? Those were the dishes I could make out.Of course I didn't want to be rude so I ate every thing.

The real pain came when we got back to the ex brothel. I was lying their and it felt like their was something trying to claw its way out of my stomach. It must have been somthing I had eaten come back from the dead. Also I was coughing up a lot of flem due to the drinking while having a cold. Needles to say I didn't sleep much that night, and i'm not sure but I think I heard a ghost hooker.hahaha but realy i did hear somthing. I got out of bed in frustration of not being able to sleep at 7:00 A.M. and went for a walk. By the time I got back it was time to go to Sumo.

So I left off when I woke up. Not much happened the morning of sumo. We ate subway, which is not as good in Japan. The price for a tinny one in Japan is the same price as a foot long in the states, and I only got two pickles and four olives. They did however put two fistfuls of green peppers on that I didn't ask for. The sub did taste good though after I pulled off most of the green peppers. After breakfast we hopped on the subway and headed for sumo. It didn't take long before we were in Osaka again and could see sumo wrestlers walking around the streets. When we got to the ticket booth there were two lines. Of course we chose the one with the old man in it. The other line went through five customers before the old man got is ticket. I eventually switched lines and got my ticket just as the old man finished. The tickets were only twenty dollars each, not bad for a full day of fun. There was one problem though we couldn't find the seat numbers. Apparently we didn't have seat numbers because we were in the cheap seats, but we didn't know that so we sat down were ever we wanted. That is until we were asked to move. The good news you is can still see the action from the cheap seats even if you are blind. The arena is small compared to the ones in the states. We got there at 11:30 A.M. which is early so we got to see the juniors wrestle. The funny thing is there are no weight classes, so every one has to wrestle every one no matter how big or small. We saw one guy who must have only weighed 160 wrestle a guy who weighed 320, and the small guy won. The really good stuff started later, but it was well worth the wait.

Let me try to give you a western comparison. Take two linemen strip away all their pads and cloths. Give them a silk thong, and put them on a clay platform that sits up off of the floor about three feet. Then watch as they slap, shove, and head but each other; until one of them falls down, steeps out of the circle made of straw, or my favorite they both go flying off the clay platform into the crowed. The sound of their two bodies smashing together when the round first starts is indescribable. I guess if you have ever herd a very large almost naked person jump off the roof of a house, then land on another very large almost naked person, It sound just like that. It would also sound like a big chunk off meet hitting a bigger chunk of meet. but I don't think very many people go around hit big chunks of meet together in their spear time, so you will just have use your imagination. All of that good stuff and that is just the physical part. There are all sorts of other things going on. For example the crowed resembles the crowd at a monster jam show. They are semi unruly and most of them are drunk. Also if there is something the crowd doesn't like they are not afraid to throw things, so watch your head.

Sumo is a very traditional sport. What that means is that there is a bunch of shit that makes no cense what so ever. Every time a new match starts some guy in weird pants gets up on the platform and sings the name of who is next. The problem with this is that no one can understand what he is saying. Also every time some one new comes out they get their own pillow but the sumo wrestlers don't bring it out themselves. They have their servant sumo wrestlers do it for them. From what I understand there are these things called stables. Stables are where sumo wrestlers learn sumo. When some one is first starting out they have to be the superior sumo wrestler's bitch. They cook the food and do all the other chores in the stable. Sumo wrestlers are also not allowed to work, so I think they spend all of their time in the stable.

There are some many things that I still don't understand. I have been watching sumo on TV. every day. It is on for the next fifteen day, so hopefully by the end I will get it. I already have my favorite wrestlers, or at least the ones I can pick out. They all look the same to me. If you are reading this and ever have the chance to see it you should.
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photo by: yasuyo