Domo Arigato Radiohead
Osaka Travel Blog› entry 38 of 41 › view all entries
October 1st, 2008 – by: semiperipatetic
However, there is an important reason I'm heading to Osaka today. Radiohead are playing here tonight in one of their last gigs of their 2008 world tour. I can't wait to listen to 'in rainbows' live and at the same time attend my first concert in Japan! What adds to the excitment (or should I just say frustration) is that as a result of a mini fiasco by the ticket distributors - www.mosaicodiffusion.com/never_book_any_tickets_through_them_again - I still don't have a ticket in my hands and along with hundreds of other anxious radiohead fans, unsure whether we'll be able to see our favourite band.
Today is also my first time on a Shinkansen. Known to most people as the "bullet train" this is, along with the TGV and the Maglev, the fastest commercial train in the world. Reaching a maximum speed of 300km/h, the Nozomi Shinkansen covers the 515km distance between Tokyo and Shin Osaka in less than 2.5 hours. Riding this train is a great pleasure. It's spacious, impeccably clean and like everything else in Japan, extremely accurate. Within the space of 3 minutes, the train has appeared, offloaded/uploaded passengers and set off again to its next stop. And quite a few passengers that is; the Tokyo-Shin Osaka line is the most heavily travelled high-speed rail route in the world, with about 4.
Arriving at the Weekly Mansion hotel I am thrilled to be handed over my ticket. By pulling an ace out of their sleeves, mosaico have finally manage to deliver. I now have a ticket and there's only 3 hours left til radiohead come on stage! All I need to do now is find where the Hub is!
I leave the hotel looking for an internet cafe. At a 7-11, I decide to ask this guy for help:
- "Do you know where I can find an internet cafe? need to look up this place"
- "Where are you going?"
- "That's where I am going too. Let's go!"
- "Eh, you have a bike. Are you going to take your bicycle with you on the metro?"
- "No, I'll give you a lift!"
- "You don't have a back seat! Plus Namba is about half an hour away!"
(He screws in 2 metal rods on the sides of the back wheel )
- "Don't worry, that's the way we carry our friends in Japan!"
I jump on.
In a big modern city. In Japan. A local is willing to not only give directions but also cycle me about 5kms down the road. Just to help a traveller.
He says he's travelled too, he just came back from Australia where he lived for a couple of years. He is a chef at a restaurant in Namba. I never got his name.
The phrase "this is what travelling is all about" comes to my mind. Again.
When I finally reach the Hub, I meet radiohead fans from all over the world. The Philippines, Australia, France, Malaysia, Taiwan, Holland and Venezuela. We all head to the concert, which was amazing. Radiohead are great live, hope to see them again soon.
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