keppin it real
So at this point in my trip, with two days left I wanted a bed and a shower. Olivier and I had spent our last night under a bridge. It took a long time for us to go. We had a good party the night before. We met some chill people and we went to a small local foreigner there and partied till early morning. They didn't seem to want to leave and I was more than ready. I left and told Olivier that I'd be at our room, hahahahaha. I didn't even make it that far. I watched the sunrise from a bench and fell asleep. Olivier and three other drunk clowns found me asleep on the bench and the name-calling would never stop, until it is, that they handed me an acoustic guitar and requested a performance. "Biru ku da sai," I said (beer please). With two mintues there was a six-pack there.
I'm still a happy guy
I played for a while in the middle of the street. I believe at one point i fell asleep playing. Okay, so where we were shilling was the Gion district, well-known for it's adult entertainment. I happen to catch some of these so-called "entertainers" on their way home from work that morning. I decided it was high-time they had a good lecture. I sat them all down in the middle of the street (no, it was not a busy street for cars) and told them how disappointed their mothers must be. I proceeded to play them the most romantic songs I could think of. I don't think they understood a word I said, but I don't care. I was tired. I was tired of being tired. I wanted some rest. I deserved it. I hopped on a train to Osaka
was a plane would be waiting for me in two days.
I may have frightened her
I was on the train there reflecting on my experiences and then I approaced the Shin-Osaka station. I asked the girl beside me if this was the main station or not. She said it was the next one. She went further to help me find the information counter and determined that there were no hostels there and that I had to go back on the train to Shin-Osaka. She said she had nothing to do (I think she wanted to practice English) and wanted to help me. OKay I said. She came back with me to Shin-Osaka and we found the hostel. I dind't jsut wanna say thanks and bye cause I felt that would be rude after all of her help. I offered to take her out for dinner. She accepted and we met a few hours later after I had done some laundry and showered up. We went out for sushi and sake. I ate my head off.
I literally, no kidding had the most succulent, soft, flavorful, buttery taste of food I had ever had in my life. I was like God had taken a dump on my plate. It was a piece of Toro. Yeah 500Yen a bite, but that wonderfulness I couldn't care less. I ordered three of them.
I went back to the hostel and was sitting down reading my new book "The Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance." I picked it up from Fish in Hiroshima. That is his thing. He gets books from surfers and gives them out. Once I decided that I would take the train to Tokyo
and not hitchhike, he seemed very giddy that I wanted to take a book from him. I hope he enjoys the Korean coffee mug that I gave him. I was only about 20 minutes into my read and was just getting really into when this girl came and sat next to me.
I introduced myself and four or five hours later we decided it was time to crash because we were going to go to Kobe
the next day to explore together. We got up early the next morning and I met Delia in the lobby. We went to the station and grabbed some coffee. There we met some guy (I forget his name. He was Japanese) and he seemed a little put off by my presense so I basically said bye and walked away to catch the train when they called my name and wanted us all to go together. We ended up getting along fine. I think the guy was expecting a one-on-one date with her but she was not interested.
We arrived in Kobe and did some sightseeing. There is atually a lot to see there. There is the ambassador district and there are a lot of old Western style homes there.
At one point, I forgot that I was actually in Japan, but was quickly reminded when I came into the gift shop. We left the district and went to the harbor area. We took the elevator to the top of the tower and had a good panoramic view of Kobe. Afterwards, we did what I came for......Lunch! And it was good. My grandmother would have been proud. We ate the finest cut of meat from a steak that man has been able to conjure up. Kobe beef my friends! Yes it was amazing. We started off with some soups and salads and some little snacks. They matched nicely with all of our chilled beers. Then came the entree. Sliced Kobe beef. I believe I had the sirloin and about 250 grams of it. They served it to you barely seared. It comes on a hot plate with a side of a light soy souce-like sauce.
the cool owner and I. He hooked up the sake!
You can cook it as you please. I had a fine red wine to compliment wine, duh! It was topped off with a bit of vanilla ice cream with a few frosted flakes on them. All that was less than $50. Not too bad I'd say for a decent lunch.
They asked what I wanted to do after the meal. I said, "Well I guess I'm ready for heaven now." Instead, we took a 90 minutes cruise around the water to look at what was apparently the largest bridge in Japan. I had a beer while some band played Hawaiin music, then took a nap. The weather was pretty good that day. I think it only rained early in the morning. We got off the boat and noticed how many people were starting to get their seats for the firework show that evening. It was scheduled ot last 50 minutes. I saw a lot of guys and ladies in Yukatas (the ancient traditional Japanese summer-time garments).
I decided I wanted one. So we went ot the store and I bought myself an $80 bathrobe that was way too hot. Within minutes the back of my thing was drenched. But whatever, let's call it culture absorbtion. It was a crowd pleaser for sure. Afterwards, we loaded up on beer and snacks and found a spot.
The fireworks show was nice and long. I enjoyed it. It would have been nice to have some music to go along with it, but I guess you take what you can get. We had a blast. Afterwards we went to a small traditional Japanese restaurant that could accomodate about 7 people. The owners were extremely kind to me. I received free samples of very nice sake, as well as some aged scotch. We left there and that was the end of my trip in Japan. I left the next day. To the wonderful people I met in Japan, I will miss you the most and I hope to get to see them again when I return.