28 November 2006
Load in, Saitama.
The venue is about an hours drive from the hotel so I declined to go in today. Instead I headed out for a bit of tourism and, in a low-key way, to look for some locations that might be worth shooting footage of later in the week. I bought myself a subway pass and headed to Shinjuku, Ginza, Akeharbara and finally Uueno. I spent a long while in the amazing department store Tokyu Hands, which is loosely dedicated to things you do with your hands. There are hobby departments, stationery, cookware, hardware and all fantastically Japanese. Added to this of course is the arrival of Christmas which, despite having no religious significance at all in Japanese culture (not even being a day off), has taken off big time as a commercial event. There was Christmas everything absolutely everywhere. The whole of Tokyu Hands was given over to Christmas, which mostly made some kind of sense (Christmas stationery, etc) but occasionally made none whatsoever, most spectacularly in the case of the Christmas plumbing department.
I had a great day. Walked my feet off, did lots of subway and also did lots of being lost, but it didnt matter. It was raining lightly as dusk fell, but that only enhanced the Bladerunner atmosphere. My favourite moments were a sushi lunch of the gods (three different kinds of Toro! I didnt even know there WERE three different kinds of Toro ) and having a complete stationery overload meltdown. Im a bit of a stationery freak at the best of times and this was the Playboy Mansion of stationery. Notebooks with bizarre broken English written on the front, fabulous little clips and pins, calendars, multi-purpose pens, rubber stamps. Oh, be still my beating heart.