Japan Tour Diary, Part 2

Monday 9th of February, Tokyo arrival:

Finally we arrive in Narita. I have had all of ten minutes sleep despite taking those herbal sleeping pills and feel totally out of it. This will be a running theme for the duration of the tour. 

After clearing customs we meet up with Shinya from Deep Sea Drive Machine, one of the Parabolica Records crew. We drop off our gear into a Toyota Hi-Ace that will be our home from home for the next five days. We head for the hotel near Chiba in Kashiwa city on the edge of Tokyo. Japan seems super modern and organised. Everywhere we spot the bright signs in Japanese kanji characters.  We pass many people wearing face masks. Later we learn that this is often done in Japan for hygiene reasons, to avoid catching or spreading disease. 

Parabolica have arranged a two-room apartment for us to stay in for the night. As we arrive we meet the lads from Marvin’s Revolt who are leaving the apartment to stay at Kazuto’s house. The lads (Klaus, Seron, Laurids and Martin) are similarly jet lagged but in good form. Jun, bass player from LITE is also there.  Marvin’s Revolt are no strangers to Ireland, having played in Ireland plenty of times and had their records released in Ireland by the excellent Richter Collective, home to Adebisi Shank and BATS. Shinya and the lads head off in a second van.


We decide it’s best to crash out for a few hours and we arrange to meet Jun later to have a look round Kashiwa city. As per Japanese etiquette we take off our shoes at the door and leave them on the step into the room. Also there is a specific set of shoes to be worn inside the bathroom. These bits of Japanese hygiene etiquette seem strange at first but kind of make sense when you think about it.


After an attempt at sleep and a cramped shower in the tiny bathroom, I stumble onto my feet just before Jun arrives. Brian is too wrecked to get up so we leave him be. Jun shows us round some electronics shops so we can look at digital camcorders and then onto a beautiful Buddhist temple. After we eat some delicous Tonkatsu (pork in breadcrumbs, served with rice) in a cool local restaurant, we park up the van in a lot near the hotel and then hit a local bar for a few beers. Jun leaves us to hang out in the hotel that evening. Brian is now up and about, we buy in some food from the local 7/11 market where we get a selection of Japanese snack food including onigiri - delicious fish wrapped in rice and wrapped in seaweed. “Om, nom, nom”, says Brian. These snacks and some more beers knock us out and we finally crash out that night.