Ok, so that single magical afternoon of friendship with Leaf Lifeguard was actually in April, the day before Hannes' parents, friend, and friend's mother arrived for their lengthy and colourful visit.
Before that, there was one more weekend in March to share. And by "share" I mean "dump photos from so my mom can see them". Hi, mom!
This wasn't actually during the weekend but is definitely worth a mention:
We hadn't seen Alex since the wine festival and met him at a Coins Bar in Shibuya.
Those purple cocktails are called "Asian Way" and are, I guess, a maraschino cherry
away from being aviators. They are delicious.
The next day, Friday, walking to Ookubo for some Korean goodies after
my first shift, I spotted a few new slaps.
Love these paint splatter ones. Leif thinks it's the Juicy Fatz guy.
Then, in Kudan Minami/Ichigaya, no one had bothered to tell me that there were no classes at this one place, so I'd gone down there for no reason. But, no big deal. Yasukuni is right down the street and it was one of the many famous places I still hadn't seen.
The cherry blossoms were just starting to come into full bloom, and it was still pretty cold,
but this was just as good a day as any, right?
lol that lady on the left is super classy
Neat stone lanterns lookin' like sea creatures an' shit
This is the year of the monkey, in case you weren't sure why these
unenthused ones were painted on this charm.
I've got to say, the gardens at this shrine are just beautiful. They way everything was all grey made the little light pink clouds of blossoms look pretty ethereal and striking.
I've left this person in for scale.
There were no bananas available at the time.
At this point I was reading The Buried Giant and binge viewing the first season of The Last Kingdom on Netflix; they take place at roughly the same time and both were quite good.
It was too cold to sit and read for very long, but so fitting and peaceful that I didn't want to leave, either.
Magi-carp carp carp
Bird. Water bird. Bird in the water. Approved.
I realised as I was leaving that quite a lot of stalls were being set up and that the cherry blossom viewing festival was starting that night. I was really tired but walked around some more, got a stick of dango, and took a few more pictures as more and more people filled the promenade.
Not bad for a slight detour, right?
So the next day there was a show in Koenji, and neither of us had ever even been over there before. It's the hipstery area, and given how pretentious regular parts of Tokyo and the people in them can be, honestly, I'd been avoiding it, even though various people kept telling me to wander around over there to try to meet other artsy types.
But having been to shows in Koenji a few times now (at three different venues in as many months, and that's not even all the ones in that neighbourhood alone, if you're still wondering about how we kept missing people), it's pretty clear that I was overreacting, and that it's just the kind of slightly dingey, hemp-woven borough that I kind of like in small doses.
Plus that night we went to meet not only Jharrod but also his friend Tucker, who also gets 5/5 stars. Took long enough to meet people, shit!
He's really good at photobombing, it's the only kind of photo-taking he likes
First was Client / Server Is Kill, a dronecore duo that does extremely loud distortion
with a lot of pedals and sampling.
The rooftop is completely normal, with completely normal eerie robot hands, everything is normal
... and it's not Blade Runner-esque at all, whoever told you that was full of shit.
Patisserie apparently has a drummer sometimes, and other times it's just this one guy. I've gotta say, usually one-guy-and-his-Macbook gigs aren't very good, but I really liked this guy.
One more selfie, deal with it, I was feeling good about myself
Finally there was Haigan, the only band that's ever forced me to ask, "What the fuck kind of 'core' is this, even?!" Fastcore? What is fastcore though? Psychocore? Chaoscore? I don't fucking know.
They have two guys full-time screaming, and they kind of alternate?
White Shirt Man (ワイシャツマン) suddenly appears!
He uses Drunken Handstand!
It's super effective!
Anyway, I'm sure you realise it's one of those things that you really should've been there fore and that pictures don't do it justice, which is why I took a shitload of video while I was just standing there a foot away from all of this.
Once we got back to Ikebukuro we drunkenly decided to have Korean food for old times' sake, and it was pretty good. The egg made me sick but it was worth it. Mostly it was a symbolic thing; that whole night was really a lot more like Seoul than the others we'd had before, and squeezing gochujang on top was the only thing left to do.