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Back from Japan

November 16, 2009

I am jet lagging something fierce so I thought I would update you all on what is going on here in T D Clark land.

First off Shreddtime Stories in here at and at! It has been selling well and has been getting great reviews so go get your copy today!

I was in Japan for 10 days for both some work and some pleasure. It was a 13 hour flight going there, which was a bit rough, but I slept for most of it thank goodness. Upon arriving in Tokyo we checked into our hotel and hit the streets, with some friends of my friend Jeremy who was traveling with me. We went to an Izzikia ( I have no idea about the spelling here lol) for dinner and some drinks. The place reminds me of a Tapas bar where you order little plates of things and everyone eats everything. It is all grilled food like meats fish etc veggies. Was really good. Some strange stuff on the menu including grilled Chicken skin, Chicken hearts chicken cartilage. Drank a lot of different Sake then crashed. 

Next night met with a promoter at another Izzikia to talk about what chances I may have to play in Japan. We ended up going to a bar where the band Preying Mantis were hanging out. They had a hit in the 80's and had just done some shows in Japan and were going back to England in a few days. I got up on stage with the Bass Player and Drummer and we pounded out Cliffs Of Dover. Then the whole band got up and we played Tush, All Right Now from Free, Knocking on Heavens Door (Gun's n Roses version). A total blast! The promoter and the people in the crowd loved it. I met with that promoter at then end of my trip and she is now talking to some Japanese labels about what we are or possibilities for touring, record deals, mgt etc. I had always wanted to play Japan and I did sort off lol so this whole experience was a dream of sorts. If anything else happens it is gravy!

After being out til 4 or so we crashed out, then got up and saw Tokyo which was incredible. Super clean and modern and the people are organized and seem to actually like working. They bow to you and greet you with hello good day etc. When you buy things they say thanks always smiling and bow to you. Really cool. A society that respects others and themselves. 10 year old and younger school kids riding the subway by themselves because it is so safe. Giant clean parks and Shrines in the center of the city. At night Tokyo is bathed in a rainbow of neon colors with giant signs on all the buildings and video screens on most buildings playing music videos and commercials. It's so bright it doesn't feel like nighttime.

Next went to Kyoto and saw Nijo Shogun castle, the home of the Shogun and its garden and surrounding moat etc. The floor were designed to creak when walked upon so you could hear if there were intruders. The creaking sound sounded like a bird chirping. Really cool place. Kyoto also had a  cool bar district with  dozens of tiny bars ( maximum in these places range from 5 people to 20) lined up next to each other. All with  different themes and piled into streets or paths about 8 feet across. I saw real Geisha's walking around here , which is hard to do because they don't like to go out and be seen let alone photographed.

I then went to Hiroshima by myself (with Jeremy tending to so business of his own  and saw the A Bomb memorial. An experience getting there using the Shinkansen or Bullet Train system. Hiroshima lies about 2 hours from Tokyo and I had to navigate both the  Subway and regular train station. However there are some signs in English and the people are helpful plus I had my phrase book which made it easier. The Dome and the entire complex itself is in a big park with an eternal flame, a reflecting pool. A truly sad experience but a very educational one. I was almost in tears by the end of the tour through the memorial to the dead and the museum itself. People had skin melting off them after the attack and could get very little help. Burned black by the blast most people died in agonizing pain. I am almost in tears now.

The next day went to Hymegi castle, a giant Samurai warrior palace made of wood and plaster. All the old buildings are made of wood in Japan. They have stone walls and foundations but the structures are normal wood. I encourage you to look this one up on line to learn more t was way cool.

They seem to eat more noodles in Japan than rice if you can believe that. There are Ramen houses all over where you eat giant bowls of soup, slurping in air to cool it off as you eat. Soba and Udon noodles are in almost every dish. Depending on the region there are specialties. They also eat eggs in one form or another in most dishes. I ate like a pig but seemed to be losing weight due to the 5 miles+ a day we were walking. I am finally getting tired again so I will continue with part 2 later.


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