Nick and Albert went for a walkabout in America Mura. Albert was looking or a watch but none of us were able to ask directions to a watch store in Japanese. (We should have brought Nikolai, who's knowledge of the language grows by the hour). Nick saw some belts but decided that he didn't want to buy any of them. A few fans stopped them both to say "Konichiwa," and to ask for autographs. They were very friendly. It's good to meet friendly people.
We all went to soundcheck in the afternoon and the band played through most of their set. Later on at the hotel. Albert, Nick and Ryan enjoyed a meal in the Sky Lounge which offered unparalleled veiws of Osaka. Ray Manzarek from The Doors said "Hello". He too was enjoying the view.
NOTE: One looking for a place to unwind while in Osaka should take the following into consideration. As seen on the hotel's website: The restaurants and bars of the this Osaka Hotel will put you in a celebratory mood during your free time.
08/02/03: Day 7 in Osaka, Japan
Our entourage has doubled in size so we had to get a larger vehicle to take us to the show. We seem to be adding about two and half people every four hours....
The Strokes went on stage at sunset. The band played three noew songs during the set. Fabrizio had written "The Strokes" in Japanese on his bass drum, in case there was any doubt. There wasn't. Everyone enjoyed the show.
After the show, Nikolai and Fab stayed to watch Radiohead from the side of the stage. Everyone else went back to the hotel to go out to dinner at the Sky Lounge and to enjoy the fine views of Osaka, once again.
Nikolai has been leading us in learning new Japanese phrases every day.
Today we learnt how to say:
Chot.to sutskes o mite ite kuremasen ka?
Will you keep an eye on my suitcase for me?
Skoshi dake kit-te kudasai.
Just a trim please.
Soon, we will all feel prepared for a quick conversation in any eventuality.
08/03/03: Day 8 in Tokyo, Japan
Took the morning bullet train back to Tokyo - Nick played his Sunday morning selections of Raggae for everyone as we drove to the station in the bus.
On the way to the show in Tokyo we passed a couple of ferris wheels. It seems there are more Ferris Wheels per capita in Japan than anywhere else in the world. If you really want to make big bucks in Japan, save up and open your own ferris wheel. Everyone loves them. Maybe a factory making spares for Ferris Wheels would be a good investment too.
The stadium was on the edge of the ocean, backstage we could smell the sea. It made a change from cigarettes and stagehands.
After the show we watched Radiohead from teh back of the stadium before going back to the hotel. Nick, Fab & Albert grabbed a quick and delicious Sushi meal at the hotel whilte Nikolai, Julian and Ryan took in the evening ambience of the nightclubs and bars of Roppongi. Nikolai found a noodle bar that specialised in serving noodles from behind a curtain...kabuki noodles?
08/04/03: Day 9 in Tokyo, Japan
Some people left for home today. Brian, our guitar tech, arrived back at the hotel from his evening out in Tokyo just in time to step into the van to the airport. Matt took a sandwich with him for the journey, just in case. Nikolai took the day to visit some temples and went for a swim on a beach in Tokyo Bay with some jellyfish. They didn't sting but neither did they possess the charm and appeal of friendly dolphins. Then again, few things do.