After a long plane trip, which included sitting next to a soldier on his way back to Iraq ("What do you do in the Army?" "I blow stuff up.") and being exhausted and drunk in the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport, I arrived in the Tokyo Narita airport. Customs was no problem, all they did was give a peremptory pat down and send me on my way.
3:00 pm Tokyo
Once in the airport I panicked a bit...I had finally gotten to a point where there was progressively less english, so I had to calm down and figure out how to get into Tokyo from the airport. I ended up taking a bus into the downtown Tokyo station and then catching a train (after even more panic, as at that point I was late to meet Chris and couldn't tell where I needed to get on the train) to meet Chris in Ueno. Chris took me to a place called Spacecake...where we had a couple drinks and played my CD for them. I think they were a bit too tranced out for that.
After Spacecake we headed to Shinjuku just to walk the streets and figure out what to do. After a bit we decided to look for gallery Offsite, which was supposedly the place to be for Japanese minimalism. After wandering linguiless and trying to locate the area on our map, impotently asking for directions, referencing the map in the wrong direction because of the occurrence of more than one Freshness Burger, we wandered back in the direction we'd come from. We stopped to ask some kids sitting on the street if they knew where it was, and ended up sitting there drinking with them on the sidewalk. This was the first wonderful discovery- that drinking on the street is seemingly legal.
These kids, Mongo, Taki, and Dai worked across the street at a fashionable clothing store called Journal Standard. They showed us some Japanese food items which varied only slightly from those we have here, for the most part. Chris didn't like the fish based snacks they offered, cheese and fish sticks, and dried fish. We drank until the convenience store we were procuring our beer from closed, and made plans to go drinking with them the next night. They then showed us a good place to sleep on the street- in the dumpster yard behind their store. They pulled cardboard out and lay it on the ground for us and then departed.
Chris and I decided we were not yet tired, and so we wandered off for a bit. We wandered into an alley where there were some bars that were closing. I started talking to a cat and an old man walked up and tried to shoo the cat away. The cat would have none of it and I began to pet it. Chris had wandered down the alley a ways, and I started to follow, leaving the man behind. He turned back and convinced us to go in to a place where there was a cover because it would be no problem. When we got our drinks and the bartender wrote our tab out for us it had three 1000¥ cover charges on it. We hadn't drank much of our drinks and Chris got up and left. I followed him, and we ran off. After stopping for a cigarette break we made our way back to the dumpster yard and settled in.