Although arriving in Japan in time for the Tokushima Awa Odori Matsuri was a fantastic bonus, there was one main reason why I chose to rush back during the hot, humid, sweaty month of August.
Kansai’s official Party Beach, which during a couple short months of the year lines its shores with bars and clubs, drawing in crowds of some of the most beautiful young people you’ve ever seen. On clear-skied Sundays the sands are so packed that you can barely find a spot for your towel, and the waters below undulate from the wake of jetskis, innertubes, and people moving to the music emanating from the bars above. Then at night the crowds migrate half a kilometer down the cost to the site of a massive stage hosting international DJs who play before crowds of thousands – everyone dancing in the sand, still in their swimwear. Mist machines keep people cool between their refreshing dips in the ocean as the hours pass until morning.
After landing in Tokyo and spending a few days catching up with some old friends, I headed straight to Kansai, met up with Stefan, and began the 2 hour train ride through Kobe to Suma Beach.
Like myself, Stefan had spent over two years living in Kyoto, yet that Saturday was his first time to Suma. He’d heard about it a number of times but somehow never managed to make it down there. After all, is it really worth a nearly 4 hour round trip just for a day at the beach?
“I’ve never seen anything like this. This is nuts. They could’ve granted me two more years of pure joy just by naming it something a bit more obvious – like ‘Heaven Beach.’ I’m calling to delay my trip to Italy first thing tomorrow morning.”
That’s why Peder, Stian and I departed Tokushima one day before the end of the festival – to make it back in time for a weekend at Suma. We stocked up on bling at the local 100 yen shop, filled our squirt guns with chu-hai, and hit the sand full-power. It was so much fun that we never even got around to setting up the hookah that I brought all the way from Egypt.
That’ll have to be bling for next week.
This week was already handled.
We remained at Suma until the event at the main stage ended, finally heading back to the Big City for an anniversary party at Captain Kangaroo’s with my favorite group of Osaka Hostesses.
Due to the nature of the work, their prominence in the Osaka night scene, and the fact that I’ve upset one or two friends in the past by mentioning names on this blog, I’ll take the safe route and refer to this group just by the first letters of their names – C, B, A, Ky, Ki, etc. They’re a group of six or seven girls who I met last summer (where else? at Suma) and who, in addition to becoming some of my closest Osaka friends, have connected me to a world I could otherwise never have accessed: VIP rooms at clubs, dorms full of International models, endless bottles of Champagne, and a guarantee that no night in Osaka will ever be dull.
Never have I hung out with this group and not had a good time, and as they all have fantastic apartments within walking distance of Osaka’s best locations, there’s always a place to stay should I miss the last train home or just feel like ending a night early.
After the party died down (it was a Sunday, after all) we headed back to Ki’s, I grabbed my old toothbrush which they still had ready and waiting, and knocked out for the night.
The gruesome twosome, once labeled “Kings of Kansai,” are officially back in town.
Two more weekends of Suma.
Two massive “End of Summer” parties to celebrate.
Cross your fingers for good weather!**