Remember my new buddy Peder? He’s been having such a great time in Japan that he decided at the last minute to cancel his ticket back to Norway and stay in Kyoto until Christmas. He’ll be moving into his own apartment across town in just a couple days. A like-minded wingman to liven up the nightlife a bit? Sounds like a fine proposition to me!
I’ve been to quite a few Halloween parties in my day, and even though I normally just throw together some half-assed costume at the very last minute they always turn out to be great fun. But nothing like this last Halloween in Japan.
While I was at work two Fridays ago, Peder spent the entire afternoon visiting every toystore, used clothing store, thrift shop, 100 yen shop, bling reseller, and pharmacy he could find. Then when I got home we started shredding, gluing, safety-pinning, and blood-soaking the whole lot of it, resulting in one Zombie Cowboy and one Insanity Claus.
That Friday night in Kyoto was “okay;” as during most non-Summer Fridays the streets weren’t particularly busy, but when we popped into Nikki’s Bar in full costume Nikki was quick to leave an employee in charge and join us on the run-around.
But the real gem that weekend was Saturday. First stop was a new venue in Shinsaibashi called Passion. During the entire train ride there Peder and I were the center of attention – which isn’t that hard to believe considering how we must’ve looked with our blood-soaked clothes and neon-glowing mouths. After the initial うわぁぁ、ビックリした!!, nearly everyone on the train – from highschool students to little old ladies – came crowding around to return our high-fives and snap a few photos with the two silly-dressed foreigners. The only exception was one young lady with a ridiculous attitude problem on the very last train car; she spent about 20 minutes staring us down with the dirtiest look I’ve ever seen, and when we finally arrived at our stop she even went to the conductor to complain! I can’t imagine what about; we were only laughing with the other commuters who came over and reacted to us. Perhaps she just hates gaijin? Who knows.
It was also pretty amusing when an acquaintance from Kyoto who just happened to be heading into the city came up to say “Hey, nice costumes guys!” without even realizing who I was 😆
After arriving at the venue our first order of business was obtaining drinks. Unfortunately this proved to be quite a challenge – as the PACKED club had only two bartenders, resulting in a wait of nearly an hour. So that’s how they can justify advertising it as an “all-you-can-drink” party
But we soon succeeded, and after setting up shop in a nice central location had gathered such a crowd that it actually became difficult to handle. I’m not quite sure why, as unlike the train almost everyone at this party was in full costume; maybe it was just one of those “on-fire” type evenings. But whatever the reason, it was awesome. Among those I ran into were the owner of GaijinPot.com, the owner of BikeClubOsaka, and Kid44 of The Osaka Crew (yielded as one of the best pickup artists in the country).
After the first party ended Peder and I were invited to an afterparty at an exclusive club whose name I unfortunately can’t recall. Followed by an after-afterparty at Slices, Shinsaibashi’s late-night pizza joint and popular gaijin hangout. And an after-after-afterparty at Heaven, a late-late-night Brazilian dance club. By the time all was said and done the two of us had obtained 16 phone numbers, 200+ photos, and one hell of an evening. Peder had a huge bling-bling necklace and I had a goth-style bracelet whose origins both remain a mystery. Neither of us had any makeup left on our faces when we emerged to a bright, sunny morning. What a night.
But Halloween still wasn’t over…because on Wednesday the 31st there was the costume party at Club World in Kyoto. And then Kiyamachi on Friday. And Saturday. So much for my plans of “sitting back and relaxing” during these last couple months in Kyoto! I guess you never know when you’re gonna run into someone cool to
pressure convince agree to come out with you every single weekend 8)
Peder will also be in Brazil during Carnival, with a pile of friends from Norway, in a rented house right around Copacabana Beach. Or at least that’s the current plan.
Fun times lie ahead.
On a side note, my cousin Emily came to visit Kyoto this weekend. I haven’t seen her in over ten (fifteen?) years, but we hit it off right away – and I think she had a great time out on the town with us that Friday. Props to her for having the courage to backpack across so many unknown countries as a single female all on her own! Next stops include Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and India. Hotel Justin will be ready and waiting if you ever make it back to Kyoto – provided I’m here too, of course…
As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been putting a fair amount of work lately into new features for this site. Many of them won’t become visible until I implement the new front page I’ve been planning, which is still a ways off considering the above-mentioned plans, but there is one thing that I’m ready to release.
I’ve tried several forms of managing photos in the past; Gallery, Photo of the Day, embedding in posts, etc. Each has its merits, and I’ll probably continue to use each in some capacity as I move forwards with this blog. But the other day as I was messing around with Facebook I had a thought. One of the biggest shortcomings with each of these methods has been the inability to post large albums for targeted audiences; post-processing each photo into a form that I’m comfortable revealing to the world is nice, but sometimes I just want to show 50 or 100 fun snapshots to my family or friends.
So with this in mind, I spent a few days tweaking an existing WordPress plugin to implement an embedded Gallery page that’ll tie neatly into the WP user accounts. For those of you who already have access to the higher-level blog posts, you can access these albums by logging into WordPress just like before and following the album links provided (below). For those who don’t, if you consider yourself a personal friend or acquaintance feel free shoot me an e-mail so I can bump up your user permissions once you’ve registered yourself an account (left sidebar).
No promises as far as how often I’ll throw up a new album, but considering how easy it is to FTP a big folder of unpostprocessed photos I think this’ll provide a nice way to keep everyone up-to-date with my life…particularly once my next Brazilian adventure begins.
Here is an entry point to the albums. I’ll add more as I continue to go through the photos myself. As always, feel free to drop me a line if there are any problems.