10 January 2010

8th Day: First Night in Shibuya and First Day in Harajuku

I ended up sleeping for the majority of the day. When I awoke everyone at the Hibari Guesthouse told me that they were planning to go out in Roppongi. I however already had plans to go to 'Kachi Kachi 2010 New Year Party' at Shibuya Axxcis. I found out about this event earlier in the night but thought this may be my only chance to see the reggae dancer Shy-N.

After I had finished getting ready to go out I was in two minds about whether to go to Kachi Kachi or not. While I was on the train going towards Nerima I decided at the last minute to go with the other guys to Roppongi instead. We changed at Nerima to get another train that would take us to Roppongi. As I sat on the training thinking I realised I would much rather go to the reggae night at Shibuya Axxcis than go to Roppongi. I said bye to the others and quickly got off the train at a station where I could get the JR Yamanote Line towards Shibuya.

Once I got to Shibuya station I followed the directions I had written down in my little note book. I managed to follow the directions well until I got to an area where I became confused. I asked some people for help and they told me that the club was down a side road. I told them thanks and then proceeded in the direction they had told me. I kept walking in that direction because the guy said I would be able to see the club. I continued to walk for about 20 minutes until I realised I didn't know where I was. I asked a group of people at a crossing for help and they told me I was in Ebisu now not Shibuya and I had walked way too far.

I walked back towards Shibuya and then asked two ladies for directions. Luckily they actually heard of Axxcis and could tell me where it was. I followed their directions and ended up at the club. I saw a queue of people outside the club waiting to go in. I waited until I got to the front of the queue. I told the lady that I wanted to go to Kachi Kachi on the 4th floor. She told me that the entrance fee is 3000yen, but I could have sworn on the website the picture on the flyer said 2500yen with no flyer. At the time I didn't query it and just paid the amount she asked for. Once I got upstairs I saw some of the flyers for the night on the table. When I looked at them my suspicions were confirmed about the price, however I couldn't be bothered to go back downstairs to argue about be ripped of for 500yen.

Unlike Teki Teki Thursday there were a lot more people this night at Axxcis. The lockers here however were 300yen instead of 200yen like at Ikebukuro Bed. Early in the night they were playing Reggae tunes but as the night progressed they moved in to Dancehall. I was one of only a handful of foreigners which I liked. Later in the night Shy-N and Issei came out carried out a dance performance. Once they had finished they continued to party with everyone else in the club. I told Shy-N that I knew him from youtube videos and asked if I could get a picture with him which he didn't have a problem with.

The night finished about 6:30am which was good but by the end of the night I was very tired. I was so thirsty after I came out the club that I went to the nearest convenience store and bought a big carton of fruit juice. On my way home I realised it was actually Sunday now and this was the day that people came out to cosplay at Harajuku. I arrived at the station at around 7am but realised people won't be in Harajuku until around 10am at the earliest. I thought to myself what would I do until that time because I knew if I had gone home I wouldn't have come back out. I decided to stay on the JR Yamanote Line for three full cycles to waste 3 hours. One cycle around the Yamanote Line is 60 minutes.

When I got to Harajuku station it was pretty busy and I was feeling very hungry. I decided to stop off at Mac Donalds for something to eat. I decided to wait until around 12pm before I went in search of the cosplayers. To waste some time I walked through Yoyogi Park. I was actually surprised when I saw some ice sculptures on display. I left the park and I then walked around the area looking for the bridge the cosplayers normally gather at. I ended up asking some Japanese but they didn't seem to know what I was talking about. I then asked some foreigners and they told me that they gather right here. I thought to myself right here? The area was right next to the Harajuku Station but it was so small and on TV and in pictures the bridge looked much bigger.

It was about 11am so I decided to visit the NHK Broadcasting Studio to waste some time before I could see the cosplayers. The studio was fairly interesting and they had a lot of Domo-Kun memorabilia. When I got back to the bridge at around 12pm I didn't see anyone in costume. I waited a little bit and eventually I saw a group of people in costumes. I found it quite funny when this American guy went up to the group and asked for a picture and they just said no to him directly.

I decided to make my way back home because not much else was happening in Harajuku at this time. When I eventually made it home it was around 2:30pm. I was so tired because I hadn't slept in like 16 hours and my body was so sore from dancing all night.

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