So once it had been okayed by my manager and I was able to get some of my work colleagues to cover me I was off from the 14th December - 4th January. I decided to go to Tokyo from the 14th - 20th December. Then I would be in Thailand from the 22nd - 4th January and go back to work on the 5th January!
Due to the time of year and my late booking the cheapest hotel I could find close to the city was in Itabashi about 4 minutes away from Ikebukuro Station. I actually walked to Ikebukuro from the hotel which is right near Itabashi Station in about 25 minutes which was pretty good.
Because I was luckily enough to arrive in Tokyo on Wednesday I could go to the event Ram Jam Dancehall at Club Bed in Ikebukuro. I had wanted to go to this event for a long time after having seen videos of the event on YouTube. It was also from videos of this event that I first discovered many of the dancers that I know today such as I-Van, Helty Baddy Girls, Corn Bread and Sizzka. Also this Thursday the event had a special guest named Nari in Kingston who I had known from Facebook but like many others I know he was someone who I had not actually met in person before. I also told Kaori about this event and she wanted to come too which was nice. I had asked Corn Bread aka Jaken before I got to Tokyo if I could get a discount to get in to the event and he said no problem. So luckily when we got there I only had to pay ￥500 which included 1 drink. But it was free for ladies so Kaori didn't have to pay anything which was good.
The night started off a bit slow like most Reggae/Dancehall events do. But it was nice to see everyone again and also meet/speak to some people who I haven't met in person before. But I think Kaori was a little tired from work that day so she ended up kinda sleeping in the corner whilst I was still dancing around. But she said she had a nice time.
One the Saturday I met up with Kaori again and we went to see the Taiko Drummers named Kodo who were celebrating their 30th Anniversary at the Aoyama Theatre. This was the first time that either Kaori or I had seen something like this. I had found out that Kodo were performing via the Time Out Tokyo website and thought it might be something interesting for the two of us to do. The show was really interesting and the music was very nice. Some of the pieces Kaori and I felt reminded us of the movie Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke) which we both agreed was one of our favourite movies. After the performance had finished we decided to get something to eat at a restaurant in an underground complex near the theatre.
After we had finished we decided to go to see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. I had read online that the cinema in Roppongi Hills was one of the better ones and thats were we decided to go to see the movie. Again this would be the first time for me to visit the Roppongi area. It was quite busy at Roppongi Hills mainly due to it being a Saturday. It was quite nice in the evening due to all the Christmas lights that they hand on display. We managed to finally get to the cinema but all the good seats had already been purchased but we had walked all this way from Aoyama and thought we might as well just get the ticket. The only other option was watching maybe Real Steel and at the time we both weren't too interested in that movie.
Fortunately we had some time to kill before the movie started so we were able to walk around the Roppongi Hills area. Like I said before there were a lot of people there taking pictures of the various lights and sculptures in the area. As we walked around we stumbled upon a dog grooming parlour which had big windows so you could look in side as the dogs were groomed which I thought was quite amusing. It was soon time for the movie to start so we headed back to the cinema. However once we actually got inside the screen we realised that the seats we chose were not so great because we were pretty close to the screen! But we made the most of it and tried to enjoy the movie but at some point we both fell asleep. I just remember seeing Tom Cruise in Russia then I closed my eyes for a second and then he and the team were in India! I was thinking wow what the hell happened here?! But from what I remembered the movie was pretty interesting/entertaining.
Once the movie had finished we walked around the Roppongi area and due to the time there were a lot of people out. Also Roppongi is an area known for foreigners so I could see many of them here as well as all the promoters trying to entice people to enter their club. I also saw the infamous Gas Panic which my friends had liked to go to the first time I came to Japan but to be honest those places are not for me mainly because I don't drink. After that we both saw each other off at the Station.
One my last morning in Tokyo Kaori and I went to Ueno Zoo. But before we actually went to the Zoo we walked around the Market are near Ueno Station. Kaori wanted to eat sushi but I'm not a big fan of sushi to be honest. After we were finished there we went to the Zoo. The day was quite nice so all the animals were out but some more more active than others. The Gorillas were quite amusing to watching especially the young one. But its quite interesting now that I've gotten a little older I see Zoo's more of animal prisons than anything else. But unfortunately we didn't get to see all of the Zoo because Kaori had to do something and I had to catch my flight back to Kumamoto.
Due to me being in Tokyo a little longer this trip I was able to do some more things. I can honestly say I had a good time seeing my dancer friends again and I really enjoyed spending time with Kaori again. In the next post I will be talking about my trip to Thailand!!!