Tsk tsk. Also Nikko!

How can I be the train molester when ur the one who strips and harrasses poor Japanese people on the trains?! Shame on you!

As my esteemed (?) colleague mentioned a while back, I was going to talk about Nikko but then I forgot. Then my laptop screen died and Im currently running it through the tv, so I couldnt do a fun cover pic to go with it ;_;….

Also Im lazy.

But yeah! We did go there, and its quite different to kamakura; very haunting, more idyllic and even more isolated feeling. Although maybe that was because of the typhoon at the time (so much rain!!), but I have to say going there really made me yearn for a greener place to live!

I wont really go into talking too much about it (look at the really relaxing pics!!) but its a really significant place; its the resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu – the great Shogun himself! Its also reasonably close to Tokyo, maybe 150kms, so we got there in around 2 hours by train.

A couple cool things that might need some talking! This pagoda (not the right term but it`ll do!) is built around a suspended wooden pendulum; ancient earthquake protection!

 

And I haven`t seen trees like this, or at all for that matter, in the 7 months since Ive been here!

 

 

 And behold, the Futarasan! I believe anyway, I forgot to label the pics, so I`ll research later after work :).

 

Dragon Fountain!!!!!!11111!

One more for now, check out the rain!

Phew! Have a look at the other pics, I actually rate this place over Kamakura, and hopefully next month we`ll be down seeing Kyoto and Nara which should be even more beautiful!

Also check out the hostel pics, its the best hostel ive ever stayed at!

Ja ne! Cho tanoshii desu ne!

Gio

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September 26, 2007. Uncategorized. 7 comments.

Gio is a train molester!

Hey it’s B-Man as usual. Things have been hectic as hell lately but I finally stopped arsing around long enough to write 3 posts. Yeah thats right 3, below this very post your reading now is 2 more so be sure not to miss them. One is about Ross’ going away, and the other is on climbing Mt Fuji. This post is on every other random thing I’ve been up to. I’ll try to be brief, so if you wanna know more please comment and I’ll try and add some more info.

But first a quick introduction to some people which will make it easier to follow.

JAMES

Thank God hes a Willunga boy.

MARINA (Left) & DANIKA (Right)

Crazy Russian girl and former Tasmanian KFC employee of the year.

TRACEY

Straight outta Toronto (she doesn’t usually look this wacked, but I liked this photo.

Also should mention Rachel, one of our other friends, who I don’t seem to have any photos of. Shes also from Tassie.

Now for the post

Here we go, in no particular order.

  • G’s Bday- It was mad, the police came, and we swam in the shitty Tokyo River. Full post comin when I get the pics. (Edit: best birthday ever, and I got some amazing thoughtful prezzies, special thanks to Dan Dan, Rach and Tracey for hosting! – Gio)

  • Speaking of G he went to the states. Expect a post soon. (I know I always say that)
  • The beach in Enoshima – Can’t remember if I already wrote about this, but it was sweet. The beach itself was a little crap but the atmosphere rocked, also ended up at weird BBQ.
  • Sumo – Checked it out last weekend it was awesome. There was this one mental guy who just kept hitting himself in the head. In the match he kaned the other guy and hurled him out the ring, The other guy got hurt, and he looked real sorry and didn’t know whether to help him or not.

  • New guy moved in – We have a new roommate, Sherman the Shermanator. He’s from Canada and a fine lad.
  • Smoked the Sheesha – Ross and I met some girls out one night from Austria. They introduced us to Sheesha bars. Basically you smoke fruit tobacco out a massive bong. Ours was apricot. Thanks girls.
  • Circle of Death – This is actually more than once but it’s the best drinking game ever. Career highlights include, partyboy dance on Tracey, Ross hanging his arse out as Tracey came in, Sherman streaking, Me giving Rach an extremely unerotic strip tease, LL Cool J with the legs of a spider and Ross’ mates Matthews tale of making love in a playground.

  • Speaking of Ross’ mate – The Welsh flag was flown high as Mark and Matthew came to town. They were astounded by the Tokyo lights, and a blast to hang out with. Also very good at drunken bowling (possibly due to the fact drunk more applied to me and Ross). Damn cool blokes look forward to seeing you guys again.

  • Kramer comes a callin – The boy made it down to Tokyo. We drank and went to Joypolis. We nearly killed ourselves on the running simulator. Good to see you boy, I’ll be in Osaka next month.
  • Cracked out the top hat – As the air cools, the Top Hat returns. Expect to see pics with it soon.

  • My face was decorated – So far we’ve had textas, paint pens, full makeup and a pen for drawing on clothes (which nearly tore my eyebrow off)
  • Matt moved to Taipei – Not really related to me or G or Japan, but I only just found out. Don’t know if he has a website but if he does expect a link soon.
  • Talked to Jared – Apparantly climbing Fuji in a typhoon is just stupid.
  • Started using Facebook – So if you have it add me!
  • I made a crappy animation – I got drunk and made a crappy animation about Bill Pullman.

Thats pretty well all I think. Don’t forget to check out the other 2 new posts below. Also an absolute crap load of new pics. If you go in about 12 pages you will eventually get past all the temples and to the other ones from these posts. Expect more soon as I steal them from others. Hope this fills my quota, as usual I’ll try and post more regularly.

Seeyas all later!

September 24, 2007. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Ross- A retrospective

 

So it was almost 2 weeks ago now (damn time goes fast here), that my housemate Ross left. He’s been one of my best friends and helped me out a lot since I’ve been here. It was a sad day, but the leadup was awesome. I basically didn’t stop drinking for 3 weeks (we could only remember about 3 days off and 2 of them were on Fuji. We went out on many occasions (I’ll be mostly focusing on his last night in Roppongi) and some damn fun games (circle of death, JOY). There were embarrasing spectacles (my strip tease dare comes to mind, sure its gonna end up on YouTube eventually).

Our last night out started in Shibuya, where we met Ross’ friend Flo (Yet another Tasmanian) for dinner. We were soon met by James and headed out to some bars. We played drinking games, got smashed and almost jumped by some crazy girls who were obsessed with Hanoi rocks. We escaped, to an awesome shop where Ross picked up a sweet Frog/Dinosaur costume which he wore for the rest of the night. We met up with Tracey and Marina and jumped in a taxi for Roppongi.

Roppongi is the night club area of Tokyo, and you are constantly hassled by big black men saying “Do you want to go to my club?”. We went to one bar for a while (a notorious prostitute bar). We then headed off in search of a club, I made especially good friends with one big black man, who allowed me to hold his hand why he tried to convince us his club was the best.

We ended up at a club we had been to onc before (and is damn expensive if you have boy toilet parts). However due to Ross’ super sweet suit we got a discount and danced the night away. Ross was overheating fast in his suit, but luckily a man who seemed to be in love with him came over and started fanning him. Eventually the heat was too much and he had to leave, and I went to make sure he was OK. He was so hot he had red spots, but I could not get him out of the suit. I ran to 7:11 and spent the last of my cash on a bottle of water for him. When I got back fan man had found him, and was trying to buy his costume. He eventually left, but not before sucking Ross’ chest (ewwwwww…). It looked like someone spiked his chest hair with gel. 

We eventually went home on the first train, and Ross was much loved by Tokyo early birds. Me and Marina harrased Ross continually with animal noises (I learnt Russian Animal Sounds, pigs go hru and dogs go guv) and we eventually made it back.

So good bye big brother, I had an awesome time and I’ll be seeing you soon in Wales!

September 24, 2007. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Fuji-1 Brendan & Ross-0

So yeah, we climbed Fuji. It was easy, NOT!

Me and Ross set out in the wee hours of morning to catch 2 buses and a train, with a song in our hearts and a two and a half week hangover. We arrived in the afternoon at the carpark on Fuji. The weather looked good, as can be seen in early photos. As we went to leave it looked as if it could rain, but we were well prepared. We had a raincoat, and I’d brought a change of clothes. We grabbed our Fuji sticks and began to climb. It was right about now a Typhoon hit Fuji.

20 minutes in I thought I would die. I was seriously contemplating packing it in and going home, before we even made the first base. It was steep, my bag was heavy, the mud was slippery, the wind was cold and the mist made it impossible to see much more than five metres ahead. We walked up about a thousand zig zags on the path. Fuji was hell. All of a sudden we saw something through the mist. The 1st (of 5) bases. All of a sudden we were reborn, and quickly made it to first base. Here we stopped to film the first of our video diaries, and the camera flatlined, the first of many casualties on Mt Fuji. By this stage it was damn wet, so we bought wet weather gear from a small cabin. I went to change in to my long pants, they were soaked. Oh well I’m sure loads of people climb Fuji in a typhoon in shorts. We continued on.

On the way to second base the wind picked up, a lot. It was difficult to see, it was freezing, sometimes hailing and wet as hell. The crotches on our wet weather gear were torn from climbing and we were not comfortable. It was no longer a hike but hard climbing, with handholds in the rock and a chain to guide us. We had gone a little mad from the altitude and were spouting nonsense. The “no straight climbing” continued to bring a laugh the 30th time we saw them. Eventually we made camp 2.

Our original plan was to make the 3rd base before stopping overnight, but we were starting to think this might not happen. However in my madness I suggested we just barge it and keep going. Ross also suffering from “the crazy” eventually agreed and we kept going. By this stage I was freezing, I had no gloves so I used my wristbands as a makeshift pair. However suddenly we had arrived at base 3 (3100 metres). We still don’t know how we made it so fast, maybe our time perception was out of wack. We stopped at a cabin for the night. There were few other people there, most had turned back. We were the only gaijin stupid enough to be there. We had the greatest meal of our lives (curry rice, but anything would have tasted great at that point). Ross hit the hay early (having not been to bed the night before), and I soon followed. However first I had to once again brave the elements to go out to the toilet. I waited for a break in the weather, grabbed the communal umbrella and ran outside. At this point I was wearing an old pair of sandles, shorts and a tshirt, as this was th driest stuff I had. I somehow made the toilet, but then the storm went crazy. I decided to wait for the weather to die down so I could run back. It was so cold I began to shake uncontrollably and my teeth chattered. I knew I couldn’t stay there, I was actually beginning to worry about freezing to death. I burst from the toilet and ran for the cabin. The wind howled, my umbrella tore in half. I arrived at the cabinb wet and freezing. I was so wet a girl gave me one of her jumpers. I went to bed, though it was really just one giant bed with a bunch of sleeping bags. By this point we expected this, we were no longer straight climbers. We settled down for our gay dreams.

We set out in damp clothes at 5am, the weather if anything was worse than before. We started climbing to base 5. I estimate we were half way (about 3400m) to base when we met with a huge group of climbers coming down. They told us we couldn’t keep climbing, the mountain was being evacuated. We followed them downhearted, we hadn’t made it. Looking back now this was good, the only way we were stopping was if this had happened, and if we had continued, there was a chance we might have died. It still sucked though. However as I looked a round I felt proud, these other people were professional climbers, with gear, and spare oxygen cans. We were two bairly sober jokers, in wet clothes and using climbing sticks we bought for $12 at a gift shop. The way down was more hell, more zigzags and more slippery mud. The track was like a waterfall, I cut my hands on the rocks as I slipped in the mud, and Ross jarred his back falling on some wet steps. We eventually arrived at the car park, eager to go home. It was 8am, we checked the bus timetable, the first bus was at 11:30 am. I wanted to die!

 AFTERMATH

We eventually made it home. Our legs ached for days, and my toe got infected. Ross’ MP3 player was no more, my shoes were destroyed. But we climbed Fuji, and thats all that mattered!

CLIMBING TIPS

  • Bring a change of clothes, WRAPPED IN PLASTIC!

  • Check the weather, NEVER CLIMB IN A TYPHOON!

  • Check the essential items list. (There are fifteen items, we had like four between us)

  • Wear appropriate clothing, wet weather gear and climbing shoes. SHORTS ARE NOT SUITABLE CLIMBING GEAR!

  • Don’t climb after a 2 and a half week drinking binge!

  • NEVER, EVER, CLIMB STRAIGHT!

September 24, 2007. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Piece of crap post

Sorry guys, I started a post a week and a bit ago, but havent had time to finish it. Ross’ mates came, and it’s his last week so it’s been hectic. Non stop drinking since monday last week. G’s in the Americas, tomorrow I wag work to climb Fuji with Ross. Proper post early next week.

September 4, 2007. Uncategorized. 5 comments.

Friendly Young Men:THE RETURN!

Hey rubber ducks, Brendan here.

So I know it seems like this sites really gone down hill, but I will attempt to win you back. First, excuses, usually we update as we go someplace cool, but lately things have been kind of slow. You see it’s like 35 degrees with super humidity, and going outside has become a chore. However we did manage to make it to Nikko, my first trip out of Tokyo (In a Typhoon no less). Expect a mighty post with loads of pics about this soon, as Gio and myself unleash the first of many duo posts (featuring facts and nonsense). Keep an eye out!

However todays posts is more about drinking, and stupidity (Gio’s Mum you have been warned). We have been doing quite a lot of this lately. We have made some awesome new friends, James (a Willunga boy like me) and Brendan (also somewhat like me but in a different way, prizes for the one who guesses). We have also recently said goodbye to our good mate Phil who’s headed back to Merry Old England. Also we found a 24 hour bowling and super cheap all you can drink Karaoke ($20, 11pm-5am) right near our house. Of course we are still regularly attending the local bar, The Crazy Cactus.

Bowling has been awesome, although my skills are still sorely lacking. Also at the alley we discovered our first womens underwear skill tester, which I know sounds awesome, but actually only kind of is (you spend so much time catching them, then realise you have nothing to do with them). Phil won lacey whites, I won a bairly there black G, Ross some heinous brown granny pants and poor Gio won nil (though not for lack of trying). Maybe I can use the black G for the prize I talked about earlier.

 

We are all still sporting dozens of injuries from Phils several last nights out, and I’m sporting a new Karaoke jacket. Phil also found a cheaply priced Borat style gold thong, which he insisted on wearing round Tokyo. Here are a selection of pics from these nights.

  

  

Much worse pic of the gold thong available here. No one should look at this (especially parents and those with a weak stomach). YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! If you looked you will go to hell. Thank god its blurry.

He will be missed, we all had many a good time.

Finally, the story of the shrimp attack. A shrimp fom the Crazy Cactus bit my lip and nose, actually drawing blood when it got my nose. Why was it so close to my face? I was trying to get it to bite my tongue. (Hopefully phone footage coming soon)

My Gio Tower

So thats the happs. I also got a haircut, and its fireworks season so we’ve been seeing a lot of that. Nig came for a few days over Fuji Rock (check out his blog, link in the sidebar).

Coming up, not much. However Ross’ friends are coming to visit soon, and he himself will be leaving in about a month (My friends are all leaving, sigh…). Also expect the first ever Brendan and Gios Excellent Adventure/Kramer’s Fun Time Old Fashioned Half Hour Blog Show crossover (check your socks are still on and your head is still attached.)

Super Sweet Boyband Photo

Hopefully we have re-piqued your interest. As soon as the air cools down we can get back to doing what we do best. Loads of new pics on Flickr for you to look at, Nikko photos should be on in the next day or so, and post within a week.

See you later alligator, don’t forget your toilet paper.

August 13, 2007. Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Onward to Adventure!

Ohayo! Genki? Boku wa to Brendan san genki dayo, demo chotto nemui!

Its been a while! But we are still around, and still having fun! There have been more birthdays, goodbye parties and welcoming dos happening – not to mention work! But we still find time for the REAL awesome stuff here!

A while ago I went to Kamakura, and I meant to post about it ages ago but it kept slipping my mind but I finally got around to it today! I had been looking forward to this place for a couple years now and it was truly amazing! Especially since being in Tokyo we mainly see the odd temple or shrine buried in the decaying skeleton that is the greater Tokyo area, having such a spiritual area nearby is refreshing!

Onto business anyway! A friend offered to be my cultural guide, and since she had never been there either we both were really psyched! Its about an hour away from the centre of Tokyo, and it was a work day – so i had to be up SUPER early which didnt sit too well at first – but I got over it!

So, Kamakura! A seaside city surrounded by mountains. A natural fortress! In the 1300s this was the high seat of the Minamoto shogun (Im channeling wikipedia!) and its easy to see why – its a warren of steep hills, walls and impassable forests. Now of course its a big tourist attraction, with some of the most magnificent shrines and temples on the east side of Honshu -> and I got to go there!

First, Kotoku – in! This is a buddhist temple of the Pure Land Sect, and home of the Daibutsu (great buddha statue) of Amida Buddha! It used to be inside a large wooden temple but a tsunami sometime in the 15th century washed it away, magically leaving the Daibutsu intact!

Look! Thats about 10 metres away.

This one below is blurry but Im in it at least! (Being all Japanese too!)

This thing is amazing to see, its MASSIVE at about 13 metres tall on a great stone plinth! U can apparently go inside but we had no idea at the time. Also, hanging on a wall nearby are massive bronze slippers which I assume belong to him!

Next is Kencho – ji, the largest Zen buddhism training ground in Japan! It has 10 subtemples within the grounds, one of which contains a giant painting of a dragon on the ceiling, and sprinkled around are several beautiful japanese gardens!

With me is my partner in crime Madoka who was super psyched to see this place too!

Wow giant dragon desu ne!

Nearby is Tokei-ji which was known as a refuge for abused women (if they stayed for 3 years they were considered divorced!). Unfortunately I have no photos but its a tiny building surrounded by idyllic pathways and stone lanterns – lovely!

Engaku – ji! Another Zen temple complex with some amazing wooden carvings, as well as some of the first blooming cherry blossom trees Id seen (nice!).

Below is me being very touristy =/. But the wood carvings there are amazing, and check out the sakura on the left <3.

Close up!

It also contains armories, mainly kyudo (japanese archery) and yabusame (see below) gear, but also some amazing samurai armour is on display!

Lastly is the Tsurugaoka Hachiman shrine! This shrine complex has some beautifully cared for buildings, not to mention its the home of the Yabusame festival which was on while we were there! Hachiman, god of all warriors, resides here and judges the skill of the archers (they are bloody good too!).

This is looking upstairs to the main shrine!

 

This one is looking downstairs (I had to steal it =( but it gives an idea of the size of this place!)

And of course, yabusame!!!! These guys are awesome, but I only have this lamewad photo. The crowd was immense, so we had to leave and circle around the shrine walls, and hop the fence along the side to get a good view!

And that was my Kamakura trip! Great fun and anyone travelling to Tokyo should make the effort to go here! This weekend we will be going to Nikko! Similar in some ways to Kamakura but much larger! Also since its the rainy season there should be heaps of ajisai (special japanese flower) which is on my photo taking list!

Thats all then, I`ll leave u with a nice pic of the first ever squirrel Ive seen! They jump a lot!

Teeny guy huh? Seeya in a few days with Nikko stuff 😉

Anata wa daisuki dayo!!

Ja ne,

Gio

July 12, 2007. Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Double Feature

Terve, 23 year old Brendan here.

I have been meaning to write a post about my birthday shenanigans since Thursday. However I also need to add some photos from last weekend, so you lucky readers will get a Grindhouse style double bill, minus the fun.

I woke up on the 20th a 23 year old young man. What a feeling, my lifes really turned around. I got a parcel in the morning from my Mum, full of cool gifts, and watched the new episode of 4400. That afternoon I went to work, but after work the fun truly began. I met Ross and Shinjuku and we went to the British Pub, we played Mythbusters. We proved the myth that a shot will sink to the bottom of a beer and not mix, by tasting the two points with two straws. We then busted the myth that a one yen piece will float in beer (it really won’t). We then met G and moved to space bar.

Space bar is a crazy restaraunt where the waitresses glow in the dark, and bare metal and air ducts are common decorations. Even though it’s a restaraunt we managed to not eat anything and not get kicked out, however we decided it was prudent to leave when a rubber toilet slipper ended up inside the bar.

Next stop was a horrible hostess bar, where old hostess’ go to die. We paid for all you can drink, but the women there kept trying to make us buy them one. Gio`s girl was in her 50’s, Ross’ came to be known as “THE MOLE”, Phils girl looked uncomortable and wanted to go home, and my Russian lovely didn’t speak English. At first it was a good laugh, I tried to make some small talk (“Do you like bears”, “Have you seen the movie Hostel”) and even sung some Celine Dion karaoke. However the ladies were getting restless, we were drinking beer and eating stale chips, but had managed not to buy them anything.  Ross told “THE MOLE” I had won the lottery, and next thing I knew I was being hounded for my (non-existent) credit card. Finally a large afro clad Japanese women came and started yelling at us, so we decided to leave.

On leaving we met a huge black man named Samson who wanted us to check out his Hostess bar. We eventually managed to lose him by saying we had to go help our friend Johnny, who had fallen down some stairs (but not till he had refused to let me find a toilet, and made go with him to a back alley to take a pee).

We ended up in a strange little bar on a random floor of a big building, drinking white russians. I fell asleep, the bar stuff drew on me, Top Night!

I took the next day off and spent the day playing Ps3, watching Gumball Rally and went out for tea at the Outback Steakhouse. Good day.

On returning to work on Friday I got a vist from the area manager, who gave me my first written warning for calling in sick to many times (I averaged one sick day a month). These are notoriously hard to get (My friend got one for yawning in class) and I was terribly depressed.

I spent most of last weekend watching TV on my bed and eating Wendys. Once again we spent our Sunday Eve at the delightful Crazy Cactus mexican bar, playing cards and pool. We met up with two other Tasmanians at the bar who also live in our buildin and managed to outnumber the Japanese people.

Thats about it, tonight we are drinking and watching Horror movies. I plan to give Ross the Australian horror experience, Wolf Creek and Undead. I think we’ll skip Howling 3: the Marsupials.

Thats it for today, if you are still reading this well done.

Later!

June 27, 2007. Uncategorized. 6 comments.

Fast And The Furious At The Gay Bar

Hey, Hey, Hey, Brendan’s Back.

First things first, another good weekend. We went out for Shabu-Shabu to commemorate four months in Japan. Thats one third of the adventure done, mad crazy. We also drank somewhat.

 

My Flickr account should be sorted soon, cause my Mum Mum came through for me. Also it’s my birthday this Wednesday so we’ll be hitting some clubs in Shinjuku.

Also two new vids, my adventures clad in a dress in Coles, and the Hot Shit Magna video.

Check them out here…

…or as usual new links in the YouTube part of the site. There is getting to be quite a few, if you haven’t seen them yet click on the YouTube link in the pages list on the sidebar to your right.

Stay Cool Chaps!

June 18, 2007. Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Damn Stupid Flickr

Just found out Flickr has a photo limit, and unless I upgrade to a pro account my old photos are not viewable (though they are still there). Its only $25 for a year which I would pay but I don’t have a credit card. AAARRRRGGGGHHHH.

In other news we went out for karaoke last night. It was fun. On the way home Ross fell asleep standing up, leaning against a pole. When the train stopped he collapsed on the floor. It was awesome. Heres some pics from the station.

 

June 14, 2007. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

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