Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Uyoku Ex-Tattooist

Rad bicycle ride!


I taught a lesson in Hibiya, and thought I'd take a little detour on the way home, changing up the 15 minute ride into a 4 hour one. Totally worth it. Let's go Chevy!

Checked out the KTM dealer for my new ride. Give it time though, and send some positive thought my way. I'm talking about The Laws of Attraction people. Moving on.


Kiba is a port part of town, with one of the best venue / clubs in the world. Studio Coast / Ageha is just down the road from this trippy office building.


Who's playing but my favorite group (when I was in High School). I didn't have any Pumpkins on my iPod, so I went with some enka about drinking oneself to death instead.


And then there was this.


Old abandoned right wing nationalist (Uyoku) trucks. I had to take some pictures.


Then I noticed someone inside one of them. I had to talk to him.


Mr. Tamaoka is a heavily tattooed nationalist. I immediately asked him if it was ok for me to take pictures of his old trucks. I also asked if he was uyoku. I got yesses for both these questions, and we chatted for about 20 minutes about uyoku viewpoints, tattoos, and how hot the weather is. I was particularly interested in his tattoo life. He hopped out the truck and went to get some of his sketches.


Yeah, he used to be a tattoo artist, using the more traditional tebori style. His clientèle were mainly people who would get full body tattoos done. Make your own conclusions.




He had the Japanese style body suit. In a jinbei (Japanese style shorts and shirt), it's all hidden.


Some of his brothers who he tattooed. Not sure if he meant biological brothers, or something else.


Leaving him to his dinner, next stop was...


a Tezuko themed...




atomic bomb memorials,


the 2010 fish winners,




And a half built Tokyo Sky Tree.

Seriously, if you live in Tokyo you need to invest in a decent bicycle, and just ride for a day or two a month.

If you are interested in the knowing more about the Uyoku, check out this rad interview from Tokyo Damage Report.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Beaches of Izu

My and the CB1000 be hitting up some rad places.


Like this happy tempura shop. Hooray for the devil! And shrimp!


Or the local turtlarium. They have a lot of turtles. I wouldn't know, the entrance fee was like $10. Welcome to Izu, where the natural beauty is offset by the sheer whackness of bubble economy money and government overspending. Not a complaint! Safari zoos, abandoned water parks, and tacky love hotels are fun to visit.


Or this viewpoint. That building just down the hill is the hotel where I lived for 2 weeks; and the surrounding hills are where I hiked, sang songs, and collected bugs with kids for their annual summer camp. In the Izu tradition, it's actually a tennis resort with about two dozen courts. Of which, during the high summer holiday season, at most three were in use.


Even though I was swamped with work, I woke up super early a couple times to check out the area surrounding Inatori, just west of Shimoda. All of this near the southern tip of the Izu peninsula.


These waterfalls are part of the nana-daru (7 waterfalls). It's crazy famous with Japanese people, but don't just mention the waterfalls, unless you want blank stares. As with most things, there is a related piece of literature, or TV drama, or haiku, that needs to be explained.


Explanation: This chick is, like, a kimono dancing girl, and the dude totally wants to touch her, but he isn't allowed to, cause you don't touch no strange ladies.

Response: Oh, yeah, that story... it's famous!


You can buy a cute little garden, planted in a charcoaled bamboo trunk. I managed to kill my potted aloe plant, which also grows wild in the gravel alongside my apartment building. I put this little guy back.


Food in the area is all kinds of tasty seafood. This shop is above a foot onsen.


So kick it here, submerging your feet in 48 degree water (it's hot), then eat some of this.


What my tasteful bokeh doesn't show is all kinds of local fare.


Down towards Shimoda are some of the best beaches this side of Japan.


Shirohama is strange. What are those... colors? I'm used to the Tokyo beaches, with grey sand, gray water, and a nice graey sky. Also, there is a distinct lack of fat white guys down here in Shimoda. Just sayin.


Yumegahama ain't bad either. You can't camp on the beach, officially, but no one will stop you if you try.


Moving on...


This whole pet cemetery was empty, except for 2 graves.




I paid my respects, said hi to Fuji, then drove home.


Stay safe out there.


I'm off to another camp in Hyogo, then one in Niigata. As usual, no photos of the kids, cause the internet is scary.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Car and Bike Clubs at Daikoku PA

This is the Daikoku (大黒) parking area in Yokohama.


The toll based highway system in Japan, with it's elevated roads, doesn't accommodate any sort of on-off privileges. The result is PAs (Parking Areas) throughout the network. The Daikoku PA is within the Tokyo and Yokohama expressway system. It's the perfect meetup spot for your custom whatever vehicle club.

Big money is an everyday thing here. I've seen countless Italian car clubs meeting here, often in the morning before a day of driving out in the mountains. Tonight was apparently the gaudy Italian club. Check out this paint job on the Lambo!


Or his iced out friend. What the?


In high school my hobby was car audio. One of the things I really miss about home was driving around with that tremendous bass in the trunk. I'd turn it down on my street, but on the highway it was ridiculous. It's very rare in Japan to hear a car with boom. I don't know why this is, even after asking a lot of hip hop heads. Anyone know? You exhaust can be as loud as you want, so i don't think it's a noise regulation thing.



They all took turns playing bass mixes. I think I heard some Techmaster PEB. Nostalgia!


An itasha is a car covered in anime decals, and filled with anime toys and props. Sorry ladies, you'll be competing with a body pillow for the passenger seat.




I mistakingly asked the owner about his Zokusha, as I thought these crazy vans were in the Bosozoku car category. He told me it's called Baningu (vanning?). The interior is a giant bed with a plasma TV. Rad.


They all seem to follow to same formula. Japanese idol airbrushed on the back, giant wings, and chilled out interior. Chandeliers are common.


There was a custom trike club. Check out the attention to detail!



Snake skin seats.


Then came the bosozoku. Classic Japanese bikes, styled in a way only Japan could come up with.



Noisy punks? Nationalistic right wingers? Or just guys and gals who love their rides.


They meet every Sunday here, from all over the area.




Rad bonus, the Yokohama fireworks festival was on, and you could see it (sort of) from the parking area.


Bad news for most of you, this PA (all PAs pretty much) are inaccessible to people without a vehicle.