Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Va et vient 

Today was busier than usual. Got up around 9 or so, had some breakfast, and headed out to the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau's new location in Shinagawa to obtain a multiple-use re-entry stamp in my passport so that when I leave Japan to go to China next week, they'll let me back in the country (that is unless I pull a Roddy or something)!

After that, I headed over to the superb travel company in Jinbocho that I'm using for the bookings and overall travel arrangements in China. Reasonable prices and totally customized travel. I'm even going to use an English-Chinese translator/guide along the way. Anyway, drop me a line and I'll be happy to give you the details on the company.

While I was there in the Kanda/Jinbocho area I checked out some of my favorite local spots. Here's a rundown:

* Tokyo Random Walk - One of the best degisn bookstores (new books) in Tokyo, with LOTS of amazing titles (English, Japanese, French, Italian) and good prices. The interior is very NYC or London. While I was there I picked up Rhythm Science by Paul D. Miller (AKA DJ Spooky), from MIT Press, which looks like this...

...and comes with a great CD to boot! I also spotted a superbly designed 'step mobile' by Caspar Schwabe of Kobe Design University and just had to have it. Here's the man himself with his creation. (The one I got was yellow/red/brown to match my studio's color scheme.)

* Nanyodo - One of THE best bookstore for architecture in all of Japan, located in a wonderful modern building just of the main street in Jinbocho.

They even have - you guessed it - an 'Architect Cafe' on the 5th floor. I could spend hours on end here sitting, reading, and basking in the natural light.

* Fuji Record Sha - Probably the best place to go in Jinbocho to get minty-fresh 45's. Today I nabbed three:

Rydeen by YMO

I also found the 45 for 'Ai wo tori modose!!' sung by Kurisutarukingu, which is the theme song to 'Hokuto No Ken', one of my all time favorite anime. 'Sayonara' by Of Course was also too good to pass up.

* Umi - Excellent sushi! The 'ootoro' was way, way fatty if you know what I mean.

* Saboru - One of my favorite kissaten in Tokyo. A great place to go and forget about the ebb and flow of time. I sipped hot coffee and dreamed about China...

And after all of that, I went back to 'Geba' to do some work for OK FRED.

Got bored in my studio and decided to work at IDEE Workstation, which is right around the corner! Spotted a cute new waitress...good thing I don't sing or I might write a song about her. I think that Digiki and I will play here this summer when he's in Japan.

And now I can see the sun coming up, so I guess I'll go to bed, since I have to wake up around 10AM to get a package - yes, ANOTHER new pencil case - from my main man Bruce! Arashiyama Curry...

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