So: here are the rest of my photos from our time in Japan! Please do click them to make them larger, or view them on my flickr stream (this format does nothing for horizontal shots, which is basically all I take heh.)
What a surprise, on a grey day in Hiroshima, to look out our hotel window, and in a sea of white and silver cars, see a blue one, a red one and a yellow one all parked next to one another!
I made Alex pose pensively next to the window in our hotel cuz the light was so nice. Note also on the table: Nylon Japan (like everything in Japan, infinitely superior to its Western cousin) and a Royal Milk Tea Kit Kat, drooool.
The view from our hotel room, out into the city of Hiroshima.
Me being a creep and catching Alex unawares with his internetting face on.
Later that same day we took a ferry to Miyajima Island, one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. It was cold and misty and a little rainy, but really I think that was perfect, and it made everything seem a little more mystical...
Another view from the ferry to Miyajima. You can see part of the famous Itsukushima Shrine, painted a glorious vermilion, off in the corner.
Half of Miyajima is a beautiful shrine set below mist-shrowded hills; the other half is sort of a quaint, sprawling tourist mall. There were a lot of delicious foods to choose from, many of which had fake example versions out front. We thought this place was hawking "silver" flavored ice cream, off to the left there, until Naoki explained that duh, it was just chocolate and the paint had rubbed off. Let down.
Ooooh man, these cats are anamatronic and dance to "I'm Gonna Getcha Good" by Shania Twain. I still can't believe I didn't buy one, they were only about $12.00!! Idiot!! But yeah, I did get some movie footage...
The Gate at Itsukushima Shrine. It's set out in the water, and really is something to see. The shrine was first built in 563 AD, and then rebuilt again in 1168. The island itself has been worshiped as divine "since ancient times". Yep, read the brochure!
Alex signing autographs after the show the next night in Fukuoka. The fans in Japan were really amazing. The band was pretty much mobbed after each show by people wanting to shake hands, get something signed, and have their picture taken. Everyone was incredibly nice and excited, and I don't think a night went by that someone didn't bring the band a really sweet gift. One lady even brought us BAGELS in Kobe!!
Christoph signing a CD after the Fukuoka show. Christoph isn't technically in the band, he just tours and plays second guitar with them (he's really in another band called The Depreciation Guild), but man, that didn't bother the Japanese none! Maybe because he's half Japanese himself, and has some pretty sweet moves onstage.
Peggy and Nick at the venue before the show in Nagoya. This place was insane!! Sooooo small, but tall, with a balcony level and a spiral staircase. It was under the train tracks and you could hear the train literally run on top of the ceiling now and then. Sadly all the rest of my photos from that night got lost...
...along with the rest of the photos from this night, which included Shibuya after dark (craziness), AND the view from the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt Hotel in Shinjuku. Yup, you guessed it, that's the hotel from Lost in Translation haha. I just want to point out that we didn't actually request that trip, Naoki had arranged it for us. Still, as cheesy, insanely expensive and over-priced it may have been, the view is increeeedible!
The Pains during sound check before the last show in Japan, again at Fever in Tokyo.
Two tour staples: Crunky (like a Crunch Bar but 1000x better) and CHU-HI. Oh Chu-Hi, sweet elixir of the gods! The day someone in the US starts importing this stuff...is the day I become a permanent waste-oid hahaha.
Between sound check and showtime at Fever, Alex, Peggy, Nick and I took a short taxi ride to the Shimokitazawa district, which is a really pretty little place to walk around. These flowers outside a shop looked like beautiful pink fluffy clouds.
The night before I saw another of these signs, but that time it was on top of a huge building in Shinjuku on a light-up scrolling board. I don't know what it means...but it scares me...and I like it.
A fishtank set in the outside wall of a restaurant we walked by. Probably just waiting around to be turned into someone's dinner...
Hahaha, I can't believe this picture came out! Weird life-sized bashful Kewpie dolls outside another restaurant. They know how to get your attention in Japan!
Back at Fever, Peggy signing a photo from one of those Fuji instant cameras before the show.
The last show in Japan, from backstage. A lot of the people in the front row had been at the first show they played there, and a couple had come to one or two of the other shows as well! Man, when you love the Pains...you LOVE the Pains!
Going shopping with Peggy is simultaneously amazing, because Peggy rules and is super-fun, and incredubly depressing because she always manages to find the best, coolest stuff before you do. Like this T-shirt that was $5.00 at a weird fake vintage store. Oh, yeah?????
Next stop: Australia and New Zealand!