Yokosuka Here I Come

May 31, 2012


I’ve played the game Shenmue so many times over the last ten years I can’t keep count. It’s one of my favorite games and an example of what Sega’s Dreamcast system was really capable of. The main reason I loved it was, it allowed me to experience Japan from my own home. I could walk through the streets of Yokosuka, talk to random Japanese people, go to a game center and even use a vending machine. All of these are normal activities for everyday natives of Japan.

As I write this I sit on a train headed to Yokosuka. The neighborhood I thought to be fictitious actually exists. I made a friend (Ko) the other night who lives there and agreed to show me around. This is really a dream come true for a game nerd like myself. He told me some of the shops I saw in the game still exist there. The city is changing but there is still evidence of the inspiration for Shenmue there.

I’ll add an entry on what I thought of the city next.


On the flight in

May 18, 2012

Due to my late night packing and listening to Patrice Oneal clips, I fell asleep quickly on my 14 hour flight to Japan. Most of my waking hours were spent reading the amazing comic book DMZ and listening to the new Ab-Soul project Control System. My row mate Shawn an architectural student on his way to study abroad mostly slept. My kind of trip. My fifth time going to Japan an it feels like sort of a homecoming. After reading a book like DMZ (I read about 40 issues on the flight) which focuses on the feelings of new yorkers about their city, I wonder what Tokyo holds for me this time. How has Shibuya changed?

Dj Spinna will also be in Japan during my time here. How much has the club scene changed since my first time getting on the good foot in Shibuya back in 05? I would imagine as much as NY has changed, which is quite a bit. Change is constant, and I welcome it. Even when I don’t like the outcomes (see Williamsburg) I’ll check it out. Isn’t life about new experiences anyway?

What hasn’t changed is my struggle with Japanese. One of the flight attendants saw me studying on the flight and threw in some help for proper pronunciation. The help was for words I already know but the intent was appreciated.

I’ll try to continue to report as the trip moves along.