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Eric: I'm In Tokyo...What To See?


VAB5

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By all means try to experience the "tea ceremony." I would head to the Ginza district for some nightlife. Visit one of the many beautiful shrines. Ride the Bullet Train. Ask around and find a good karaoke bar. Find a great restaurant that serves real Kobe beef filets.Prepare to swoon. Check out the Presidentail Palace. Pretend you're lost and need directions and marvel as a complete stranger stops what he's doing and leads you to your destination. Order a chai iced green teawith milk. Use the sugar syrup. Go to the underground fishmarket. Take a cab ride just so you can be amazed at how cabs in Tokyo are absolutely spotless. Watch the news and marvel at the complete lack of crime. Enjoy every minute of this beautiful country. Anyone else have some suggestions? ec

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I had a blast in a Kareoke bar in Tokyo the last time I was there in 99. Eric's right, the crime is very low. Working women {office women, not hookers} feel safe enough to walk the streets at 11 o'clock at night. I stayed at the Capital Tokyo Hotel when I was there. I felt completely safe walking the streets late at night. I always ventured out late at night to a bar of some sort. You should check out there subway system. I really did get completely lost getting off the wrong stop. Probably the thing I enjoyed the most besides performing there was watching the Sumo Wrestling matches on TV! What a blast that was!!! Especially after a few drinks!!! I loved Tokyo! Come On Eric!!! Let's book some shows there!!!! I'm ready!

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Hi All. This is my first post. VAB5 - I was priveleged to visit Japan a number of times in the late 70s when I worked for Yamaha and have to agree with Eric. Experience all those things. A stroll around the Ginza district at 11.00 p.m. is well worth the effort. Life as you have never seen it and so much fun. DOOOOO try the food. Don't be shy. It's great. A trip up Tokyo tower gives you a different perspective. A visit to Yokohama is easy on the train and reveals another side to Japanese life. Even a Bus tour of night spots which gives you a taste of different sorts of entertainment is great. And watch some T.V. even if you cant understand the words, especially the gameshows. They are a real laugh. Do what you can and enjoy.

Muzza

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VAB5 - Will you get time to travel away from Tokyo. Thats where the real Japan resides. As Eric says catch the Bullet Train and head to the Shizouka Prefecture - Hamamatsu City and Iwata. Just looking out the window reveals a beautiful and amazing country with such extremes of culture and technology.

I wonder - Eric did you get to visit the Yamaha Music Instrument factory at Nippon Gakki? Although I was there for the Motrocycle industry this factory just blew me away. I also stayed at a place called Tsumagoi - a retreat which had everything including students from the Yamaha music school entertaining in the evening. Absolutely wonderful stuff.

Muzza

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My first trip to Tokyo was as "Special Guest Star of the World Popular Song Festival" which is sponsored by Yamaha. My first Japanese performance was onstage with a fifty piece orchestra playing to an audience of 10,000 at the sold out Budokan (I think Bernie has that one on tape). The stage was breathtaking and it was a wonderful experience. I never went to the Yamaha factory but I'll bet it's amazing. I love so much about Japan, the food,the culture, the gentleness of the people. I love that education is so highly prized and I love that Japanese schoolchildren are brought up listening to classical music. I love walking down busy streets andd seeing people so considerate that they wear surgical styled masks over their nose and mouth when they're sick so they don't spread germs to others. I love that being smart in Japan is good. I love that stealing literally doesn't exist. It's just not part of their culture. We could learn a lot from them. ec

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Eric. I can only agree with you about the people and especially the stealing. When in Kyoto my boss left his wallet on the counter of our hotel one morning. We spent the day in Osaka where he realised his wallet was missing. When we returned that evening the wallet was still on the counter where he left it untouched.

Now that would not happen here in New Zealand. It would probably have been stolen before we left the hotel.

One day I want to go back and share those wonderful people with my wife.

Muzza

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Eric's right...Tommy Allen's Flashcubes are LEGENDS in Japan. When they went there a couple of years ago for a four day tour, Japan's top rock bands of the day were FIGHTING for the honor of an opening slot.

Another friend, Dan Elliott, sings in The Belmonts - Dan sings all of Dion's parts. They went to Japan in '99 and he was treated like a king from when the plane landed to when they took off 10 days later. Fans were showing up to the clubs in leather coats and greased back hair, etc.

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It's amazing. How could a great country like Japan, just 65 years ago, try to take over Asia and rape, torture, pillage and butcher the people of China, Indonesia and The Philippines for several years, and believe their little leader, Hirohito was a God? Then, when they ran short on soldiers, they convinced their young teenaged kids to commit suicide by ramming their planes into U S ships...kind of like those crazy "insurgents" are doing now in Iraq with their car bombs...Not to mention Pearl Harbor!

Oh sure, they're a fine country and people now...And they are more disciplined and polite than us lazy Americans...But you gotta keep that little history lesson in the back of your mind...

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Tony, yikes !! -- that's a little harsh. I think the new Japan has forgotton the past -- as should we.

I go about 5 times a year to Japan. Best parts for me:

Go to the temples in Kyoto. A bullet train away.

Go to a restaurant called "Gonpachi" in Roppongi -- in Tokyo, a very cool restaurant. The traditional Japanese don't like it, as it is quite progressive. They have 2 floors, the top floor, for some of the what few places that serve creative sushi, and the bottom floor, the yakitori and other small dishes area. A lot of fun. Go before 9PM, as they run out of beef dishes, like evey time I go.

If you like electronic toys and other gizmos, go to Akihabara. A place like no other for this.

Go walk in Yoyogi park. A very serene place in Tokyo.

Try to find a JAPANESE person (I mean friend, or friend of friend) to take you to specialty restaurants (Kobe beef, Yakitori, even high end sushi). It is impossible to do without them.

Visit My Fuji (starting now).

I have many business cards of clubs, cigar bars, etc .. but not with me. And, without maps, they are impossible to find.

Enjoy the fact that pretty much all of Japan don't have street names ( a couple of cities have instituted them, but, not Tokyo). No one knows where to go. It can be really funny. This is why, even like was shown in "Lost in Translation," everyone faxes maps to everyone to show where to go. I have been in many Taxis, that have no idea where to go, even 2 miles away.

Erics' comment about the courteous people that give directions are so true. Everyone is so handicapped in this area, because of the confusion of no street names, they are very sympathetic to lost individuals. They understand the pain :lol:

I'll think of more ...

I love the country. it is like the "bizarro New York" to use a phrase from Seinfeld. I have had breakfast in Toyko, and dinner in New York the same day, and it is so interesitng to see the differences, in a very short time span.

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Tony, Politics and religion make for checkered pasts. What white settlers did to the Indians (and judging from the name they've given their museum, they prefer being called Indians rather than Native Americans) wasn't exactly charitable. History is recorded by men to ensure that the worst of it isn't repeated.

:) --Darlene

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mannoman said:

You don't come around much anymore. Don't be a stranger. I trust we will meet again.

Hi Ted,

Yeah, I have been super busy, and been bouncing around the world a lot (just flew into Las Vegas from Cannes, after meeting some clients at the film fest), about to open an office in Beverly Hills, etc... I check in here regularly. A lot easier to read from my Blackberry, than to post.

But, I look forward to October 6th, if it (hopefully) occurs, and see y'all then!

Bernie, if you ever get bored, and feel like adding some web code, a PDA friendly version of EC.com would be appreciated ;);)

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Tony, Tony, Tony, I try to make it a habit not to blame all of the people in a country for the meat-headed decisions their leaders make. If I truly thought that all Germans knew and approved of what Hitler was doing, I would have found it difficult to ever set foot in that country. The Catholic Church has given us The Inquisition and quite a few other memorable moments, but I would hardly hold all Catholics responsible. And how about those nutty Romans! I get mixed emotions every time I pass the Colissseum thinking about what went on there. Crucifixion was a lovely idea as well. But I love Rome, and I love the people. I feel the same way about Japan. I felt a special "bond" with the people, almost from the minute I arrived. I'm sure there a a few incidents in American history we might not be too proud of. That doesn't mean Americans are all bad. ec

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OK EC...But this was a modern times power and pillage grab. If you knew what so many Japanese soldiers DID in the name of their "superior race" to the poor people they captured from other countries in the early parts of the war...My dad saw some of that when he was over there in the big one...

I hope that's all in the pasts now...

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My stepfather and subsequent siblings are Chinese. My Grandma Quan (yeah, here I am with blonde hair, green eyes, fair skin and my maiden name was Quan!LOL) HATED the Japanese because of what they did to her family in China. Yet during the Vietnamese war in 1969, my mother married a Chinese man and many thought she was a traitor for marrying an Asian. Nobody distinguished between Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese --- they were all just Asians. So I used to come come from high school and find my brothers being pinned down and beaten on their own front lawn and my sister would cry that everyone said she was ugly "and what's a Chink anyway?" Now I go through it because my two youngest children are adopted and are African-American and the staff at the local Y follows them around to see what the black kids are going to steal. My Annie cries because she can't comprehend being hated and mistreated just because of the color of her skin. The more things change, the more they stay the same.<sigh> Someday we need to let go of the disasters of the past and focus on raising all people as a whole to a higher level of humanity.

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Tony, your comments were hurtful and insulting. But I'm not going to focus on that. I'm going to focus on my children and their honor. You have never spoken to me before tonight and this was not a stellar beginning but I will treat you with dignity and respect as I respond. My Brian and Annie do not suffer from lack of discipline, lack of self-esteem, or an improper diet. They are drug babies. They were disposed of by their biological parents.

Brian was never expected to survive --- he has substantial kidney/bladder/ureter damage, brain damage, neurological damage, ADHD, Oppositional Defiance Disorder and Conduct Disorder, borderline retardation, developmental delays... We couldn't even get health or life insurance on him and adopted him anyway knowing we would have to pay for his funeral out of pocket. I've spent 12 yrs doing round the clock catheterizations and bladder irrigations, hooking up his IVs, sterilizing his surgical sites and repacking his dressings. The child who was not expected to survive is going to be 15 in two weeks and is infection free --- nothing short of God's grace and miracle. I'll stop now, I think you get the picture.

Annie is cocaine exposed, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Anxiety Disorder w/panic attacks, (they're still watching for borderline Personality Disorder), learning disabilities. She arrived with double ear infections and they dumped her on my couch and gave me instructions what to do if her eardrums ruptured. She was emaciated and looked like a Somali poster child because she had to fight the rats for her formula. She used to self-mutilate by clawing the skin off her body and tearing her hair out in clumps. She used to bite my shoulder until I bled when I soothed her. She went back and forth between tremors and rigidity as I took her through cocaine withdrawl. I watched them examine her at less than a year old for rape. She was expected to be institutionalized. She is not! She is a stunning 13 yo young woman who took herself from 2 gr reading to 8 gr in less than 1 1/2 yrs (a benefit that I've been homeschooling my kids for the past 12 yrs because we couldnt get assistance from the public schools.) She does volunteer work at the same Y that mistreats her. And, both she and Brian help me care for their older sister's little boy every day. They homeschool him, nurture and play with him, rock him and hold him, get him through asthma/allergy attacks... all the things that their mother role modeled for them their entire lives. And I did it all with three other children at home with disabilities and disorders. (You see, my older, biological children are 27, 23, and 20 so I've been at this a very long time.) So at this point, Tony, I would say that my self-esteem is just fine as I can hold my head up with integrity, character, and self-assurance. I have great pride in my family and in a 28 yr marrige that has withstood what most people couldn't imagine in their nightmares. How's your self-esteem doing at the moment? In 27 yrs when your child is as old as mine we'll talk.

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Ecstacy, what an amazing, inspirational story. You are to be commended for all that you've done for your children and may God continue to bless them.

Don't let the thoughtless, insulting and downright asinine comments that were made bother you...you're the better person for not lashing out.

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Check out how this thread started:

"I'm in Tokyo, what should I make it a point to see while I'm here? Already took in a Giants baseball game."

Then read some of the wonderful suggestions posted by other Members in response.

Then read an insensitive post by a Member who seems to enjoy stirring up trouble.

Then see how many people are offended.

I received many complaints via e-mail about the things said here and actually came here tonight to edit or delete the offending messages. But for now. I have decided to let these posts stand because I am hoping they make the troublemaker embarrassed. And ashamed. And, hopefully, sorry.

Bernie

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