Road to new album recording, Japan. 2020, Day 2
I woke up kind of early and after a quick shower I walked to Ueno station, stopping along the way at a Starbucks to get some coffee.
It’s not very far to walk from Asakusa to Ueno station, and it took me about 20 minutes to get there.
One of the things I do when I do these trips is that before I go, I check the surroundings on google street view. This is my way to prepare on traveling in Japan so most of the way I could find without using my mobile phone for directions. Another thing I do before I go is to watch YouTube, there are many channels that have Japan as a subject and talk about stuff to do in Tokyo. One of the channels talked about Amayoko market so this was my first destination to visit. Before my visit to Amayoko market I took some time to look around Asakusa, with a big temple as a main feature in Asakusa.
Ameyoko market is a big outdoor market that has two faces. In the day time it’s a buzzy street market with mostly food and fashion but that changes in the night
and becomes a place to drink and eat, for the most part in small Izakaya bars with drinks and food on the menu. My goal for this trip to this market was to eat the famous fish bowl named kaisendon, a bowl of rice topped with fresh fish. It was not hard to find this dish, but I had one place in my mind I wanted to go and after some walking around this market I found the place I was looking for. It was amazing and really a good price, only 550 yen. After this meal my next challenge was to find a saxophone shop so I could get me some good reeds for my alto saxophone. After some texting with my Japanese friends I got the tip to go to Okubo, a neighbourhood within Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward and it is built around shin-Okubo station and is accessible on the Yamanote line.
The Yamanote line is the more easy way to travel around Tokyo and all the important wards are on this line. After arriving at Shin-Okubo station it was super easy to find a music store for wind instruments, there were many! After spending some time wandering around in the shop I bought my reeds and found my way back to the station and my next goal was to visit my friend and super sax repair man, Jumpei Atsumi.
I was introduced to him by Yuichiro some years ago and he worked on my sax on that tour, he is a very skilled repair man and I was looking forward to see him again. Feel free to connect with him on twitter. He was really surprised that I contacted him and after some messenger texting we agreed to meet in front of Ikebukuro Station at 15:00.
It was so cool to see him again and we decided to get some drinks at Kirin City where they have the famous Kirin Beer. After some drinks and snacks we agreed to move to a different place, an izakaya named Koike with very cheap beer and great food.
During this meeting with Atsumi I got some bad news that kind of put me of balance for a while, Satoshi send me a message on messenger about corona virus trouble in Nagoya University. We had booked a studio there already some time ago but there was a complete lockdown of the campus so this studio was no option anymore. Of course Satoshi already spent a whole day looking for an alternative so we still could proceed with the recording as planned. He found another studio in Nagoya so all would be oke, still I was kind of freaked out about the whole situation and the jetlag was not helping also. Atsumi and I had a great night together and although my Japanese and his English is not that great we could understand each other fine and we talked about saxophone stuff, life so Jin Sei.
After this wonderful night out we said our goodbye’s and I took the train back to Ueno station. When I reached Ueno station there was no public transport anymore, it was too late for that so I walked back to Asakusa and found my hotel. The next day would be my last free day for some time so I went off to bed soon after arriving.