Shockingly woke up today before the crack of noon. Spent the morning composing my late nengajo, new year’s cards. Ki-San showed up around noon to check in on me. He informed me that my boss’s father had passed away, and invited me to his house for Soba noodles.
Had a furious session of packing, then headed over to the Kikuti household for Tamoy-San‘s world class 食べ物. Ki instructed me on the proper way to pay my respects, with an envelope filled with cash.
Road to heaven on the drive to Wakkanai.
Soon afterwards I hit the road headed North for Wakkanai. Doesn’t make a lot of sense to drive North if your destination is South, but I am flying back from Tokyo to Wakkanai, so I wanted to leave my car there.
Bus to Sapporo.
Six hour bus ride later, I was in Sapporo. Checked in at my hotel, and asked the incredibly kind owner the best way to get to Suskino – the epicenter of Sapporo nightlife.
In another brilliant case of Charlie planning, the owner informed me I was an hour away by foot from the only place I really wanted to go. To top it off, he said only about 30% of the bars would be open Saturday night, as the Japanese like to take a few days off following New Years.
Excellent news considering I traveled all this way just for the nightlife and a chance to party with some young people.
Undeterred, I took a quick shower and then boarded the subway. My first destination, my favorite bar in Sapporo, Bagus, was closed. Discouraged, but hard headed I continued on my evening and found a delightful Ramen shop, where I tasted spicy miso ramen for the first time.
Spicy miso ramen, delicious if you're wondering.
Met a charming fellow there named Dai, who took it upon himself to be my Suskino sensei. The first club I wanted to go to was closed, but a bar I love nearby was open. After a few glasses of Sapporo’s finest ale, we headed to another club.
We paid for two girls we met outside to get in, but they quickly vanished nonetheless. I guess I’m not quite as charming as I imagine. Dai soon left too, something to do with the late hour and being tired. I stayed on and danced my heart out. Considering I traveled six hours, I was not going to let a few pesky details get in the way of being of doing my first club visit in a month properly.
Headed to bed now with the goal of waking up in a few hours to view my first Japanese hockey game. Upon arriving back at the hostel, I was delighted beyond all expression to discover Joi Ito had replied to my email request for an interview.
A photo of Chris in a babyhat for your enjoyment. Taken by Ayla.