chris vs. the arctic

chris: 72 // the arctic: 47


This past weekend I went to Osaka with my friends Sarah, Holly, Jamie, and Shelly. We took an express train from Takaoka City, Toyama to Osaka on Saturday morning. It's a 3.5 hour journey. Not that bad at all! I really like Japanese trains. You can turn the seats around to face each other, and they have vending machines. Expensive though.

Anyway, we went to Osaka mainly to check out The Shins in concert. The Shins are an independent band from New Mexico. The cool thing is that they are on the same label as The Constantines. Shonane Knife was opening for them. They are an American band comprised of Japanese expats. They once opened for Nirvana, and are on the same label -- Sub Pop.


One of our goals for the weekend was searching out a famed restaurant called "Christon Cafe." We think it's actually supposed to be "Christian", because the theme is Catholic dogma! After searching Shinsaibaishi for half an hour, we eventually found it. It was fantastic! It had a huge chandelier with dangling crosses, a neon-lit alter, huge gothic chairs, and Virgin Marys everywhere you looked! So sacrilegious and delicious!

Outside Christon CafeInside Christon Cafe


The highlight of the Osaka trip was drinking. We ended up stumbling around Osaka Saturday night, going to 5 bars/restaurants. The best one, by far, was this club called the Under Lounge. It was filled to the brim with Japanese folk getting their grind on. I could have sworn it was a gay club at first, because they had 2 male go-go dancers with bikini briefs and leather, and 2 drag queens. But, they also had a female go-go dancer. And there were just as many females as there were males. And all my friends were getting hit on. A really good time though!! We were so embarrassing at the restaurant afterwards though -- way too drunk and loud! Ridic.


So, after sleeping in the next day, we watch a movie to chill before the concert. I saw Ocean's Twelve for ¥1800. That is about $22 CAN. Yeah. That's right. Damn. Oh well.

The Shins were fantastic! The venue (Club Quattro) was intimate, so we were basically right next to the band. Most of the people who went were gaijin (foreigners), so it felt like I was back in Guelph! We wanted to meet and hang out with the band afterwards, but we realised we were much too drunk and embarrassing for that.

The Shins

We took the sleeper train back to Toyama that night. :( The seats were small, so it was hard to lie down. (They weren't proper beds.) Basically, I didn't get any sleep. Plus, I had to take another train to my town once I got to Takaoka. That meant hanging out at the train station at 04:30 for 2 hours. Man, work that morning was brutal! But, it was worth it!!
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