Sunday, February 2, 2014

Tokyo Round 2

Octoober 28-Nov 1. Hostel in Asakusa, Tokyo

After the MotoGP, I went into Tokyo to a hostel I knew of in Asakusa. I wanted to be in Tokyo on Halloween because I figured if any place was going to have some parties, Tokyo would be it. I met up with my friend Gen in Akihabara. He brought a few goodies back from for me including a Sigutech clutch slave cylinder. He tried to help me get a cell phone but as we learned, it's nearly impossible for a foreigner to get a sim card or prepay cell in Japan. I was on the lookout for a volt meter for my bike and I was hoping Akihabara would have something. I found many cool nerd toys but no digital volt meter that would work on the bike. I saw one but they wanted $50 and it wasn't waterproof. Later I found one at a motorcycle shop for $25 that was waterproof and quite compact. A few days later I helped out Gen install a few parts on his way-to-clean 690. There was a monthly party that just happened to fall on Halloween and that's where I went. Dressed as a panda of course. I have never been waved at on the subway by so many cute Asian woman as I did dressed as a panda. One would nudge the girl next to her and the would both look at me and giggle, smile and wave. The party was a lot of fun and I met quite a few foreigners and locals who could speak English. The most memorable was a girl from Vietnam and another girl from Missouri. I would meet up with both of them at later times. I stayed a little to long at the party and even though I made 1st train that circles the city, the subway back to Asakusa had stopped running for the night. And it only Midnight. So armed with a subway map I headed what I thought was east. Luckily, I spotted a road sign that had me going north instead. So I went a block back to the station and turned left. Soon I saw the next metro station so I knew I was heading the right way. After the 2nd metro station, at a stoplight I was picked up by some Americans in a taxi who had no idea where their hostel was in Asakusa was. So I helped them find the hostel and went to bed. The next Gen gave me an iphone to use. With out that, I would not have been able to set up the shipping of my moto out of the country.

Cool garage near my hostel.

Funny signs.

Need a mother board?

Need a recording volt, amp, power or temp meter?

Hmm. Looks a bit analog to me. 

Who needs an oscilloscope? 

I'm afraid to ask what this actually is. 

9 story sex store. 

I don't think this would be a big seller in US. 

Every Asian girl's dream :P

 From November 1st for a few weeks I stayed with Andreas. He lived about an hour west of Tokyo by Metro. I went on a couple dates with my new friend from Vietnam. She could speak good English and decent Japanese. Its always interesting hearing the different perspectives of the foreigners with different upbringings living in Japan.

Andreas making an amazing creation.

Said creation :D

Moscow Mule

My favorite whiskey.

Drinking whiskey with a new friend.

One day I went to the Kirin brewery with my friend Mayu and her sister Eri. The history of the brewery was somewhat interesting but the tour itself was not nearly as cool as other brewery tours I have been on. The highlight of course is free beer. Especially in Japan where beer is very expensive.

In Yokahama with Mayu.

I'm not sure what this add is for. 


Sisiters and beer.



Mayu and her boyfriend asked me to come hiking with them in the mountains and I'm glad I went. The fall colors were very beautiful.

Written how it sounds.

More great signs. 

Beautiful colors. 

It says "maximum 3 people"

Someone doesn't hike up enough hills in Tokyo

Since I was sitting around, I was doing work on the bike. I replaced my clutch slave with a sigutech unit. Before I installed the Sigutech, I had an oil leak. I thought replacing the slave would fix that since it came with new oring/gasket. It turns out, I still had the leak even with the new parts. I checked the neutral switch, countershaft seal and shift lever shaft. The oil was coming from the clutch slave. To get at the clutch slave, the countershaft protection must be removed. It was then I found a crack in my frame hidden by my exhaust. With the help of Andreas and a few phone calls, I found a guy in Tokyo who could tig weld it for me. About $90 I had a freshly welded frame. He even painted over the weld for me.

A few days later Eri, Mayu and her boyfriend asked invited me for an early birthday dinner. We had some stone fire pizza and lots of wine and beer. They even called ahead so there was a cake waiting and they sang the birthday song to me. In case you are wondering, there is no crazy Japanese birthday song... as far as I know.

Mayu was mad that they spelled my name wrong.
She was traveling. I wanted to talk to her more, but she there was a language barrier. 
I went out to another couchsurfing party on the 14th and I was about to miss my train home. The guys I was drinking with were late for their last train also. So we decided to welcome my birthday by drinking through the night. We went to a few clubs and a few bars. By 4:30 I started walking to the station for the first train which was around 5. It's crazy how many people you see that just stay out all night after the subway closes. For most, a taxi home across Tokyo will cost around $100. So if you miss last train, you power through till morning or get a capsule hotel. I was glad to get back to Andreas's house to climb in bed about 6:30.

The next day we met up with some of the Gaijen Riders and had a very fast ride in the hills to the Izu Peninsula. I didn't take many photos along the way. These guys rode hard and at times it was hard for me to keep up. I was wishing I had a supermoto at that time. That night we stayed at a guest house owned by an older man who used to live in Mexico. He was the Mexican national Judo coach for the longest time. His daughter and son grew up in Mexico so they spoke more Spanish than Japanese. We had a good soak in the yonsen before an awesome Mexican dinner. It had been way to long since I had good Mexican food. Some tequila was consumed that night.  

Happy to finally get a good view of Fuji

Still loving the 2 smokers in Japan

And the classic Z bikes :)

You see just about everything out on the road in Japan. 


With the Judo champ and family. 

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