I promised Ryo to write the post about my day at his place in english, so he can also understand it. Since english isn’t my first language there will be a lot of mistakes, so if you find anyone you can keep them 😛
So, well, here we go, douzo 🙂
t was time for me to leave Tokyo, this cesspool of loudness, all kinds of crazy and overworked people and a city which is one of the parade-examples of stupid city-planning (this stems mainly from the fact, the city planning in japan was mostly done for the benefit of some politicians and not for the people. Oh, and one of the big players in the construction-businnes is the japanese Mafia, the Yakuza. I think you can draw you own conclusions who is helping who). Leaving Tokyo felt much too early. I wanted to explore it much more, but on the other hand there was a whole country waiting for me.
The only thing i knew was, that Ryotaro, my couchsurfing-host was living somewhere between Tokyo and Yokohama (another big city). My plan was to visit the Ramen-Museum in Yokohama, but there i couldn’t find any couchsurfing-host, so Ryo’s place was the nearest option.
I arrived at the station too late – japanese trains still confuse me to no end. Somehow i managed to contact Ryo (a free WiFi-spot in japan is worth more than the best hand-made sushi, believe me) and there he was, picking me up with a broad smile and a Bob Marley T-shirt. Oh god, i was so relieved that he seemed like a very chill guy, it’s unimaginable 🙂
Ryo lived just a few hundred meters away from the train station. It was his relative’s house, i hope i can remember correctly, i think it was his grandperent’s. It was an older, traditional japanese house. I’m sure most of you readerss who’ve never been to japan know this sliding door-kind of houses. Well, Ryo’s house was like this 🙂 What I also liked a lot about the house and the garden, was the fact that everything was NOT in perfect order. Japan and it’s people often lack spontaneity, but they are very good organizers. What I’m trying to say is, that often things in japan just look TOO god, almost sterile. Ryo’s house was the complete opposite from this cleanliness. No, it wasn’t dirty at all, it just told you a lot of stories. For example, there was this old orange at the family altair, a gift for the deceased grandfather (or someone other). Who put it there? And why was it there for so long? Why exactly an orange?
And then, all these old photographs and souveniers. Who took them, who bought them? In english there is a say that if you are courious, you can explore „every nook and cranny“. The point is, many japanese apartments don’t have any nooks and crannies anymore, cause they are way too perfect. Ryo’s home was full of nooks and crannies. I liked this a lot 🙂
Since my plan for this day was to go to Yokohoma to visit the ramen-museum, i spontaneously invited Ryo. He seemed like a person who’s chill to hang out with. So we drove off to the big city.
The ramen museum itself wasn’t worth the money. Ramen, for those who don’t know, are japanese noodle-soups. Every region, well, every village has it’s own ramen. Just like about every village in Germany has it’s own beer. Ramen is fukken tasty so i thought i’d get some insight into the history of ramen. But nope. The ramen-museum is basically just a not-so-big accumulation of different ramen-shops who offer ramen from different regions from japan. That would be totally okay, if the price for the ramen woouldn’t be way higher than in the usual ramen-ya (= ramen-restaurant). But anyway, the ramen was tasty and at least the whole museum is designed in a japanese-retro-style. Old movie-posters, old houses, old vending machines etc. Of course a lot of it is plastic and fake, but who cares, it was fun to look at.
With our bellies full and a few hundred yen lighter Ryo and me drove back to Hadano. Back there we just talked, watched some tv and chilled. It was such a relief for me, after the horribly busy and giant Tokio to again get a sense of nature and calmness. In the evening i went into the garden to smoke a cigarette and the only thing i could here was the never-ending chirping of the japanese cicaads, the Zemi. And i could see the stars.
When i asked Ryo about what he wants to do in the future, he told me that he will soon go to New Zealand for a one-year working holiday. He’ll travel, he told me. He’ll hike, he told me.
And i think he will enjoy his trip very, very much.
Thanks for the wonderful day, Ryo.