… or how to become temporarily deaf!
As the midnight hour approached, I was at the point in which I had to make a decision. Do I attempt to head back home, and try to get as much of a nights sleep as I can? Or do I head out to the more social venue of Karaoke, to wait until the mid hours of the morning, before making our way back?
Originally, I was fully intending to head back and attempt to get a little shut eye. But after a little conversation with people, I decided to head along with a group that was heading towards karaoke. At first, we were lost, as it was a smaller group, trying to catch up with a larger group. So as we attempted to communicate and get directions, I was thinking to myself…. the Izakaya we just went to, and the service and food…. was it worth the roughly 30 dollars that was spent? In my opinion, not quite so much. Perhaps it because there were just -so- many people… but I feel like I didn’t necessarily get 30 dollars worth of food and beverages… I more or less paid for the experience and socialization, rather than the service of the izakaya itself. Definitely might like to try it again, but likely with maybe a group of 10 or so, rather than nearly 100.
Of course this internal contemplation was moved when we finally got some idea of where we were supposed to be heading. We began to make our way towards a nearby subway… which turned into a balls-to-the-wall sprint as we heard the subway approaching. And as it was likely the last (or next to last) one, we wanted to ensure we got on it, since we didn’t want to walk the full way to where the karaoke place was. Thankfully, we made it, if just barely… and got to catch our breath for a few minutes as we went to the next station. But almost as fast as we got there, we were off the subway car and heading in the direction of the karaoke place…. it was easy enough to find, as there was already a group of foreigners (people from the izakaya) waiting outside, to try and get everything situated for rooms and such.
Eventually, we figured out what was going on. It was going to run us about 1200 or so yen (just over 10 bucks), and we would be able to stay there from the current time (about midnight) until 8am. Often, people use karaoke bars as a cheap place to sleep when they are traveling, as you can rent out the room, go in there, and just pass out, if such is your desire. Of course this was not the reason we were there…. we were there to blow each others eardrums out with loud, off-key singing!
As we all paid, we found out that there were a few different rooms… there were going to be a single ten person room, and then a handful of 5 person rooms. This is the case in which it became something like picking teams for sports in grade school. Everyone would set up with the people they most liked, leaving the oddballs (such as myself and Jason) to fit in where we could. Eventually, we found ourselves in a room with a few others… but of course this didn’t really matter much, in the grandest scheme of things, since everyone began to move from one room to another, mostly checking in with the friends that they didn’t get roomed with… Jason and I did this as well, until we ended up in a room with a couple people we had only just met that day… Jayden and Immy.
We spent the next couple hours basically thinking up every good/popular song we could think of, and singing at the top of our lungs… needless to say, such activity can cause your throat to become quite parched! Thankfully, as part of our payment, we got access to free drinks, both from a soda machine, as well as a bartender… I dunno how alcoholic the beverages actually were, but they were different (ie offered variety in what you could drink). It was a good thing we had drinks, as my throat would not have been able to handle the singing otherwise! A few times during the night, I took a break out in the main lobby of the place, and took a couple pictures. The decor was pretty nice, and it was nice to get a bit of quiet, after all the loud singing!
Eventually, it would get towards 5am, at which point many of the people present would actually decide to head towards the train station, as that is when the first trains apparently begin to run. Probably within 30 minutes, it ended up that myself, Jason, Jayden and Immy were the only ones actually left. I will admit, some part of me -really- wanted to leave… and though I knew the way, I didn’t feel like leaving them, despite knowing they were adults and capable of getting back on their own. So we actually stayed and kept singing until the 8am checkout time. Oddly enough, at that point, I was actually more awake than I had been a few hours ago when I wanted to leave!
It would be a short little subway ride, as well as a bus ride, back towards Hongo station, and then back to the bus station. The walk back actually sucked pretty badly…. but once I got back into my room, I actually had enough energy to shower, before flopping onto my bed and passing out!
But I set an alarm, so I actually only managed to sleep for about 3 or 4 hours, knowing if I didn’t get up at that point, I’d have slept into the night and likely fucked my sleep schedule rather royally. And as much as it sucked, I forced myself to get back up and get moving to do stuff. I decided to head towards the grocery store for a little run… I don’t particularly know why, but I took a few random pictures of stuff I was looking at along the walk around the store, so gonna show you some of them… at some point, I’ll likely do an actual video as to what the store fully looks like. But for now, I’ll likely take random pictures as I am so inclined….. so enjoy?
After buying a few random items, I headed back to my room. With how I felt at this point, it was literally just spending time doing anything I could to stay awake, such as watching videos on the internet, or playing some games… anything short of actually walking around. But eventually, when it got around 7, I stayed up just enough to eat some ramen, before crashing again for some much necessary sleeping!
End of Day 10!