A true to life drama of a Jamaican male, living and working in Japan since March 2008.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kyoto, Osaka, Niimi, Okayama (Japan Summer 2012 Part 1 )

Days 1593 - 1599
Sunday, July 29 - Saturday, August 4, 2012  

Day 1593 (Mr. and Mrs. Smith)
Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stayed in today and watched Mr. and Mrs. Smith for the second time. I watched it back in 2005 but when I watched it again today it was like the first time I'm watching it. Quite a bit of it I didn't remember.

In the evening I had dinner with my Wednesday night student and his wife at TGIF (Fridays). We spoke about random stuff.



Day 1594 ( Portable I-Phone Charger / Local Train Tickets )
Monday, July 30, 2012

Went to Yokohama station today to purchase some tickets called juuhachi kippu. I bought them last year also. With these tickets, you can take local trains to anywhere in Japan for one day. And one set of tickets is for 11,000 yen / US 140. 1 set equals 5 tickets. So I can travel all over Japan for 5 days. If I don't use all the tickets, I can get a refund.

I also bought a portable charger for my I-phone, because my battery finishes in a jiffy. This portable charger will add about 30 - 40% more battery life. Depending on how much I fool around with the phone.



 Day 1595 ( Local Trains To Kyoto / Snoop Dog's Reggae Transformation )
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My reggae/Jamaica T-shirts are in Yokohama now, but I have to head out for a 9 hours journey to Kyoto this morning. So I called DHL (who should be delivering my stuff) and asked them if they could deliver my package this morning before I leave, but they said they have to sort out stuff first and that won't end until like 3:00 pm. So I have to wait until next week to actually get them.

I then headed out to the train station for my 9 hour journey all by myself. This is the first time I am trying this kind of thing alone in Japan. The train rides are long and boring so I was of course playing around with my phone. And of course my battery started dying very quickly.  I took about 7 trains and I eventually got to Kyoto at about 7:00pm.


Snoop Dogg becomes Snoop Lion, readies reggae CD

I don't know for sure but I personally think that Snoop Dog is just trying to get some new fans.

 Snoop Dogg says he was "born again" during a visit to Jamaica in January, is changing his name to Snoop Lion and is ready to make music that his "kids and grandparents can listen to."
The artist known for gangster rap is releasing a reggae album called "Reincarnated" in the fall.
The West Coast rapper held a news conference in New York on Monday. Later he played five songs for a small crowd, including one called "No Guns Allowed." It features his daughter.
The album will be followed with a documentary of the same name. It features him making music and will include some personal elements of his life, a producer of the film said. It will debut at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.




Day 1596 ( Osaka PL Fireworks Festival )
Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Went to Osaka from Kyoto, which is about 45 mins - 1 hour on the train. Then took another train to an area of Osaka known as Tondabayashi City. I went there to attend the biggest fire works festival in all of Japan. Over 600,000 people will gather. It starts at 7:00 pm but because of the massive crowd, people start gathering from as early as 3:00 pm. I got there at about  4:30 pm. While on the way, a group of beautifully dressed males, in lady's apparel were on the train. There was no way to actually know that they were men, until you hear them speak. I am not sure if they did the whole organ transplant thing or not. But they were quite open on the train.

You would have never guessed
Yeah they are all dudes
 After arriving at the location, I needed to use the bathroom but had to join a line outside of a convenience store. I had to stay in the line for 1 hour. Eventually we found a place to sit and watch the fireworks but rain started to fall and I had no umbrella. So I got soaked in the rain. Not only me but several others as well.
The fireworks actually got pushed back by 1 hour because of the rain.

Here is a video of the fireworks:

And some pictures:
In the streets of Tondabayashi, Osaka

While going back, I had to bore my way through 600,000 people. But growing up in urban Jamaica, I know how to handle massive crowds. Its even easier in Japan because they will move out of the way as soon as they realize that its a foreigner trying to get pass them. Some random girls were actually following me while I was rushing through the crowd of people.



Day 1597 ( Clubs Shut Down In Osaka )
Thursday, August 2, 2012

Got some souvenirs in Kyoto today for random friends.  Then went to a Jamaican restaurant in the downtown part of Kyoto. I have been here a couple of times before. The name is Rub Dub. Met some guys there who were visiting from Finland. One of the guys is starting to grow dread locks.


Police crackdown has the club set up in arms

They were called discos in the 1970s and 1980s and have been known as clubs since around the downfall of the bubble economy in the early 1990s.
These are the places where people dance to music played by DJs — hangouts for youths and networking spots for up-and-coming artists.
They are now at a crisis point.
A number of clubs, notably in Osaka, have been forced out of business since last year after police took action against them, including arresting their operators, based on the 1948 entertainment business control law.
The law obliges club operators to obtain business licenses, but many do not, because doing so would require them to close at midnight — their busiest time.
Music and dance lovers are alarmed by the seemingly sudden stiffening of police attitude, as the authorities have long given a tacit nod to such premises operating without licenses. Patrons started collecting signatures nationwide in May to seek the exclusion of clubs from types of establishments controlled by the law in a campaign launched by celebrities, including musician Ryuichi Sakamoto.




Day 1598 ( Heading For Niimi, Okayama 2012 )

Friday, August 3, 2012

Its time for the second leg of my journey. From Kyoto to Okayama by myself. If I took the shinkansen (high speed train ) it would have taken only 50 mins from Osaka to Okayama. But we are talking about local train here. So it took over 3 hours. On the way, my portable phone charger fell from my pocket. I heard something fall, but I totally ignored it. I realized when I got on the train at Himeji, that it wasn't in my pocket. The train was scheduled to leave in the next minute or 2, so I just left it there. Going to attempt to get it back when I'm returning to Yokohama on the 14 hour, all local trains trip.


I got to Okayama at about 1:30 pm. Then I bought another portable charger and some reggae towels for my shop attempt.

I eventually got to Niimi at around 5pm and my Niimi mom's husband picked me up at the station. I stayed at their house for a while, then my former land lord took me out to dinner at a restaurant that we normally go to when I lived in Niimi. I asked the restaurant owner for his wife, then I noticed the atmosphere suddenly got gloomy. Then my former land lord said "oooh sorry I didn't tell you?" .... Then the restaurant owner said to me that she died 2 months ago. He said he cried bitterly, which is normal. The restaurant owner also said he had to do surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.

After the restaurant, we went to a snack/karaoke bar where I saw some more guys who I knew from before. I went back at about 1:30 am.

The guy on the right owns a stationery shop



Day 1599 ( Niimi Home Town Festival - Niimi Furusato Matsuri )

Saturday, August 4, 2012

My former landlord took me to his house so that his mother could fit on my Yukata / kimono (Japanese traditional style, special occasion clothes ). After that, I followed him around to get some food, beer, drinks etc. Then we went to the festival. This was my third time going, and it's always fun.

Here is the video for this year

Saw some friends who I haven't seen in over a year. I was really happy to see them. Take a look at the pics.

Some former students

Some persons I used to play darts with

Former English teacher in Niimi, Donald

New and old J.E.T teachers in Niimi

Good friend of mine, former English teacher in Niimi, Chris
If you can't see me in the dark, you are racist :p

Good friends of mine, Chris and Peter and
Vice principal at my former main school

Former Karate friend Saki

Students I taught 3 years ago

Students I taught 2 years ago

My former land lord's daughter

Former main school's Vice principal..
Coolest VP I've ever met

Former camera man for my TV show in Niimi

Former students from 3 years ago
I am still surprised at their height

Green Afro, sipping on some Vitamin water

Former students 4 years ago.

Power Rangers

My dear friend Melissa, spent 2 years in Niimi,
Took over my show when I was gone, visited Tokyo,
now gone back to the US

Good friend of mine, Andrew 
I had a great time tonight. I then went with some of the foreigners to a snack bar, then to a pool/darts bar. Got back to my Niimi mom's house at 1 am. Keeping my fingers crossed that they are not upset with me, for doing this the second night in a row.


Rising Sun said...

Niimi looks a nice place. You certainly look happy in the photos. Are there many foreigners in Niimi?

davay colly said...

Thanks for your comment Rising Sun. Niimi is a very small town. But there are about 11 foreigners living in that very small area. Pretty much all the foreigners know each other.

Rising Sun said...

Thanks for your reply Dave. Actually, I and my Japanese wife are going to live in Niimi from next month, end of September. We have been living in Kyoto since we came back to Japan, but I recently retired and we will be going to live in my late mother-in-laws vacant house in Niimi. I hope to do a little part-time teaching. Anyway, I, like yourself, am a church goer and I was wondering if you could tell me of any churches in or near Niimi. I read in your blog that you went to church while you were in Niimi, so I would appreciate any information on churches there. Thanking you in advance, James.

davay colly said...

Hey again Rising Sun,
There is only 1 church in Niimi, it's called the Niimi Christ church. In all honesty it is a bit boring, and they speak only Japanese. There is an American lady there (Jenny) she was (and still is) like a mom to me. Her husband is Japanese and she has been living in Niimi for more than 20 years. She also has Bible study on Mondays. She would more than welcome another English speaker...

davay colly said...

Send me an email at davecolly at gmail . com