For as long as Jaime has been in Japan, she’s been telling me about Roppongi and the madness that can be found there during the night. Since I’ve been in Japan, we’d talked about going down there almost every weekend, but nothing panned out. To say that we successfully completed that goal this past weekend would be, in my opinion, a dramatic understatement!
I’ve had a great time the past few weeks with the build-up to the World Cup and the ensuing matches that have been played. I whetted my football appetite by taking in a game at the Yokohama International Stadium, then kicked off the World Cup at a bar here in Fussa. I’d watched the Japanese National Team’s first game at Jaime’s place, yet was determined to get to a bar to take in the next game with a bunch of crazy Japanese fans. This goal, along with getting to Roppongi, came together this past Saturday night for an unreal twelve hours.
Earlier in the day, I’d met up with Jaime and some of her friends down in Harajuku to get some dinner then watch the game. We decided to head into Roppongi to eat. Roppongi is one of the best places to try on your party pants in Tokyo. Lots of foreigners and adventurous Japanese people descend upon the place at night and don’t leave until sometime the next day. Our plan was to eat, watch the game and then see where the night went.
We settled upon a Mexican restaurant for dinner, where I proceeded to put down a plateful of tacos and enchiladas, topped off by a pitcher of margarita-flavored tequila that the four of us shared. Moving from dinner to the shot bar Propaganda, we met up with another group of people from Fussa to watch the game. By game time, the place was packed with expats and Japanese fans alike, all there to cheer on the home team. Actually, our group of eight Americans was the loudest table there, leading the bar in countless songs and renditions of the Japanese National Team’s chants. I’m pretty sure we were the best fans in that place. After countless rounds and shots, the game ended with Japan losing 0-1 to the Netherlands. Even with the loss, I’m pretty sure we all had a great time.
From Propaganda, we headed out into the streets of Roppongi and made our way to Geronimo’s shot bar. Along the way, groups of Japanese people in blue jerseys were out, still cheering wildly even after the heartbreaking loss. Geronimo’s was packed with jersey-clad fans who quickly warmed up to the boisterous Americans.
At this point, details start to become a little fuzzy and time seems to have warped, leaving the next five or so hours somewhat of a blur. The camera was packed up and safely put away. The girls ended up catching the last train back home at midnight while the five guys remained behind. This is no easy decision, as the trains don’t resume operation until 6 am. This means you must either find a hotel or party your face off until you can pass out on the train back home. We chose the latter, and I think it was a good choice. We ended up at some dance club at one point. Pretty unsure of when we got there, but by the time we left, only two of us remained from the original group.
Walking out of the club at 5 am was equivalent to walking out of a bomb shelter after massive explosions had just devastated the immediate area. We’d gone inside while it was still dark, but the sun was out and shining when we stepped out of the doors. The streets were still packed with people, although most looked much more haggard than they had about six hours previous to that point. I was no exception. My contacts were dry and burning, making it hard to keep my eyes open in the glaring sunlight. My ears were ringing so bad from the pounding music that I could barely hear anything. My throat was hoarse from trying to yell over the music, while my body ached from the ridiculous dance moves I’d been creating over the past few hours. Clothes were hanging at odd angles and I’d lost my memory at some point. It felt as if I were having an out-of-body experience of some sort, as I was able to see what was going on while the rest of my senses were rapidly shutting down. Staving off offers by surprisingly un-sluttily clad Philippine prostitutes to join them for specially priced, “just-for-us” deals, we made our way to McDonald’s and then the train station. The fact that we made it to Mickey D’s twice in one night, while I haven’t been to one back in the States since sometime last year, aptly describes our level of intoxication. I’m glad I did it, but I’m pretty sure I took a couple of years off my life in the process. Sunday wasn’t much fun, but now that I’m feeling much better, another round in Roppongi sounds pretty appealing. Good thing I’m leaving soon!