Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tokyo pulls plug on late-night Roppongi-Shibuya bus service

Tokyo pulls plug on late-night Roppongi-Shibuya bus service

Well, this has zero effect on me.  I was never a Roppongi party person anyway.  Back in my party days if I was in Tokyo I was in Shinjuku.  Not because I'm some cool, danger-seeking guy.  I don't know how dangerous Shinjuku is at night, really.  I'm told it's dangerous.  I may have been in a bubble of obliviousness or else people tend to over-estimate the dangers.  I've been in the middle of actual riots in the US, so there may be a subtle skewing of my sense of what's dangerous and what's not.  I never felt endangered by the elderly man who propositioned me for oral sex in Shinjuku on two different trips months apart, for example.  I certainly didn't feel endangered by the young woman who did the same my first time in Shinjuku, although when her pimp came running up I thought it best to walk away.  Allowing the guy from Boston to lead me through some back alleys in search of a nomi-hodai place was probably not my smartest moment, although he did take me to the same hostess bar where a friend of mine and I once spent $200 in an hour before depositing me at the Hub about a block from my hotel... where I drank beer and ate fried food alone.

Anyway, Roppongi has never held much appeal for me.  I've never been a "scene" person.  Even when I lived in a small town here and the scene consisted of the same 12 people, I wasn't interested.  I don't really need to be seen by others, don't feel my appearance is necessary.  My scene has always been the people I'm with and my immediate surroundings.  Wherever we are drunk--be it a parking lot outside my apartment, a smoky bar full of townies and college students, a live music venue, a sweaty, groping dance party, naked after-hours trespassing in apartment complex swimming pools or eating pancakes and sausages at IHOP at 6am as cops make a pot bust in the parking lot outside-- is my "scene."  And I've always been more in search of really solid drunkenness than a one-night hook up.  When I want to dance, I want to dance all night to rock music, not club beats.  I'm not into dressing up and using "product" or whatever.  So it usually turned out my ideal night on the town was just getting trashed on beer, eating some yakitori, then doing karaoke until 3am with some close friends.  You can probably do that in Roppongi.  I wouldn't know.  That's not my image of the place.  I'm sure I'm wrong about it.  I don't really care to find out otherwise.

Well, the last train.  I suppose a bus that takes you to Shibuya Station at 5am from Roppongi could be pretty convenient for some, but it didn't work out that way.  One that drops you off at 1am is completely useless.  There's no train.  You still have to wait.  You'd be better off back in the club, if it's still open.  Or  walking around to find one of those clubs that open after all the other ones close to cater to people who don't like to end their evenings based on train schedules.  Or taking a nap in a 24-hour Internet cafe, the kind with big comfy chairs and showers.  I've known people who had to take out of town business trips that invariably wound up with after-hours drinking parties who regularly slept over in Internet cafes.  Cheaper than a hotel room.

This leads me to wonder how the abrupt end to the partying will go over with the Olympics crowd in 2020, or if the various city governments in and around Tokyo will come up with some kind of plan.  The anti-dancing laws put a damper on the fun, too.  Another thing you can do is just stick to your ward when you're out getting wasted and hooking up.  Get you and your partner to a love hotel within easy walking distance of your meeting place.

Actually, these days my "scene" is lying in bed reading books on my Kindle while my wife does Facebook on her laptop beside me.

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