With everyone somewhat drunk and tired from the night before at Womb, we woke up rather late and didn’t leave our hotel room until 2pm. First thing was something to eat, on our way, I saw one of my favourite cars parked on the street, a Honda NSX.
Lunch would be a simple bowl of Ramen, nothing to special to write about it, just a photo. Once finished, we’d be making our way to Odaiba.
The trip to Odaiba involves firstly a regular train to Shimbashi and then a change to a new train network called the Yurikamome, which meant something like train of the future. It’s hard to call them a train as they’re more of a hybrid with a bus, this is in the way that they still utilise tyres to go around (as opposed to a track) but they’re also guided (like how a track would guide a train). These things don’t have a driver and are operated by computers, this meant I could get a cockpit view of the Yurikamome and pretend I was the driver.
To get there we would have to cross the Rainbow Bridge which is a very nice suspension bridge, unfortunately the trip across the bridge was surrounded by a cage of sorts(as well as being on the bottom level of the double decker bridge) and the view of the water below wasn’t very good. So I decided to be creative instead and make it seem like we were going at ‘light-o speed-o”.
The trip to the island was met with a lovely setting sun with some nice rays peeking out of the clouds.
Getting closer to our stop I could see a lovely wedding in the distance and heaps of helium balloons were being released into the sky, unfortunately I couldn’t pull it out quick enough (the camera that is, haha) and snap a photo.
Walking off the train, I soon realised that everyone else had gotten off a stop earlier and I had to wait around for them to realise. During this time I saw more of the wedding and it seemed rather extravagant, even though I couldn’t see that many guests. What made me think it was extravagant? It was the videographer, it’s the first time I’ve seen someone use a boom for a wedding and they not commonly associated with cheap weddings. I was hoping it’d be a hot actress or j-pop star of sorts, but I couldn’t get an opportunity to see the bride’s face or get a good photo.
The island itself is rather interesting, as it’s actually man-made, there’s also a beach on there, but from what I could see, it didn’t appear too appealing. The other interesting part of the island I saw initially was the Statue of Liberty (I kid you not) sitting close to where the train station was. It’s only a miniature version of the real thing, but the detail is rather good, no idea why they would decide to copy another monument instead of making their own.
The view from the island itself is quite spectacular, especially seeing the Rainbow Bridge in it’s full glory.
There a few odd displays out and about, and at one, Ed would decide to show his love and propose to Tang.
Moving onwards, we dropped into a large shopping mall with a rather interesting tropical fish display, the tanks varied in shapes and sizes with a few shallow square ones and interestingly, gem shape and dodecahedron (or something).
By this point in time, we were getting hungry and pushed to find some food. I don’t quite remember the name of the restaurant, but they had a picture menu and it looked pretty good. I decided to get some beef patties and the regular dish had 2 with a lot of cheese, silly me thinking that the regular wasn’t going to be enough (because you know, the japs don’t eat that much), I opted for an upgrade to 3 patties. When the plate came out it was huge, Ed had a meal with a pattie as well, but he had a single one with a tiny bit of extra meat. This thing was huge, by the time Ed was done with his single pattie, he was rather full. I had struggled to finish that thing even though it was quite delicious, a lot of beef and a lot of cheese made me feel completely stuffed.
After finishing dinner we moved on to see the Fuji TV building (at this point I felt like I wanted to roll there), it’s certainly an interesting building in terms of architectural design as it’s got a giant ball in the middle of it. From our brief visit there were stalls inside selling various gifts and souvenirs from Fuji TV productions. Outside was a funky escalator to go higher where we found a gift shop with plenty of balls for sale.
The next stop would be Joypolis, but before we got there, out eyes were drawn to a rather interesting store, it’s name was Condomania, and as suggested by the name, they sell condoms. Going inside, there were plenty of wacky things, some rather amusing but all related to condoms in one-way or another.
So Joypolis, what is it? Best way to describe it is “Sega-world”, it was very reminiscent of the Sega-world we used to love in Sydney until it closed down (and now demolished to make way for CBA). Armed with our passport (2500 Yen), walked inside. It was very similar with plenty of games around and wacky rides inside, whether they were small rollercoaster type things or wacky VR or simulator type things. My two favourites there were the Initial D game and this ‘Storm-G’ game.
Firstly, the Initial D game was awesome, instead of your regular dingy arcade setting or tiny VR type pod, there were three whole cars that you could sit in. A WRX, a Toyota AE86 Corolla (i.e. Hachi-Roku) and a RX-7 FD3S, all cars from the anime/game. These things weren’t models, but striped out versions of the real thing, the doors close with a nice clunk and the tacho inside actually works. It was unbelieve as the car rocks side to side while you drift your way down the mountain. Amazing to be sitting in the driver’s seat of those cars while playing a game.
Storm-G was a Wipe-out/luge type game where you’re strapped into a little ship which spins around. When I say spin, I mean it spins all the way around 360 degrees. Unfortunately the pic I took was rather bad, but hopefully of the others have a nice pic or video. Once we were in, we had no idea what to expect because all we knew was we had to press a couple of buttons in sync at a particular time to spin and steering the craft was a team-effort. Ed and I ended up winning the race fulfilling every spin action required. It was awesome being spun around, with a couple of double spins thrown in at times.
There were a couple of other cool rides like the spin-bullet, house of the dead and a prison break role-play sorta thing. The prison break thing was quite cool, it could have been much better if it was completely in English, instead the “tour guide” had to speak Japanese first and then provide a translation in English which kinda dampened the go-go-go action-esque nature of the ride. There was one ride which wanted to go on but it had a massive long through-out the night. It was basically a half pipe and you’re strapped onto a giant snowboard attached to a pendulum thing. It would swing up and down and you’d spin once you hit the peak. Unfortunately I don’t have photos of many of these rides (I was lazy to pull it out of my bag)
The other thing I noticed about Joypolis, is that it’s very couples oriented, with a couple of rides providing love-ratings when the game was over, I think Gavin and Tang were made for each other when they scored a very impressive 92% in this trouble in paradise shooting game ride.
Making our way back to the Yurikamome, we stopped by to admire the view of a large ferris wheel, but first we found this rather amusing sign. It appears that signage is required to stop people from peeing in public or in certain areas.
The night ended for the everyone except me when we headed back to Shibuya and to the hotel. I decided that I would going to go to ageHa no matter what to see the lovely German trance DJ by the name of Jerome Isma Ae. Everyone else was too tired so I departed the room with two bottles of vodka and lemonade in my hands, a phrasebook, money and my passport.
By this point, it was about midnight and unfortunately for me the trains are about to stop running. I had to take a train to Osaki and then change to Shin-Kiba. When I got to Osaki, I was faced with a terrible sight, the entrance to the platform for train to Shin-Kiba was closed and that meant only one thing, no more trains. Screwed either way, I decided to Taxi it to Shin-Kiba, the second bottle of Vodka and Lemonade later, as well as being 6000 yen poorer (yes, that’s close to $80) I was at Shin-Kiba and close to the club.
Walking there I noticed a large building and thought nothing of it and would never have thought the club would be the whole thing. Heading there to line up, it felt like it was the size of a warehouse and it wasn’t until you walk inside and around you appreciate how big the place was. Lining up I met a bloke by the name of Andreas who I pretty much spent the night partying with.
ageHa is a seriously massive venue (I can’t emphasis this enough), nothing in Sydney can possibly come close and the production there is simply mesmerising, as is the sound. For a club, the entry price is VERY steep, if you thought the $25 cover charge in Sydney was a pain, this place cost 4500 Yen to get in (yes, close to $60). There’s 4 rooms (more like stages) in the place and the outdoor one has a pool in the middle, although if you jump in, you get kicked out), it was also a bit cold to go for a swim.
I would have loved to take some pics, but security there is very strict (comparable to an airport), and I had to leave my camera in a locker outside. As soon as Jerome Isma Ae came on, so did the lasers. I don’t actually remember too much of the night being pissed drunk and I really only remember a couple of songs from Jerome Isma Ae, one of which was Stars (as for the ones that know the rest of the story, no comments please =D).
But yes, ageHa was simply an amazing experience, I would have to rate the experience as one of my best trance experiences, even exceeding some of the large festivals. It would have been an epic experience to stay for their 8th Anniversary on the 18th of December where Ferry Corsten and Solarstone will be playing. I’d strongly urge you to pay it a visit if you’re inclined to any sort of dance music.