Looking Back on Japan
I have to say, I had a hard time writing this blog about my first trip to Japan. Each time I sat in front of the laptop, I watched the cursor blink, wondering how I would ever capture in a simple blog post all that I had experienced during my first tour with the Narada Michael Walden band.
Let’s start by saying Tokyo is a slick city. Think of New York on steroids, minus the crime, the litter, and the general chaos. Tokyo feels bustling, energetic and wild, yet completely in control at all times. Beautiful shrines and temples are sandwiched in between blocks of towering skyscrapers. The subways are packed with impeccably dressed women, stern business men and tons of people wearing those funny surgical masks to prevent the transmission of germs. The food is enough to bring you to tears. I sliced kobe beef with a fork and made daily treks in search of the best ramen houses in the city. Each one had a different take on ramen, with various broths that made me feel like I was sipping on my mother’s chicken soup.
Our schedule was busy, to say the least. For those of you that know me, that’s just the way I like it! We got off the plane, checked into the hotel and within an hour we were in a taxi on our way to dinner with the owners of Act Square, the first venue we played.
The next week and a half consisted of a TV Performance on NHK’s El Mundo, 8 shows at the Tokyo Blue Note and 2 shows at the Nagoya Blue Note. Lobby call was at 3:00, so I tried to rally each afternoon to see something cool. Daily treks included Harajuku (twice!), Sensoji Temple, getting lost walking around Tokyo and multiple excursions for killer ramen. As it seems with any trip to a new place, I wish I had had more time to explore.
The thing I loved most about Japan was how warm the fans are. Looking out from the stage, I would see hundreds of some of the most attentive and appreciative people I have ever witnessed. It was great to have an audience that was excited and not too shy to show it! There is nothing quite like watching this from the stage. It made performing so much more fun. We signed tons of autographs after each show and fans spoiled us with cute little gifts like chocolates, jewelry, kitchen towels, socks and bootleg CD’s of cool shows. I even signed someone’s bass, which was a first for me.
I’m hoping this trip will be one of many to Japan. I already miss the ramen!
Check out my gallery page for photos from the trip.
Love and Low End,