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.

Chicken Soup Japanese Style

Click to enlarge.

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.

Angeline Saris in Japan

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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.

Angeline Saris with fans in Japan.

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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,


6 Responses to Looking Back on Japan

  • Junko says:

    Hi Angeline! I’m so glad you really enjoyed in Japan. Tokyo is my home town, so when you have a chance to go there next time, I’ll tell you good spots.
    I met Narada at first time in Tokyo on ’95. That is the reason I’m here now.
    I love ramen, too!
    Love, Junko

    • Angeline says:

      You will most definitely have to tell about more good spots next time I am out there! Thanks so much Junko!

  • Antonio says:

    Japan is indeed a beautiful country. I was there in 1983 for the first time, and what I remembered was how well dressed everyone was. kind of how it was here in the states in the 30s & 40s . I remember leaving a club very late and sitting on a bench in the middle of the city and it was so quite. Very respectful people. At about 5:30am all the old folks would be up sweeping the city streets before the work day. Glade you had a good time. I don’t think you will find a more appreciative audience anywhere in the world.

  • David Wilhelm says:

    My best friend has been fortunate enough to visit Japan twice as part of his enlistment in the air force national guard and all i heard about after those trips was how amazing it was. genuine delicious food, busy city life, polite people, and the wondrous places he got to see that you can’t find here in the states. Makes me want to visit sooo bad, i love places where you can walk around for hours and see so many new things without even realizing how tired you are of walking.
    Sounded like an amazing trip for you. hopefully you’ll get the opportunity to visit more awesome places!

  • Al says:

    I have to agree with you on Japan. It is a slick, wonderful place, with fantastic people, and every day is an adventure. I’ve spent three years of my life there and would love to spend more time there if I could.

    I really miss the ramen too.

    Check out my blog for a daily photo from Japan.

  • Kevin Grant says:

    I have to agree with you about the Japanese, I was there back in November for the second time and I felt safe, I go back every two years.

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