My trip to Tokyo........unbelievable encounter.
It has been a while since I've posted here, which is odd considering it is one of my favorite forums, but I figured I'd share a pretty amazing story.
This past year I finally got up the nerve to travel overseas after finding a cheap plane ticket to Tokyo. I had been wanting to go for a while but kept making excuses so one night I just told myself "well hell if I buy the ticket I'll have to go" so that is exactly what I did lol. To make it even more adventurous I hopped on the plane with only a single back pack, no hotel reservation and nearly zero Japanese language ability. If I was going to do Tokyo I wanted to make sure I got the full effect by being completely out of my comfort zone. It was definitely the right choice.
So I finally arrive in Narita, figure out how to get a train ticket into Tokyo, and made my way into Shinjuku station just as evening was approaching. After a few hours of stumbling around in amazement I found a tiny little business hotel near Kabukicho (I know, I know, haha) to set my stuff down in so that I could go wandering the streets for the rest of the night.
Thankfully right by my hotel was this amazing little bar district. I believe the area is known as the Golden Gai. All of the bars were EXTREMELY tiny, as in just a few seats each with most being no more than maybe 10-12ft wide. Well I could definitely tell that it wasn't exactly a Gaijin friendly area which is understandable. If your bar is that small you obviously cater to a very select clientèle of regulars and don't want some newbie hogging valuable seats.
Well after stumbling around a bit I finally find a place that will let me slip inside so I plop myself down beside a few Japanese gentlemen. A few beers later and the conversations begin. They were all pretty big video game nuts so we hit it off right from the start. After some round about talk they pinned me down and asked me what my favorite game was. Not thinking about it too much I blurted out "Snatcher for the Sega...er I mean Mega CD". To my amazement all three of them (the two gentlemen I was closest to and the bar tender) let out a gasp of delighted surprise and then it happened:
Bartender: "Ah, that is one of Suda sans favorite games" .
Bartender (motioning to the guy I've been sitting beside the entire night: "Suda likes that game"
Guy I've been sitting beside: "Yes, good game"
Me: *Jaw hits the floor*
Yes ladies in gentlemen on my first night out, on my first overseas trip in my entire life, in the first bar I find myself in, with absolutely NO planning whatsoever in a metro area containing 35 million people I wind up, unknowingly, drinking the night away beside Suda51. The other man beside him was one of his directors, Masahiro Yuki.
It gets better though. After Suda called it a night Yuki took a liking to me and told me to come back in a few nights so that is exactly what I did. Suda didn't show up this time but Yuki, myself, and the bartender ended up chatting the night away. After quizzing me for a bit on old school video game material they crowned me a true Japanese Otaku (lol) and after discussing it amongst themselves for a bit Yuki decided to take me to meet a few more of the gang to finish out the night.
Well we show up at another tiny bar only to plop myself down right beside none other than Kenji Kaido. Yes as in creator of Ico, Shadow of the Collosus, etc. Oddly enough even though he spoke hardly any English and me hardly any Japanese we hit it off and ended up getting hammered together until 5am in the morning while listening to 8 bit video game soundtracks lol. Kenji and myself were both Honda lovers having owned the exact same cars (Integra Type-R's) so we spent a lot of time "talking" about that.
So to sum things up it was the best couple of nights of my entire life x 1000000. The improbability of the event is so incredible that I still can't believe it actually happened.
And finally I leave you with the pics:
Suda leaning out wearing his trade mark red jacket. Director Yuki on the mini-bull horn lol.
Beside Kenji in that pic is a Square developer who remained quite mysterious. If you know who he is I'd love to know. He was really cool but really modest so I had this feeling that he might have been someone really important.
I've got a ton of other pics from Tokyo, which BTW is more mind blowing than you can imagine, so I might post those up in a bit if anyone is interested.