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The Return Of Kiichi-kun III

In our epic conclusion to the trio that is “The Return Of Kiichi-kun III,” Ashely and I were finally able to venture into Tokyo and begin our exploration of all things Japan.

The first expedition found us wandering the back streets of Shibuya to head towards Harajuku. At first, we felt as if we were completely lost, attempting to utilize my phone maps (which for a USA phone in Japan, it doesn’t quite work right). Eventually we found the shops getting cooler, the food stalls becoming far more interesting looking. We popped in and out of punk-clothing shops, a baby clothes store that featured graffiti-style printed clothes for toddlers, some thrift shops, then gradually made our way towards Kiddy Land; the king of all toy stores. I’ve hit Kiddy Land each time in Japan, collecting my Final Fantasy toys, but this time they had none! We stocked up on omiyage for our friends and family, then went for food. Continue reading

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The Return Of The Kiichi-kun II

It was a short van ride to Saitama from the Tokyu Excel for Loud Park; when we finally arrived, we all grabbed our bags and stage clothes and headed to the dressing rooms. 

Like pretty much everything else in this country, Japan really has the dressing room situation figured out; not only figured out, but basically has all things hospitality, nailed down better than any other country could even fathom. Each band has their own large private space, a decent rider in their room, temperature controls for your room (you’d be surprised how rare this feature is typically), a clean bathroom and showers nearby (a rarity in some countries to even have a shower or toilet), world-class catering (with Japanese food), and really pro backstage crew (including stage crew, caterers, hospitality, security, press, etc.). Japan, just like in everything else, does the backstage world better than anyone else. Continue reading

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The Return Of The Kiichi-Kun I

There’s no place on Earth that I strive to be in more than Japan; no where I feel more at home (outside of my own home); no where that when I’m away from it, I miss like one misses loved ones on a trip far away in some remote part of the planet.

I was born in the Yamaguchi prefecture (Iwakuni) January 26, 1986. I consider myself to be half-Japanese (my mother’s side), half-Marine (thanks to my military father). My family relocated to the USA when I was about 1, so I have zero recollection of ever being in Japan as a child. 

Thankfully – due to the band I am in, I am able to return once every year and a half or so. Lately – and unfortunately – Trivium only comes back for either a brief press run or one show in Tokyo. One show? That’s torture! I’d prefer to have a year long tour there than one measly show. Either way, one is better than none. Trivium returned for Loud Park 2013 and we had the greatest Japanese show ever, and one of the greatest shows of our career even. But if you live in Japan, you probably already heard about that show. Let’s go behind the scenes of everything else that happened on my visit. Continue reading

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Last Supper

(Tokyo. Day 4.)

The last day was a quick one – rested and revitalized, there was no press today. Just the impending cross-globe flight to NYC to hit the press trip over on that side of earth. Koji had some work to do, so after Corey and I packed our luggage – we decided to hit whatever we could find randomly. Continue reading

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Sake-Stomach-Soup 

(Tokyo. Day 3. Part 2.)

Shrimp-mayo again. Happy, little fried-nuggets of shrimpy-goodness; these were way smaller than the ones from the first night, but just as amazing nonetheless – the bed of greens and sprinkles of green onion were a good compliment. The duck (with the fat) skewered with wasabi was a good laugh. A good laugh in the sense that every person who took a bite (after about 3-5 seconds) was immediately invaded upward-nasal-style with a kick of some serious wasabi-ness. This is what I imagine Steve-o’ lines of wasabi felt like; every single person at the table had the same “Holy shit!- but I’m trying to maintain composure, red-as-a-beat face on.” Terrific. Continue reading

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day 2. part 2.

Lots and lots more great press… yadda yadda… 

We actually had all the head retailers of all the CD-retailers from all over Japan come in to have us demo our new album, videos, artwork, and basically be the salesmen of the new record: it went amazingly… but it made me hungry. Continue reading


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(day 1 continued)

 

The next dish was (if in the USA it would be called this) Shrimp. 3 ways. It was shrimp covered in Japanese mayo (a completely different taste than our american mayo), deep fried shrimp heads (the best part of a shrimp to me; cooked the best way), and shrimp crackers. This dish was something special. The shrimp mayo was probably one of the best damn things we ate that night – Japanese mayo has a sweeter flavor than US-mayo, and it’s far lighter; fried shrimp heads… if you haven’t had them done right before – try it; it rules. Continue reading

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Since being home and off-tour – I’ve found it very difficult to be able to type up new food adventures… so – to keep this bad boy alive, I will be posting old issues off my original tumblr food blog. I’m sure not everyone has had the chance to enjoy these original blogs. The writing ain’t as good, I may be cruder, and the pictures are all iPhone… Guten Apetit. 

 

Day 1. Tokyo.

Having never done a blog based around my travels and gastro-adventuring, my friends and family have always encouraged me to start something like this up. All of these photos are iPhone photos in (obviously) some of the most un-photogenic lighting situations; so you’ll see the food pretty much as i did… in a semi-blurred haze (not unlike mine, which was induced by copious amounts of delicious japanese alcohol and jetlag). Continue reading

Toe Kyo Whoa Oh. Goh (bye bye).

Tokyo

I typically require 7-10 hours or so of sleep to recuperate post-show; before a hellish flight lasting anywhere from 6-20-30 hours – I can pull it all off with like 4 or so hours; Japan – I don’t care how much I sleep as long as I eat a lot

Waking up early once again, for my final meal in Japan – I collected Nick, Paolo and myself, and headed back to the alley ways of kindly-hollering Japanese women and mystery stalls with delicious meat-smells pouring out. We did a few passes of the mini-restaurant stalls, cruisin’ that shit like creepers – and decided to go with the spot with the giant pot brewing meat-stew.  Continue reading

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(Trivium “Down From The Sky” live at Loud Park)

Toe Kyo Whoa Oh. Shee. 

Tokyo

I am a planner. I probably will get on your nerves if you’re ever on a trip with me. I applaud my band mates and my wife for being such good sports when being down for my timings of things. We had the Loud Park show at night… but I planned out with Paolo the night before that we really ought to get into town for a badass Japanese breakfast before heading to the show. It was my goal after all to get as much food into my body in Japan as possible before flying back to the US of A.

We took the trek back into roughly what was the area of the first Izakaya spot we hit for first dinner the night previous, and began the wander. 

It’s tricky… I can’t exactly say that a wander into just any food spot even in culinary capitols will yield amazing food – you have to develop this extra sense to notice if a restaurant or food spot will have just what you need. Most things in Japan are not in English; most things in Japan are pretty inexplicable by definition to describe exactly what you’re getting in to… If you can handle the latter, and you have a sharp sense of what will deliver good food – you will survive on the road as a food-freak. Continue reading