Fukuoka to Kyoto

May 21st, 2011

I was right to be looking forward to the shows in Japan that I arranged through friends and through random web searches. I had a lot of fun in Fukuoka with the First of December duo and some new friends who made the effort to come to the show from further afield in Kyushu, including Ryosuke who had met my Mum on a bus in New Zealand over a year ago, came to a show in Wellington and paid me for my CDs in yen…

We all partied until 2am at a delicious local restaurant where we ate bamboo, clam chowder, Korean style pickled cabbage and abalone bake cooked in its shell. We also drank Umeshu, laughed, translated, mimed and shared stories…

The following day I left early for Kyoto but missed the Shinkansen that would have allowed me extra time incase of problems in Kyoto. On arriving in Kyoto I thought save money by using public transport- I should have got a taxi.

I ended up getting completely lost, walking straight past my guesthouse where I needed to print the directions to get to Urbanguild, off load my luggage and shower. After an hour of walking I realised I had to get to the venue and with my google map chart on my camera I attempted to get a taxi driver to take me there. With only a camera still of a map and without an address he said he couldn’t and so I had to unload my suitcase, guitar, shopping bags, effects and walk in the heat of Kyoto asking for help along the way. After another hour I got to the place where the guesthouse was supposed to be and it wasn’t there. I walked around in figure of eight loops in case google maps was slightly off. It wasn’t there. The little back street shops were so cute, the craftsmanship of the products they were selling, furniture, avante garde kimonos, impeccable. I gave thanks to the heavens between moments of desperation, that if I had not been lost I would not have seen these out of the way places. And then I cried. I was hot, dehydrated, tired and hungry and two hours late . Once the tears started they wouldn’t stop. I thought I just wouldn’t make the gig and that would be a first. Kyoto a city of preserved tradition has no skyscrapers- I had no address and no bearings.

Through my foggy thoughts I chanced upon two women, one said “you look like you need help”. People had already attempted to help me with no success and so I told them my story in hopelessness. The woman popped into a shop on the cute street we were standing in and came out with a man and a magazine. “The address is Kiyomachi Dori- New Kyoto building”- she read from the magazine ad. “its a 30 minute walk from here. There is a phone number I will call them”. In Japanese ” I have a woman here from New Zealand who is lost, meant to be playing a gig at your venue tonight. Can you confirm your address?”. She then hailed me a taxi, wrote the directions in Kanjii and told the driver where to take me. In 5 minutes I was at soundcheck. I launched in ready to set up but at the sight of me Ryotaro told me to rest. I ate pickled fungi on crusty bread downed three glasses of water and admired the sugoy surrounds. It was like being in my brothers old bedroom with the wall completely splattered and stencilled in gold, cream red lines and fruit salad plants. The space was very creative and I was so relieved to have found such familiar art community where timeliness was less important than comfort. It was a bit like Arc (Dunedin) in the 90s.

So the gig went well- no time to wash, change or powder my nose, but I performed with a lot of heart given the grief of the day… the support act Biroudo-Neko were very serene- interesting, playing multiple instruments, Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’, ‘these are a few of my favourite things’ in Japanese and English and some haunting originals. Ryotaro played accordion, which he could use as a sort of digital instrument. I enjoyed their set. I made a plan to meet Masaki Yanagida in two days time to film some of the next shows and went out for dinner with Ryotaro- another 2am finish with drinks and eating. This is how it goes in Japan.

Return to Blog Roll

Leave a Reply

valentino shoes outlet|valentino rockstud replica|cheap valentino shoes|valentino shoes replica|valentino shoes outlet|valentino rockstud replica|cheap valentino shoes|valentino shoes replica|valentino shoes outlet|valentino shoes outlet