Ikebukuro West SideFollow @gaijinass
We all get mixed up here. I think that’s why I like living here. I think that’s why I ended up right here. Outside as the sun rises or as it sets I can watch everyone going around and doing what they do and making their paper.
If I don’t mind him and his wife screaming at each other in Cantonese, I can go get some Pigeon two blocks behind the cheap Sushi place, with the chef that tries to cover up his old, worn tattoos, but that doesn’t matter because he’s missing two finger ends anyway.
I go by really cheap, fresh vegetables about 3 blocks from my place, help an old Korean woman put a box of potatoes on her rusty old cart she uses to transport the goods/keep her upright and I smile at a group of young ladies that pass by on their way to where-ever. Then I wave a little “hello” at a line of kids that go to the Christian kindergarten across the street from my place and on the other side of the side walk I make vacant eye contact with a 20 year-old hooker walking to meet some john in one of the hundred love hotels that dot the area.
All the big trees on the main street outside my place here across from the elementary school on the 4th block of Ikebukuro are green and full. The fat, platinum blond, former sumo wrestler that runs the Ramen shop a block away, next to the florist, opens his store, sits in front of it all day shirtless, covered in sweat, and then gets hammered on beers and shochu in the evenings with his friends. More young women that look used but want more money and more tanned, thin, slick 20 something year old guys with cold stares in their eyes go from this place to that; Diamond studs in their ears and matching watches that the street lights glint off of as they wander alleys and corners getting people what they want.
I live in West Ikebukuro and I still haven’t figured it out yet.
You can get in more trouble with these:
|Interview with a Dominatrix||Groper Train||7 English loan words that are totally dirty||White woman, Japan sex||Japan’s Nuclear Weapons|
It actually sounds like a nice place out there GJA. Tell me some more, I am stuck out in homogeneous-ville (not all bad) out here and so enjoy your stories.
It’s a funky area man. I mean, I live here for a reason. It appeals to me. You can find things here that are tough to get else where but then again you can hop on the train and be basically anywhere else in Tokyo in 30 minutes or less.
I have been eating Ramen out of the square packets for years. Had the real stuff once. Simply amazing. Could live on it. I would be a regular at the Ramen place.
Being next to a christian school is awkward. I don’t know what it is but everytime I set foot in a church I get physically ill. Cold sweat, f’d stomach, pale as a ghost, and have to fight to keep the puke down. Don’t think I could take living that close too a christian school; it’d be too much like being near a church.
Cheap fresh veggies, hell yeah. They got broccoli? Asian veggies are good too. Always get plenty of them on the order when I go to the hotpot restaurant. I should have looked for taro (or is it taru?) root when I was last in the asian grocery stores. That stuff is like potatoes, yet better.
All that diversity has to have some Mah jongg going on around there. Could do without the hookers and love hotels. Just give me some sake and put a bowl of ramen in my future and all is well.
The pics really brought the article to life. It may have been a short post. Still, between the pics and what was said, well, the post managed to say alot really quick. It was nice. Got alot going on here, can’t handle most of the new developements so am not letting them sink in, your post though…it took me away for abit.
Away to a happy place. A place I think I could like. A lot going on there though, so would want to keep it short term. I am more of a rural, tranquil village type. I think a nice mountain-side village with a hot-spring and a little-old-shrine would be just right.
When I was studying in Japan I’d always stop by Ikebukuro to do my homework for the day. My school was in Shinjuku, but for some reason I always found myself on the rooftop of Seibu eating a bento and sweating in the hot sun while I studied, or sitting on the steps of Sunshine 60 or just walking down the back alleys and streets in Ikebukuro. I could never explain why, but it was always a place I liked walking around.
I used to hate Ikebukuro. I never ever came here. For whatever reason, I just had a bad image of it. But, it’s a really interesting place. Oddly enough, these days I really think Shibuya is a pretty nasty place. There is garbage everywhere, it’s utterly rat infested and the people that hang out there are fucking vacant. Completely vacant.
Can’t disagree with you there. I stopped visiting Shibuya a few years ago unless I had a really specific purpose there. Center Gai always smelled like rotting garbage, and the streets were slick with some kind of grease. Seeing crowds of platinum-haired, just-out-of-high school mobs of mothers with equally platinum-haired toddlers disgusted me enough to avoid it whenever I could. After wandering in Ura-Harajuku though, I kind of got to like walking around there. Something different I guess.
But yeah, I used to hear from Japanese friends that I needed to be careful in Ikebukuro because it was “dangerous”. Had to laugh at that every time.
That has not changed. AT least once a month a Japanese friend cautions me about the perils of living here.
Love the “West Side is the Best SIde” hand signs ….cuz it is!!!
Haha. Had to throw it up.
B&W photos are where it’s at. I love how it makes everything look gritty…it helps of course if the subjects being shot are actually gritty as well, but you know what I mean. Sepia is good too. Looks all old-timey. Very cool post, man. I always like seeing new gaijinass updates in my reader folder.
Cheers. Black and White suits “The Row” here. Happy Go Lucky rainbow fantasy belongs else where. Summer was time off for us but we have some big things coming from now.
Ikebukuro West Gate Park! Long live the King of the G-boys!