Amburosya Boyuru is invading!!! Flee the city! May 5, 2009 5:51 PM   Subscribe

AaahhH! Amburosya Boyuru is invading!!! Flee the city! (Tokyo Meetup?)

Hi hi Japanamefites!

My handsome consort contraption and I will be spending 12 days in Tokyo! From May 19th through the 31st, as I will be attending a conference at Tokyo University.

I have no idea what I'm doing, even though I've been trying to read up. We will probably wind up sleeping in a bento box. I know we should try to meet up, though! The conference goes through the 24th, so after that is wide open, days or nights.

Anybody want to suggest something fun? We're totally open to anything!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur to MetaFilter Gatherings at 5:51 PM (38 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Hey, great! I'm free on Mon 25, Tues 26 or Thurs 28. It'd be great to meet you, AV, and catch up with some of the Tokyo MeFi crew.

Gen! Try to make it this time! Bugbread! You too! And everybody else!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:39 PM on May 5, 2009

Oh, also Sat 30 is OK for me.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:41 PM on May 5, 2009


I'm very dodgy on times and so on right now but will follow what is going on.
posted by gomichild at 11:21 PM on May 5, 2009

Too damn busy lately, sorry...
posted by Bugbread at 6:48 AM on May 6, 2009

I had everything packed in my dufflebag, ready to hightail it out of here to avoid the looting, chaos, screaming children etc., and then I read the third sentence to find out the monster's attacking Tokyo? Whew, am I relieved.

Good luck, suckers!! I'm gonna watch this on CNN or my local UHF station, Sunday at 2:00 PM.
posted by not_on_display at 7:20 AM on May 6, 2009

May I toss an idea into the mix here? Not sure if this is just too much 'off the wall' ...

Rather than having the meetup at a bar/restaurant/etc., might people perhaps be interested in meeting in my workshop? That might sound kind of bizarre, but what I mean is to combine the chatting/drinking thing with a hands-on printmaking session.

I have sets of woodblocks that I have prepared for use at local culture festival events. I lay them out on a table, with brushes, pigments, etc. all prepared and ready-to-use. Then, all the people who want to 'make their own print' line up at one end, and work their way down the line, getting instructions as they go, printing a different colour at each step. When they get to the end a few minutes later, they have a hand-made woodblock print ...

I usually do this at the 'bunkasai' culture festival, and over the course of a day, hundreds of kids work their way down the line ... But no reason why we can't do it just for a dozen or so friends.

One problem is, I'm not 'in town'. I live in Ome, and it's around a 90 minute train/train/bus ride west from Shinjuku. So rather than hold it in the evening, it might make more sense to be a day-time thing (with families).

Anyway, as I said, just an idea for the mix. If it's not suitable for this time around, maybe some other time ...
posted by woodblock100 at 4:48 PM on May 6, 2009

woodblock, I think that's a totally awesome (as the kids say) suggestion, and that you're a total mensch for offering. That is so sweet. Speaking for myself, I'd love to do that, but let's see what anyone/everyone else has to say about it. AV, as the visiting foreign dignitary/guest of honor at this potential meetup, what do you think of this?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:28 PM on May 6, 2009

If this meetup takes place on a weekday night, I can't make it, sorry. Have fun during your stay, Ambrosia and Handsome Consort Contraption!

woodblock100's generous invitation sounds absolutely fascinating and if it works out, I'd be more than willing to hop on the Chuo Line from Tokyo for the long haul out to Ome for such a rare experience (with my son if that's okay). I assume this will take place on a weekend?

So I guess it's a maybe for me at this point. Will be keeping my eye on this thread!
posted by misozaki at 5:58 PM on May 6, 2009

I'd better put my own possible dates down then, in case the idea does start to grow legs. During the period that AV (AB?) set down, I'm OK for any days except the 20th (Wednesday) and the 30th (Saturday).

Another possible way to approach this might be to hold off on the workshop idea for now, and maybe try to put something together for the 10th anniversary? Just brainstorming here, but I have a fibre optic line in my place, so it should be possible to put a streaming video thing together, to 'broadcast' the hot printing action to the rest of the MeFi world ... (Although given time zone awkwardness, it wouldn't exactly be 'prime time viewing' for most of our US-based friends ...)
posted by woodblock100 at 6:19 PM on May 6, 2009

Oooh, hot printing action! Tokyo (um, I mean Ome) rep-reZENT!

Seeing as how you can't do a Saturday day thing, woodblock, I can see where this might not work for a lot of folks... it does sound like a really cool idea for the 10th anniversary, too. Great for folks with young 'uns, too.

Well, anyway, let's see!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:26 PM on May 6, 2009

Another possible way to approach this might be to hold off on the workshop idea for now, and maybe try to put something together for the 10th anniversary?

Oh god yes please! I'm going to be in Tokyo then (5th-19th July) and this sounds totally awesome.

AV you better be taking notes during this trip so iIcan follow along and copy the good stuff when I go :-D
posted by shelleycat at 6:56 PM on May 6, 2009

I love the idea of visiting woodblock100's studio, if we can make it on a weekend, and not the last weekend AV is in town. Otherwise, weekday nights are tough for me until the little one is asleep, which would be like past 9 pm ish.

I've started a thread for the Tokyo 10 year anniversary event at MeFiTen, so we can discuss that there.
posted by gen at 7:40 PM on May 6, 2009

Oh wow woodblock100 that sounds like an awesome meetup idea whenever it can happen!
posted by gomichild at 7:50 PM on May 6, 2009

OK, because I'm dead for the Saturday (I'm helping out a guitar player friend with a concert he's holding that day), and because the studio visit idea really only suits a weekend (what with families, and all), I'll bow it out of this thread, and pick it up over on the 10th stuff.

So please proceed with the 'normal' idea of a bar/restaurant/whatever kind of meetup with AV. I'd be up for that too, anyway ... (and we could even do some planning/discussion at that time ...)
posted by woodblock100 at 8:05 PM on May 6, 2009


busy all day, finals and such.

I'm really torn now about whether I'd rather miss a day of a 4-day conference of really awesome career stuff or miss a chance to go explore a Japanese woodblock print shop, if the 23rd is a possibility. Ohhh boy hmmm.

I'm glad you'll come meetup regardless, woodblock100. I sort of forget where you were spotlighted on mefi, but I became a fan then.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:11 AM on May 7, 2009

... or miss a chance to go explore a Japanese woodblock print shop

Please, stick with the important stuff! There's nothing special at all to see at my place ... just a scruffy workshop. Simply we would have been messing around with some paper and blocks. Keep your priorities straight!

As for actually where would be a good place for the meetup to happen, I'm far from the best person to suggest a venue. I so rarely get into town that I just don't have that kind of knowledge. I'm going to sit and wait for some of the 'downtown people' to put some options on the table ...
posted by woodblock100 at 1:54 AM on May 7, 2009

Woodblock's idea is awesome. If there's a Sunday meet-up... I'm there.
Will try to make it into Tokyo for a weekend night. I live in the other suburbs though, so don't look at me for locations.
posted by whatzit at 4:43 PM on May 8, 2009

Is anything organized for AV's meetup yet?
posted by gomichild at 8:37 PM on May 21, 2009



What's it gonna be Tokyo? Who's gonna step up to the plate? Are we gonna show Ambrosia Voyeur a good time in old Edo or what?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:00 AM on May 23, 2009

Evening of Saturday the 30th? The concert I'll be at ends around 6:00, so I'd be in ...
posted by woodblock100 at 6:43 PM on May 23, 2009

I'm good for the 30th. Anybody else? AV?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:58 PM on May 23, 2009

Oh hey there's activity in here again! We've been in town a few days now and AV's conference-related duties have been discharged. We've been wandering the city, learning to use the Metro and seeing the sights (The Kaleidoscopic Eye exhibition at the Muri was incredible) and are very much open to informal outings with Tokyo mefites or even just activity suggestions. We're leaving on the afternoon of the 1st, so the 30th or anytime before that would be great for the meetup proper. And woodblock100, if it wouldn't inconvenience you we'd still be honored to come out and visit you at your shop anytime this week, it sounds amazing and I'd love a chance to see some of your work in person!
posted by contraption at 3:06 AM on May 25, 2009

Well, I have no 'shop' ... just I work right here where I live. But sure, you're quite welcome. The weather looks good over the next couple of days, and this is a pleasant area. The schedule is pretty flexible right now, too. I'll drop you a MeMail in a minute, with my phone number, and trip info ...
posted by woodblock100 at 5:41 AM on May 25, 2009

OK, here it is Wednesday and still no decided location. I'd love to see something happen on the 30th, so if you guys are gonna be all demure and Japanese about this I guess we can be brusque Americans and just pick something if it comes to that. Still, we don't know the area all that well and it'd be nice to get a feel for what neighborhoods people live in or are interested in meeting up in. woodblock100, we've got you pegged on the west edge of town, but flapjax, gen, misozaki, gomichild? Any make-or-break preferences, assuming the date is already established for Saturday the 30th? We're on vacation, so chances are good we'll be at a bar someplace regardless of whether any of you show up. Where should it be?
posted by contraption at 9:31 AM on May 26, 2009

if you guys are gonna be all demure and Japanese about this

I think what's more likely is that this thread is simply too old, and has fallen off the radar for most people ...
posted by woodblock100 at 4:35 PM on May 26, 2009

Hey, I'm still following it! And I'm still down for something on the 30th. As to where, let's see what suggestions anyone has... I don't really go out that much or hang out in bars that often (unless I'm playing in one) so I'm not exactly a font of locale suggestions, but in a pinch I could come up with some possibilities. I'm sure, anyway, place is not a problem. It's all about commitment. So, demure Tokyoites, who's in and who ain't? Speak up!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:53 PM on May 26, 2009

Sorry, but I'm buried in work this week and can't make it. Wish I could have met our visitors... and you too, flapjax! Have fun!
posted by misozaki at 6:47 AM on May 27, 2009

Still no plans so I'll jus throw something out: it sounds like our group is going to be small, in the 2-5 range, so how about taking one of the little microbars in the Golden Gai area of Kabukico in Shinjuku? That's about where we happen to be at the moment, and we tried unsuccessfully last night to locate the La Jetee there, a bar run by a film buff and named after one of AV's favorite films. If that one's full or closed (the owner may in France for Cannes?) we can descend on one of the numerous others. We could meet up by the gate into the area on the west end. It's a very well-defined cluster of little miniature streets with little miniature buildings on them. Thoughts? Counter-suggestions?
posted by contraption at 6:22 PM on May 28, 2009

According to the GoldenGai website, no such bar by that name is in there ... I'm able to turn up a bunch of blog postings by various people who have been to La Jetee, but either it's closed temporarily ... or it's history.
posted by woodblock100 at 7:15 PM on May 28, 2009

If you want Golden Gai then go to Araku Bar - some friends of mine run it and it's a good starting point. Many of the small bars won't let you in the door.
posted by gomichild at 11:30 PM on May 28, 2009

Huh. I haven't found La Jetee either, but just last night that French dude said he'd been there recently. Oh well, no matter. It's almost more romantic to miss it. and besides, seek not to return to the La Jetee you recall in dreams lest you meet your eterrrnaaall dooooooooom. (Film nerd joke.)

So, having stayed in Ueno and in Hanzomon, and walked all over Roppongi and Odaiba and we're probably going to remain pretty local here in Kabuki-cho for the remainder of our trip, trying to stash our stuff in coin lockers during the day and sample different love hotels at night, OR maybe we'll just stay here at the totally fine Shinjuki Urban Hotel.

We definitely walked the line between welcome and unwelcome in one of the tiny Golden Gai bars last night, one I can only imagine was called Cat Bar or Cats Bar or Holy Cats What A Lot Of Cats Bar, and I for one like the place enough not to want to be a nuisance with my .0000000001% fluency. So, meeting at Araku is teriffic, or anyplace else you fancy. At least I'm not hard to pick out of a crowd.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:47 AM on May 29, 2009

Well, friends, the Economy God has smiled on cash-flow-crisis flapjax at midnite, in the form of a last-minute recording gig. The MeFi Meetup God has however, simultaneously frowned upon the flapjax. I am sorry, cause I'd certainly intended on attending. But money calls, and yea verily I must answer.

Wherever y'all wind up, I hope you have a swell time tomorrow night!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:23 AM on May 29, 2009

In the absence of other concrete plans, AV and I will show up at Araku at 8 tonight, and if nobody else comes it'll be a meetup of two! Please post something in here if you'll be coming, and especially if a different time (or even place) would work better for you.
posted by contraption at 10:41 PM on May 29, 2009

We're heading over noe. If nobody shows up within the time it takes us to meet the owners, have a drink and snap a few "meetup" pictures, we'll probably just be on our way. Hope to see some of you there, but if not it's a good excuse to fly back sometime.
posted by contraption at 3:54 AM on May 30, 2009

Now. We're heading out now. Our hotel is just a short walk away.
posted by contraption at 3:55 AM on May 30, 2009

We went to Araku, had a couple of pleasant drinks and chatted with the bartender (who I swear spoke with an Aussie accent despite being from Colorado,) and bailed after 40 minutes to catch the last set of the all-day music thing at Shinjuku Marz we'd been hanging out at beforehand. Sorry we didn't end up crossing paths paths with any of you, we had a great trip regardless and would love to give it another try if we ever end up on the same land mass again. woodblock, I'm especially sorry we didn't make it out to visit you after you'd gone to all the trouble of making a train plan for us and setting aside some of your time during the workweek. I'm sure it would've been a highlight of the trip, and I hope you're not too mad at us over it.

Here's our token micromeetup photo for posterity. Really, thinking proportionally, a 2-person meetup in a bar that size isn't a bad turnout!
posted by contraption at 2:41 AM on June 5, 2009

I hope you're not too mad at us over it

No ... I'm not that kind of person ... don't sweat it. We felt a bit frustrated because we waited outside the station in the rain (kind of dumb) until the next two trains had gone by, before giving up. But the fact that the visit was 'doubled up' with somebody else meant no lost time, particularly. Maybe next time! (Although I think I've learned something about you now, that a morning appointment might not be such a great idea ... :-)
posted by woodblock100 at 3:22 AM on June 5, 2009

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