CULTURE BLOG

ADVENTURE BY BIKE®

Untitled : 06/24/2005

Japan Trip Report - Day 8

LAST MINUTE SHOPPING

The morning begins early as we've been able to secure an additional magazine interview, in addition to the one that will take place later in the day. We meet with Bicycle 21 for an hour and a half or so. It is a nice bonus on this trip as the magazine is an industry publication which dealers read. We've met quite a few dealers during this trip but it will be nice to have some our thoughts about Salsa put forth to an even wider dealer audience. The iced coffee adds a nice sense of calm to the interview and it ends with a few photos of us in the streets of Shinjuku.

There are a few down hours now so I seize the opportunity to do some last minute gift shopping. I walk the streets looking for things and then also head into a large Japanese department store. If you've never been in a Japanese department store you should know this. They are incredibly clean and well displayed with a very curteous staff.

I pick up some Japanese perfume for my lady and some cool toys for Jordan...and me! I also grab a few Japanese action figure type things that I hope to incorporate into the Salsa catalog next year to celebrate this trip.

It is a Saturday and the crowds are out shopping. Every now and then I see small groups of Japanese woman in their traditional dress for the occaision. The embroidery, color and quality of the garments they wear are truly beautiful.

The time shopping goes quickly and then I must head back to the hotel to get ready for our interview with Bicycle Club magazine. They pick us up and we head further into an old district of Tokyo to a very large temple there. I like the way this photographer works as he has really done some preliminary thinking about the shots he can get at this setting.

The first shot he takes is of Peter and I standing in front of an enormous paper lantern marking the entrance to the temple. A crowd gathers while the photographer shoots wondering who the heck we are that we're getting this special photo shoot treatment. After our few days of being 'models' I can't say as either of us is any more comfortable with it!

We walk down the very busy alley to the temple trying not to shin people with our pedals! There are a few close calls but everyone escapes unharmed. They take a few pictures of us wafting incense over our heads to purify ourselves and then we find a spot to take detail shots and also solo shots of the bikes.

They take a really nice one of my Juan Solo set against a backdrop of tall skinny red flags. I'm not sure what the flags say though.

When all the photos are done we walk back through the alleyways and I of course have to stop to grab a couple more souveniers of this experience. We drive back to Shinjuku because Jason should be landing in Narita soon and hopes to join us for at least part of the interview.

Back in Shinjuku we search for a resteraunt to eat. It is saturday night and most places are very busy, but eventually we pick a Korean all-you-can-eat place. Now, I grew up in Korea and love the food, but I've never had Korean all-you-can-eat, but this is the real deal. We enjoy a great meal with rice, kimchi, kalbi, pulkogi, and more. Actually, if you take the all-you-can-eat deal, you've got 90 minutes to eat! But any worries we have about this being a scam that will leave us still hungry go unfounded! Though they did kind of cheat us on the beer a bit !

We talk about Salsa while we eat and when we are close to finished eating Jason arrives after having Peter meet him and walk him over the resteraunt. We talk some more and have a great time explaining the whole singlespeed thing (which has yet to take off in Japan with nice bikes) and getting the writer pumped up for his first trip to Whistler which he'll take this summer. I have to tell him at one point that I'm not actually paid to do marketing for Whistler! It's just so good though that I can't help it!

We end the night with a photo of all of us in a busy plaza area where young folks are playing live music and milling about. Then it is back to the hotel to lock up the bikes, a quick meeting with Rie about future business, a celebratory beer in Jason's room, and then time to get to packing.

-Kid

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