Archives: 2009 July

Japan – Any Time Cafe

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It turns out that the Any Time Cafe in Tokyo Station is not really all that any time.

Japan – Where’s Waldo?

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I found Waldo rockin’ out in the rain to Jimmey Eat World at the Fuji Rock Festival.

Japan – Fuji Rock Festival 2009

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This last weekend I went to the three day Fuji Rock Festival at the Naeba Ski Resort. Over 100,000 people attend the festival to enjoy seeing their favorite bands on the many stages scattered through the woods at the base of the Naeba Ski Resort. The festival is a little strangely named because it’s nowhere near Mt Fuji. The first year of the festival in 1997 was held near Mt Fuji, but after that is was moved to Naeba. I guess the promoters liked the name and kept it even with the new location.

Friday: Day One

The Naeba Ski Resort is sort of in the middle of nowhere. So taking the train to get there is a little bit of work. The closest train station is in Echigo-Yuzawa, from there you can catch a shuttle bus that takes about 40 minutes to take you the rest of the way to Naeba.

When I got to the Echigo-Yuzawa train station there was what had to have been the longest line I’ve ever seen of people waiting to take the shuttle bus to Naeba. The Station is pretty huge and the line wound back and forth through it.

Echigo-Yuzawa Train Station

I figured that I was getting close when line went down some stairs to where I thought we would catch the shuttle bus.

Unfortunately when I got to the bottom of the stairs there was more line, but I must be getting close, I could see the exit doors to where the buses were loading.

The bottom of the stairs, I must be getting close.

I finally get outside, ready to jump on a bus, but there is still more line outside. It’s like a horribly cruel joke or Japanese TV game show. From here I can see what part of the problem is, the staff are only loading one bus at a time even though there are several buses just setting there waiting.

I eventually was able to get on a shuttle bus and take the 40 minute ride to the Naeba Ski Resort. Annoyingly, when I get to Naeba, they are only unloading one bus at a time even though there is seven or eight buses full of people waiting for their turn to unload. Once off the bus I find another huge line to exchange my ticket for a wrist band.

Naeba Ski Resort

Finally! After a hour and half train ride, two and half hours of standing in line and a 40 minute bus ride I’m about to finally enter the festival.

Entrance to the Fuji Rock Festival 2009

Oh No! Once inside the festival, there are even more lines inside. Because the different stages are scattered through the woods, there could be huge traffic-jams of people trying to get from one stage to the other.

The path from the green stage to the white stage was usually crowded.

Unfortunately it was raining, turning the ground into a muddy mess.

My shoes are never going to be the same.

Saturday: Day Two

The second day started with nicer weather. People were enjoying the sun and swimming in the little river that went through the festival area.

Relaxing by the river

I’m pretty sure she’s saying “Holy crap, that water is cold”


One of the things that many people like about the Fuji Rock Festival is that you can camp out at the festival location.

Camping Area

Sunday: Day Three

The last day, more bands, more rain.

Does he have a ticket?

Long lines for the bathrooms, so many guys were improvising.

Jimmy Eat World in the poring rain.

A very wet and blurry me

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Fall Out Boy

Japan – Back in Japan

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I’m back in Japan.

The jet I was about to take coming into the gate at LAX

Los Angeles – Trash at Disneyland

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Here’s something you don’t see everyday. I went to the Anaheim Disneyland and Disney California Adventures last week. Normally Disney is famous for how clean and neat they keep everything, but for some reason the trash was overflowing the trash cans in the line for Toy Story Midway Mania! at California Adventures.

Canada – Downhill Mountain Biking


While at the Momentum Ski Camp Jeff and I were able to go downhill mountain biking three times at the Whistler Bike Park. The fist day was probably the best conditions, unfortunately the batteries in my camera died, so we only got a couple of photos.

Jeff hitting a small wall ride.

The second time we went was with some of the other campers. It has been raining so the conditions were a little muddy.

Me and one of the other campers.

The third time we went the conditions were cold and cloudy but looking pretty good as we were heading over to rent our bikes. But as we were going up the gonadal for our first ride down, it started to rain. We had decided to go to the very top of the bike park, when we got there we found that there was still snow on the ground in places.

Jeff going through the snow that covered the trail.
Me hitting a big wooden berm.

Los Angeles – Long Beach Fireworks

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For the 4th of July I went down to Long Beach to check out the fireworks.