OPERATION: DOWNFALL (The Invasion of Japan for Otaku Purposes [aka ODTIJOP])


Rossman Japan trip

I'm smiling in this shot, but I'm not feeling it. It was as if some sad ghost child was sucking my happiness away by playing hide and seek with me, and me not even being able to see her.


Rossman Japan trip

Creepy, creepy, creeeepy, cryyype, creeypey, crreepy, reeepy, crreeeeeepy Japan.


On the drive back to the drop-off point, we asked Yumi if we could be dropped off in downtown Kyoto near a good Tempura restaurant that she had told us about earlier. We were let out at the corner of the main Kyoto East to West strip, but Yumi's directions to this Tempura place were absolutely awful (surprise!). So Mehve and I ended up wandering around the apparent "high school hangout district" of Kyoto, walking up and down the main street, looking for a tempura restaurant with a "BIG-u" red lantern outside of it (both of us were now determined to eat tempura that night, even though we walked that strip up and down twice already).

Finally, we came across a restaurant with plastic tempura dishes in its front window and red lantern outside its entrance, but it looked like it might be closed. Mehve made the comment that he thought the red lantern had to be lit up for a place to be open, but as I tried the door I found it opened just fine and motioned for him to follow my lead.

We walked into the restaurant with Gaijin Smash confidence oozing off of us both, but as we approached the back of the room where all the people in the place were, I noticed that they all stopped what they were doing (either eating, talking, or serving food and drink) and every one of them glared at us as if I just loudly announced that I farted to the entire room.

A middle-aged man in an apron ran up to us yelling under his breath something like "Iye! Iye! No open! No open! Go! Go!" while shooing us back to the front door with his hands as if he were scaring a puppy away from the heirloom rug it was chewing on, and then switching to crossing his forearms into an "X" gesture.

As we were pushed back onto the street, the man took the unlit lantern down, looked at us once more in half anger and half disgust, then shut the door and locked it behind us. I guess that private party had a clause about "absolutely NO gaijin scum" in its reservation or something.

Rossman Japan trip

Things were still hopping at this point in the night (our third trip up and down the strip), but it was obvious that the night was dying down. We had to find some tempura and FAST... We were both starting to fade, especially after that really shitty lunch.


After that, we wandered even farther down the street than we had earlier, and Mehve and I were just about to give up (after actually walking the sidewalks for a full hour and a goddamn half already) when I said we should try the upcoming small street on the left. If we found nothing there we'd call it quits and just go to the next sushi place or Japanese diner we came across. Once again the luck of the gaijin was with us though as after we walked down two side-alleys we came across a tiny, dinky, hole-in-the-wall Tempura restaurant that looked like it had been around for a thousand years.

We walked in just as two other people were walking out, which was good because there were only 4 seats in the claustrophobic place, all facing the mini-kitchen/fryer that the owner/cook was working his magic in. The old cook welcomed us with a warm smile and a smattering of Japanese before looking up at the clock over the door (which read a quarter till nine, if I remember correctly). He then nodded to himself that it was okay to serve us and began taking our orders. We guessed they closed at nine, but figured some gaijin guests would be an interesting set of final customers that night. We were just happy to get food though and didn't pay too much mind to it once the guy made it clear we were good to go.

The old man and his wife who ran the place were fucking amazing! So warm and inviting, they talked to us in severely broken Engrish the whole time we sat there, but we were able to keep up a good conversation throughout the meal. They kept the biru flowing, and genuine smiles on their faces.

At one point, as we were devouring our gloriously fried shrimp and vegetables, the owner asked us, "Where you from?"

"America," Mehve replied.

"Where America? New York-u?"

"No, Georgia. Atlanta, Georgia," Mehve said while chugging his Kirin biru.

The old man's eyes lit up like Hiroshima. "Georgia?!? Geoooorgia?!? Ooooooh!" He got super excited, then said, "Georgia.... Jazz-u! Hai! Jazz-u!"

Mehve and I looked at each other like "What the fuuuuuuuck?" But then it just clicked for me. I blurted out, "Ray Charles-u? 'Georgia on My Mind'?"

The old man lost it; he was so excited. He started playing an imaginary piano and singing, "Geooooorgia! Ooooh Georgiaaaaaa!" It was glorious.

Rossman Japan trip

An authentic, and absolutely delicious tempura meal served by a fucking master chef!


Rossman Japan trip

This place was tiny, and I pretty much filled it up.


Rossman Japan trip

I was very happy to have eaten at this place... And very drunk.


After eating and drinking our fill, and then happily paying the tab, we helped inform some invading German tourists (who were trying to come in as we were leaving) that the place was closed after the owner couldn't convey this to them in Japanese or with his "X" arm gesture, and then Mehve and I began our long walk back to the hotel, more than slightly buzzed and refreshingly full.... But not full enough that a stop at a cartoon-decorated crepe store didn't sound like a bad idea.

We eventually made it to a subway line and within 20 minutes were back in our hotel room. We tried some of the Nara snacks and sake that we bought (most of which suuuuuuuuuuucked), and then passed the hell out. It was an extremely long day, but one filled to the brim with pure awesomeness.

Rossman Japan trip



Rossman Japan trip

I just loved that the Yami Yogurt Hawaii Crepe store's logo was a giant turd.

Oh, and once again, the teenage girls who ran the place hustled to the front door and quickly locked it behind us as we left, and then barricaded the glass door with all the chairs and tables that they could while whispering to each other "gaijin" this, and "kowaii gaijin" that. Adorable.


Rossman Japan trip

I tried the Nara sphere snacks that I bought as soon as we got back to the hotel... I think what I purchased was in fact Nara deer droppings.

Then we both tried the sake that Mehve got at the Nara gift shop...


Rossman Japan trip

It was only slightly tastier than the deer droppings.


Rossman Japan trip

Then we turned on the TV in order to get confused by Japanese television programs. Then we fell into comas.



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