March 3rd 2017
So this was the beginning of the journey that I’ve been waiting for so long. Despite the overwhelming anxiety that hit me right before this day, I was pretty stoked that I finally realized that I’d fly to Japan real soon. The plane flew off at 12 AM Indonesian time and I couldn’t get a good sleep on the plane since I was pretty stoked about the trip and what would happen on my way in Japan. Japra sat next to me on the plane, but since he’s like any other Jatinangorian, he caught his sheeps and fell asleep so fast. Fuck him.
On my seat, many things circulated inside my head, like, would I be safely arrived there? What would the custom ask to me? Would they reject my visa or some shit like that. But also, I thought about many good things that would happen like, would I get a chance to eat at fine izakaya? Would the shows turn out so great that everyone will never forget it? Even a stupid thought like, would Makiko from Pelotan come to one of our shows, well you know. So that was pretty much it on what happened to me. Oh one cool thing about the flight was that I could watch Fantastic Beast and Where To Find Them for 3 times during the flight to overcome my anxiety. That rules.
March 4th 2017
We made it smoothly through the custom and got our wifi working really well! So ba-boom, we were in Japan! I almost cried when I walked through the arrival gate and couldn’t believe myself that I finally got there. A guy that many people think weird and not good at socializing who is in a pop punk band that no one would give a shit to let us play and stuff, stood on smooth airport escalator to pass the end of the arrival gate in Haneda Airport. My life rules sometimes.
|What a crazy train route!|
After the wifi got turned on, I activated my cellphone, checked out the SNS and a message from Yoshi (The Nerdy Jugheads) popped up telling me that he was already at the arrival exit. So we passed the exit and I saw him walking toward us with his leather jacket and he also brought the guitar that he lent me –that I should have been played it on every date of the tour but I didn’t use it many times, sorry Yoshi- for the tour. We hugged and talked for a short time because of the excitement and he said he’d take us to the place that we already booked for our stay there for the whole trip and he needed to go to pick his another guitar for tonight’s show – so yeah, we have a show on the same day we arrived in Japan, we were cool by that. So we bought our Suica, charged it and set off to Shinjuku by the train.
On the train, I still couldn’t believe my eyes that I finally got to Japan. It was like a trippy moment. When we got off the train at Shinjuku, it got trippier than ever due to the fact that I actually was walking at Shinjuku. For a moment, I quirkily smirked many times since I still couldn’t grasp reality of myself feeling the cold March weather of Tokyo and try to believe that I was in Japan.
So we got off at the station nearby our place and we walked –like literally walked, now I know why there aren’t that many fat Japan people around- to the BNB that we booked. When we got there and I opened the door, I was pretty surprised by a pair of shoes that lied on the floor near the door. Those were girl shoes. Like, girl? In our room? I was so surprised that I got to ask Yoshi to check it out and when he got into the room there WAS actually a girl. Sitting on the bunk bed near the door entry, so Yoshi talked to her in Japanese and sort of figuring it out whether it was the room that we actually booked. Eventually, it was really the room that we booked and it was a shared room. We felt dumb for not giving too much attention too details about it when we paid for that. But what the hell, we got in and put our baggages and due to awkwardness, we got off the room quickly and laughed our asses off at the escalator that we didn’t know it was a room like that. Pretty cool starter for the trip.
Our first meal on the tour was Matsuya, a perfect choice for punks with little ammount of money. I mean, eating cheap food is pretty damn cool for us. After that meal, we had to meet Avin & his girlfriend at McDonald near Shinjuku Station but Yoshi had to go to pick up his guitar. So he went on his way and we went ours. We finally met Avin who already reached Japan the previous night and started talking about our first show in Akihabara. Nothing really fancy happened afterwards, it was just me and everyone strolled around in Shinjuku.
Near showtime, Kazu (Waterslide Records, our home label in Japan now) messaged me that he’d pick us up at our BNB in a couple of minutes. So we rushed to our BNB and got things done. And Kazu showed up and I hugged him because without him, this tour wouldn’t happen and he was the only one who gave us direction of do’s and don’ts about the tour. I feel grateful to know him and had to meet him in person.
So we went to Akihabara by train & we got a bit lost because of Kazu kinda forgot where the place was but eventually we got there faster than we’ve ever thought. When we got there, no one was around, so we just set up our merch first and stuff. Then the next person who came to the place was Ryosuke (Pelotan, Woodcocks). He was such a nice guy and luckily, his English was quite good so our communication went pretty well – eventhough I speak a little Japanese but using English to transfer the jokes was way more efficient. Hisashi a.k.a The Pop Punk Sensei came too! It was great to see him in person and we talked a lot! He presented me a blue can drink that I forgot what the name was, but it was good and things were getting better from there. Thanks sensei!
First show of the tour!
The first band who played was The Woodcocks, the band sounded good as the songs on their Soundcloud. It was my first time to see real Japanese pop punk band live and the curiousity ended. It’s totally true that Japanese pop punk rules musically and live. You have just to see it by yourself LIVE. Back to Woodcocks, they hit the harmony really well. I like the live version of Tonight, Tonight better. Just my opinion.
After them, Wonderful Happens took the stage and to be honest, I missed a couple of their songs at the set because I talked outside with Tomorrow (Woodcocks & Hum Hums) & Mika (ex The Jalopys). But I managed to see them right before they ended up their set.
|Belly Buttons With Their SNK Sign|
Due to special request by Yoshi, I had to play a short acoustic set. To be honest, it was pretty embarassing to play those stupid songs live again but then again, it was for Yoshi, my friend. So I played some of my old solo stuff and a Hum Hums cover. Hope everyone was okay with my sucky voice.
Skip that stupid part, because next up we got The Nerdy Jugheads! Finally I got to see them live! Alright, this is going to be personal, but they were so freaking great that night. They played my favorites too like Fuck Away From Me, Chupacabras & My Head’s Killing Me. Aces.
|The Nerdy Jugheads ain’t so nerdy after all! They were great!|
But anyway, from this night I kinda had a foresight of good vibes that this trip was going to be amazing. All of us smiled in exhaustment and before we headed to our BNB, we took a small stroll around Akihabara to see some Gacha machines, JAV outlets and of course, took a picture in front of AKB48 Cafe & Shop. What a great starter.
March 5th 2017
After strolling around Hanazono, we still bought some time before the Koenji show so we got back to our BNB and slept for a short time. But Bayu (documenter) parted ways because he wanted to look around for some vintage cameras. So yeah, off he went then.
It was really short so bad that when I was just about to sleep, Boss Kazu texted me that he was downstairs and had a present for us. I came downstairs and I saw him bringing 2 cartons of cup ramens. He said he gave it to me because he thought we didn’t have any money since we bailed out their request last night to hang after Akihabara’s gig. Well, that was kinda funny that I guess he misunderstood about us “not having money”, I explained to him that we actually had cash but not planning to spend a lot on our first couple of days. I mean, we stayed for 10 days there, so yeah, we thought it’d better to keep low at the first days and had some fun toward the end of the tour. He got it but he still gave us the cup noodles. He’s the kindest of the kindests. Thank you so much for taking care of us, boss!
When we arrived at the venue, Koenji DOM, I kinda felt the vibe of playing in my own country! Small space with rad settings of PAs & that homey feeling. It was definitely a good point of playing there, I mean we’re that kind of band who is better playing at small spaces and Koenji DOM was just perfect for us! So I met many friends for the first time here too, Daisuke, Keita, Yusuke, Rui, Aoi and many more. But you know what, nothing was more exciting that I finally met The Hum Hums there. For the first time ever. I talked to Onoue for the first time, he was nice and all that. Maruko, oh god, what can I say about this guy. He looked so shy for the first time hahaha I’ll tell more about him on the next days’ writing. Everyone talked & goofed around. I gave them some of my snacks that I’ve brought from Indonesia with the guys and they liked them all, though at first they were surprised that fried meatball chips a.k.a basreng actually exists. It was great and warm.
So everyone had got loaded and warmed up, show was about to start! First up, Sweet Children! They ruled and Daisuke was really cool. It was like seeing Brian in a smaller version but more energetic and can you believe that Brian & Daisuke are on the same age? Doppelganger? Maybe.
CCS went up next. I’ve had been dying to see them live and I got to see them live! All of them were really great. Rui, Aoi, Ogane. These guys are serious business. Seriously, one of the finest bands in Japan today. They played my favorite song, Teenage Girl. Score!
Next up Nerdy Jugheads! They played tight as usual! But this time a bit drunker haha! Saito (bass) got his ass kicked –literally- by Kazu, who was drunk so bad by drinking Bourbon that my friend gave in the middle of the gig. Little did I knew, Kazu went home earlier than we thought. Maybe because of the bourbon! On this set, they asked me to sing too! Come on guys, you guys were too kind! I sang a Screeching Weasel cover with them and it was tremendous. Nerdy Jugheads rules!
|The Hum Hums|
After the show, everyone asked us to go to an “after party” at the nearest izakaya (Japanese small bar stall with great food) and it was blasting. Everyone treated us real well. I took a seat with Tomorrow, Onoue and Yoshi.
|The Nerdy Jugheads|
I got pranked by Hisashi here. He gave me this Japanese food that I knew –totally knew- that there was wasabi in it. Onoue kept encouraging me to eat it and he ate it first without any trouble so yeah, I thought if he was okay, I would be too. But I was freaking wrong, The wasabi blew my head away and snot rushed out of my nose, tears dripped hard, everyone laughed their asses off. Fuck haha! The joke was on me! Funny guys indeed.
Fun time at Koenji!
March 6th 2017
So this was our first day off the tour. We already bought the ticket to Ghibli Museum which our entry hour was at 4 PM. So we just bought our time by walking around Shinjuku & Shibuya. At Shibuya, I couldn’t hold myself to visit Disk Union there and when I got there, I just couldn’t hold it to get some CDs hehe. By the way, I found our band CD here and also the split CD with Felix! Was there too. Cool!
After that we went to Ghibli Museum at Mitaka. Mitaka was great. It was cold –literally- not that noisy as Shinjuku and the neighborhood was pretty calm. The Ghibli Museum was also great. After visiting Ghibli, we walked to the park right beside the museum. It was beautiful. So our first day off was cool. Yeah.(Prabu Pramayougha)
- The photos are taken by the talented Bayu Rizki Purnama.Catch all his photoworks at
- We'll post the second part later so stay tune!