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Kaytay's First Clubbing Experience in Japan, or
Fishnets Fight Tradition as Skanks Eat Noodles in Broad Daylight

A giant group of us went out last night and didn’t get home until well after sunrise. The original plan was to stay out til the first train of the day, but that hour came and went in a flurry of floating bubbles, pulsing lights, dancing girls in kimono over fishnet stockings, and drinks that cost an arm and a leg.

We gathered in the lounge of one of the dorm buildings, a strange collection of the smartest students from across the globe, and drank whiskey until several people lacking a sufficient supply of alcohol-absorbing enzymes were little more than stumbling piles of endless giggles. Mizushi-chan exclaimed he was "totally sober" (mind you, this was said as he wedged himself beneath a table, limbs flailing crazily), and earned the name "Super Sober" for the rest of the night. He spent the entire train ride to Shibuya attempting to correctly pronounce "incroyable" between fits of hysterical laughter that had him rolling on the floor amongst the legs of stately businessmen on their way home from a Saturday spent in the office.

In fact, getting to the station in the first place was an exercise in patience that the sober ones nearly failed. after a lengthy struggle to get Jane away from the mirror, we caught one of the last local trains after forcing everyone to run the last few blocks in a frenzied panic. A Chilian boy kept pace with me in the front, sipping some expensive domestic brew as we ran and asking me how to say certain technical terms of structural engineering apparatus in English.

But we did arrive. Mizushi and Junko insisted we go to Club Asia, which sounded fine until we pushed our way to the door and found out the cover charge was 2500 yen. I can’t remember the last time I had to pay a cover – usually I’m on good terms with the people working the door, or a smile does the trick and I get in free, or the boyfriend would pay when we went out together. Thankfully the price was negotiated to 2000, and we each got a free drink with the deal.

Once we were inside and got oriented, the insanity began.

Laura (a native Parisian) and I hit the dance floor first, leaving the others to nurse their drinks and work up the courage to stand out amidst the sea of Asian faces. I eventually lost her in that sea despite her bright blonde hair – even in Japan she’s shorter than average, and quickly disappeared in the crowd. I spotted a very tall man of European descent, and he made his way over to me for a while. He danced nearby, making me feel a little less gigantic.

I ran into Barbara, and we went to the bar for a drink (it still feels strange to be able to legally buy alcohol all of a sudden). As we were walking up a shadowy staircase, a high-pitched “kawaiiiiiii neeeeh!?” pierced the pounding base to reach my ears. Then there was a tiny hand on my arm and a Japanese girl had her face in mine, shouting “nihongogadekimasuka!?” in my ear. Then a boy appeared at my other elbow, and the two proceeded to interview me to their hearts’ content. It was interesting.

Then there was dancing, dancing, and more dancing, on stages and on the floor, with strangers, alone, with friends and people I just met a few hours earlier. As the night faded into pre-dawn, things heated up to an insane degree; half-naked men with masks appeared on platforms wearing tiny blue lights, girls with truncated versions of kimono and thigh-high boots joined them, there were spinning swords and parasols and flashing lights everywhere. The DJs switched, the crowd was insatiable, a tough gang of girls with glowing earrings appeared in the middle of the floor and those dangling drops of light were hypnotizing as they swayed and dipped to the pulsating, overwhelming noise.

Soon enough, Jane passed out in a corner. Everyone was covered in perspiration but still maintained a level of energy that should have been impossible for that time of day. Once we realized it was almost six, we decided to call it a night.

It was strange to walk out the door of the club into full, grayish sunlight. the crowds of scantily clad young people stumbling down sidewalks and squatting in front of the konbini over bowls of instant noodles clashed with the time of day. We bought breakfast and ate on the walk to the station.

I desperately need sleep.

back to Being a foreign female in Japan

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