Ballroom Dance Shoes

October 29, 2008

My sensei at the ballroom dojo has requested (mandatory request) that i buy some proper dance shoes. So i’ve been on the hunt. Like everything in life, dance shoes are not cheap and I just found out i need two pairs to really call myself a ballroom samurai.

Modern Ballroom Dance Shoes

These modern dance shoes have a small heal and look like work shoes or golf shoes. The one to the right is on sale for only $200.00 to $80.00. A bargain! The only disadvantage to these shoes, the clerk told me, was that they stand out. No kidding!

Latin Ballroom Dance Shoes

Check out the heal on those puppies! There is just something wrong about this type of shoe. It looks like something Liberachi would wear. I think i’ll just be avoiding the Latin style dance for a while until i get good enough to be able to pull off a style of shoe like this. The lady at the store also told me that Japanese men prefer these types of shoes with high heals because the women wear super high heals when they dance which make the men feel short. Luckily i don’t have this problem. These ones are also on sale from $200.00 to $80.00.

I’m going ballroom dancing tomorrow night and then out for a nomihodai (all you can drink party) afterwards. So far i’ve met a bunch of interesting people. For example, a pilot for JFORCE, an immigration lawyer and foreign start up company lawyer, a veterinarian, and a graphic designer. No one speaks English so it’s a good chance for me to brush up on my Japanese. So far I’ve been studying the Tango, Waltz, Blues, Jitterbug, Samba, Salsa, and the Mambo. It’s great fun and awesome exercise.

Dance Shoes Stores in Tokyo

http://www.dansusyu-zu.com/
http://www.shoetree.jp/

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Golf Driving Ranges in Tokyo, Japan

October 23, 2008

I went to a driving range in Saitama last night to inquire about rates. As you would expect, it was very expensive.

Rates

1 ball: 13 yen
1 club: 300 yen
Membership: 2000 yen
Range fee: 400 yen
Lighting Fee: 100 yen

Summary

200 balls with three clubs on the third tear (Which is the cheapest) is 4000 yen $50.00 CND. This of course doesn’t include your first time membership fee which is about $24.00 CND. First time at this driving range costs around $75.00 CND for 200 balls.

To think that back home on the island i can play 18 holes after 3 p.m. for $25.00 CND. But i guess it’s all relative compared to income. The next step is to research a round of golf in Tokyo. Something i haven’t had the heart to do because i know it’s going to be huge.


Ballroom Dancing – The Mambo

October 9, 2008

I entered the main foyer feeling apprehensive and proceeded to the changing room. I was told to take off my shoes and clean them before entering a small room with windows that looked onto the wooden dance floor that had an 8th floor view of Nishi Shinjuku.

As i cleaned my shoes i looked into the room that housed tonights patrons, all which were Japanese: two middle aged men, two older ladies, and four women about my age. All of them had excellent bodies bar two, me and this other lady who was a genetically portly but had a nice smile.

I entered the room and bowed to my new ballroom sensei and everyone else in Japanese fashion. I was late because of my class in Saitama so i quickly got in line and followed the Japanese instructions to the best of my ability.

After learning three moves in the Mambo the men went on one side and the women went on the other. Sensei played the music and we danced the moves in Japanese Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto Style.

After a short musical turn, the women moved down the line and i had a new partner. This was a lot of fun because i had the chance to dance with them all in a short time and deduct who i liked best.

After the line up, we then danced in longer stints. This part was extremely fun because i was able to spend more time with individual partners. I got a chance to dance with most of them and there were a few who showed interest in me so my ego ballooned. In particular, i spent a lot of time dancing with a lady who was a ballerina. She taught me a bit of the blues which was a very close sensual dance. We were having a bit too much fun together so in between songs an elderly lady, who I found out organized the class, intervened by cutting in. I had to dance with her for the remainder of the night (I trod on her toes a few times by accident) when all i wanted to do was to go back to the bubbly ballerina. After the lesson, i walked to the station with the elderly lady.

“Did you have a good time tonight?” she asked coyly.
“Yes, i had a great time.” I replied with a smile.
“I know, we could tell.” she said with a knowing smile.

I blushed a bit because i knew that i must have been dancing with the biggest grin on my face the whole night. After being in a relationship for seven years i’ve lost touch with the dating scene but slowly breaking my way back into it again. Wish me luck.

Time: 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Thursday Nights
Location: Nishi Shinjuku
Cost: 1000 yen


Tokyo Karaoke

September 18, 2008

The room was small and dark decked out with the aroma of cigarettes, booze and possibly sex. After all, this is Tokyo and these things happen. A small table, large TV with karaoke equipment, microphones, speakers, and glow in the dark planets on the no doubt questionably stained wall attest to the crime about to happen.

I entered in the karaoke song code like i normally do, on the machine instead of the remote because i’m usually too drunk to figure it out the remote. The guitar winded up preparing me to bust out the best rendition of Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog ever.

But seriously, karaoke is a great way to relieve stress while living in Tokyo. The best place to go for cheap Karaoke is Karaokekan in Shin-Okubo (新大久), one stop past Shinjuku on the Yamanote line, before 7p.m. It’s the one with the blue neon Karaoke sign in katakana. If you have a discount card, 1 1/2 hours with two people and two drinks will cost 1000 yen.

Here’s their website for more information:
http://www.karaokekan.jp/

Overall Score: 8


Shinagawa Aquarium

September 13, 2008

Located in near Shinagawa Station, Shinagawa Aquarium offers a nice relaxing time watching fish that live of the coast of Japan and in the Tokyo Bay. It’s a great place to go for an evening out with that special someone and at 1000 yen a pop, the price is right. Here’s the break down.

There are three main large tanks that house giant sword fish, flat fish, sting rays, dolphins, giant crabs and much more. There are also Dolphin and Sea Lion shows. I think you have to pay extra for the shows. Although it is not a huge attraction, it’s the only aquarium near Tokyo so you can’t beat convenience. In and around Shinagawa Station is also a great place to go out for dinner either before or afterwards. Although it’s a bit of a gaijin paradise, i recommend sitting on the patio deck of TGI Fridays. Here you can see the bright lights of Shinagawa.

Overall Score: 8

For more information go here:
http://apike.ca/japan_tokyo_shinagawa_aquarium.html


Club Asia – Shibuya

September 12, 2008

Thumping bodies gyrate and grind while old men relive their youth – this is Club Asia. As night clubs go, this one wasn’t so bad. The security at the door pats you down before you go in giving you an international feel.

There are two rooms. The first room you enter is small, dark, with a red caboose like bar and dj area that seemed to be the focal point. The staff were what you would expect, young low key hippie types with manga attitude. The second room was a pitch black dance floor the size of a classroom. I was told that this was a special night because it was a motif of bands glued together producing psychedelic ambient music.

Price: 2500 yen with one drink ticket
Service: 5
Music: 8
Entrance Value: 4

Crafty Club Tactics
I asked them how much a drink was before entering the club and they said 500 yen. I used the first drink ticket and there was no problem. I went back to the bar and ordered another drink and they said it would be 1000 yen. I asked why and they said you need two drink tickets for one drink and each drink ticket was 500 yen. I said that i didn’t pay anything extra when i purchased my first drink with the drink ticket they gave me at the door. The bar tender just said no, 1000 yen. I said i’m not paying 1000 yen. He took the drink away.

I met up with the guys i was with and told them what happened. They gave me one of their tickets and i went back to the bar. Another bar tender took the ticket and gave me a drink. After drinking that drink i went back to the bar and bought a drink for 1000 yen. He gave me the drink and a drink ticket. In other words, you have to buy two drinks for 1000 yen. The bar tender gives you a drink plus a ticket. However, this method just seemed to be a bit convoluted for drunk people just wanting a drink. What happened to the KISS method?

Over all score: 5

Club Website: http://asia.iflyer.jp/venue/