So, I left off last time when Jan and I got back to my apartment from Tokyo on Monday night. In the middle of the night, Jan woke up feeling really sick or something and we couldnt figure out what was wrong with him. On Tuesday, I had work as usual so I went to work and Jan just stayed at my place and slept all day. When I got home from work, he was still sleeping. He then woke up and said he was pretty much feeling better so that was good.
So, Tuesday, Sept 21st was my 28th
birthday. Its not really a big deal or anything but I at least wanted
to do something on my birthday, so I set up a small drinking party at a
local izakaya (the "Yakitori place" near Gokan station). As soon as I
got off work, Jan and I took a train over to the izakaya. I invited a
few other ALTs and friends such as Andy and Emmet, and of course Ryoko.
In total, there were 7 of us. We drank tons of beers and whiskey and
ate some delicious nabe and other food and just talked about random
stuff. The owner of the izakaya gave me tons of free whiskey, too.
Ryoko brought a birthday cake from Fujiya where she works. I got good
and smashed and it seemed like everyone had a good time so it was a
successful birthday I would say. We stayed until about midnight and Jan
and I took the last train back to my place and I went to sleep.
had to work again on Wednesday. Jan pretty much just sorta explored my
town a bit and played some SSFIV online while I was at work. As soon
as I got home from work, we had to leave ASAP to go to the train station
if we wanted to catch the next train (the trains in my town only run
once an hour). As we approached the station, we could see the train
just pull up on the platform across the other side of the stairs. We
ran like hell and I managed to make it in time to stall the train and
stand in the door and push it open so that Jan had enough time to get on
just as the doors closed on us. It was about as close as it could have
3 hours later we arrived in Takadanobaba. We had kebabs
when we were Roppongi last weekend and it turns out that Jan loves that
shit, so I took him to the really awsome kebab place I always go to in
Takadanobaba. We got a kebab and beer and it was good stuff.
bus to leave for Nagoya would be leaving around 11:20, so we had some
time to kill. We headed to Mikado to get some games in. There were
tons of GG players there. Akinori was there and he apologized to me for
not showing up for the last chance qual. His phone was still broken so
he couldnt contact me. It wouldnt have mattered anyway since my team
didnt get picked so I didnt really care anyway. The US ST team was
there playing ST and Jan talked with them for a bit. Also, KLT showed
up for some GG, and also this new guy who was also from the US who just
moved here but I forgot his name at the moment. I got one game of GG in
with Jan and this was the only game we got to play the entire time he
was here. I won, but he managed to take a round on me. I also played
KLT for the first time in years and won. I also played against various
other people. Kunihiro was there too and I played him a fair amount.
was approaching the time when we should be leaving but Jan was still
playing a match and wanted to finish it so we waited a bit. We left
Mikado and got some quick beers at Lawson for the road. By the time we
got on the train to go to Tokyo station (where our bus was departing
from, cuz I got cheaper tickets that way), we realized that we were
cutting it VERY close on time. Like pretty much to the point where we
might not even make our bus. I had never taken a bus from Tokyo station
before so I wasnt even sure what exit to go to and how far the area to
board the buses were. When we got to Tokyo station, our bus was
scheduled to leave in less than 5 minutes. We ran like hell and I found
the place to board the buses by following signs. We found our bus and
got on like a minute before it was ready to leave and were the last ones
to get on the bus, lol! Thats 2 times that we got it way too close for
comfort today, but in the end we got on, so I guess it worked out fine.
I had a few more beers on the bus so that I could sleep easily and
chatted with Jan for a bit and then eventually fell asleep.
case I forgot to mention it, the purpose of going to Nagoya was for
Nagoya Street Battle (NSB), which is a huge SSFIV tournament held in
Nagoya. Many other US players that I know such as Fubarduck, Heartnana,
Azrael, and Reno (even though the later 3 all live in Japan), would be
going, so I figured it would be a good chance to meet up with them to
chill, and the tournament sounded like fun, plus I had never been to
Nagoya before, so spending a 4 day weekend out there sounded like it
We arrived in Nagoya early morning at like 6 am on
Thursday. The area around Nagoya station was pretty dull. We had time
to kill, so we walked around a bit trying to find a manga kissa to kill
time at and get more sleep since Nagoya Street Battle wasnt scheduled to
start till around 11. We had no luck around Nagoya station and it was
pooring rain. We decided to head to an area called Sakae which is
known for its bars and nightlife. Those areas always have manga kissas
so it was a good bet.
We took the subway 2 stops away and got to
Sakae. We quickly were able to find a manga kissa right away. We
checked in for 3 hours and were able to take naps and showers. I also
checked online and found a map to the NSB venue so now we knew where to
We got some curry and then headed back to Nagoya station
since thats where the NSB venue was close to. We walked around a bit
and found it after we saw Daigo walking down the street. He had just
exited the venue. Fubarduck helped us confirm the location as well.
was at a huge building called Nagoya Winc, and they had a big ballroom
type room rented out. It was already packed when we got there and they
had tons of SSFIV setups hooked up. Lots of big name Japanese SF
players were there, as well as Justin Wong's team (with Ricky O and
Marn). My team for today was with Azrael and Reno. I met Reno before
at Gods Garden 2. I have known Azrael from online and SRK and stuff but
this was my first time to meet him in person. He was there and signed
our team up but Reno's train was delayed so he hadnt arrived yet.
played a few games of casuals while we waited for things to start. I
did pretty decent winning some and losing some. I was about 50/50
against the Japanese players I fought. I lost in a close match to
Heartnana's Sakura and I won in a close match vs Azrael's Chun. The
tournament took forever to get started and finally got going at around
12:30. Also, Ono, the creator of SFIV was there at this event too, and
he gave a speech before the event kicked off.
I took pictures of the entire brackets which you can see here, and here.
NSB has a unique system where basically you register with 2 characters
and you can choose which one you want to use before the start of the
match but you must keep the same one if you win. I registered with Rose
and Blanka but pretty much decided I would only use Rose anyway. Reno
played Honda and Az used Chun. Our first match we had to fight a Ken
player. I said I would go first cuz I know the Ken matchup fairly well.
I ended up giving him a decent fight, but I lost both rounds. Reno
went next and came pretty close but also lost. Az went last and came
the closest to winning but was also defeated by the Ken player. Just
like that, we were OCVed first round and were out. Kinda sucks but oh
well. My skill level with SSFIV still isnt nearly as high as it is with
GG. I think if I tried throwing more I could have done a lot better
since I noticed Az was getting tons of throws off and I was being too
conservative with my throw attempts. Anyway, the Ken player was really
good so we just got out played, plain and simple.
I watched Team
Spooky's first match (Jan, Fubarduck, Heartnana), and they did much
better than us. Heartnana went first against a Dictator player and won
in a really close match. He then lost to a Sagat player. Fubarduck
went next with his Ibuki and pulled out one of the clutchest wins ever
against the Sagat player. He then lost to the Chun player on the team.
Last was Jan with his Gief, but unfortunately he was unable to defeat
the Chun. Jan later told me that he kept messing up the input for Ultra
After their team lost, Jan and I decided we might as well
start drinking, so we walked to the Family Mart and bought some whiskey
and made some sneaky whiskey cokes to bring into the venue since they
didnt allow alcohol inside. We chilled and watch more of the tournament
and played some casuals for a bit.
Eventually, a bunch of the US
players wanted to get some food so we all went to this really good Miso
katsu resturaunt (miso katsu is famous in Nagoya). Fabar, Heartnana,
Reno, Az, Fubar's GF, another guy I just met, and I all went and got
food. It was good as hell and I got a beer with it, too.
returned to the venue in time to watch the rest of the tournament.
Justin's team made it pretty far but they lost to Daigo. The finals
ended up being pretty boring. Daigo's team won by Machi's Guile OCVing
the other team.
Here are the results
1st — Team Mad Catz
Daigo Umehara [Ryu/Guile]
2nd — Team Japan
Uryo [C. Viper/Sagat]
Tied for 3rd — Team Managers
Tied for 3rd — Team Blond Pig
Tokido [Akuma/E. Honda]
Tied for 5th — Team Legendary
Edesketsubat [E. Honda/Makoto]
Tied for 5th — Team Pizza Beast
Tied for 5th — Team Evil Geniuses
Justin Wong [Rufus/Cammy]
Martin "Marn" Phan [Dudley/C. Viper]
Ricky Ortiz [Rufus/Chun-Li]
Tied for 5th — Team Napoleon
Freeda [Ibuki/E. Honda]
Riki [T. Hawk/Dictator]
it was over, we said our goodbyes and headed out. Pretty much everyone
except for Jan had to get going back home to their respective countries
and cities. Jan and I were down to keep drinking though, so we headed
back to Sakae. First, we got tebasaki (a special kind of Nagoya fried
chicken wings) which was really tasty, and also that place had a decent
micro brew on tap so we got that as well.
We walked around
quite a bit looking for good places to drink. We started off going to
another kebab place we randomly found and got beers there. It was good.
I found this one rock bar online called 69 Rock You that seemed
promising. We couldnt find it at first so we just tried several other
places. Most places were actually closed since today in Japan was a
holiday and a weekday, so the following day was a workday. We found a
few places that looked cool but they were all closed. Most of the ones
we peaked our heads into that were opened were empty or looked shitty.
We asked about this one bar that looked cool to someone and he told us
it was a gay bar so we were glad we didnt accidently go there lol. I
found this awsome liquor store that had some micro brews and imports
which is hard to find in Japan so we got a bottle for the road.
eventually went to some like wild west kinda place where all the
waitresses were dressed as slutty cowgirls which was kinda cool but
aside from some table of girls that were sitting with eachother and a
few random people, the place was pretty dead. We walked around for a
really really long time looking for that 69 Rock You bar. A friend of
Nozomi's (a friend from Current) named Miki, lives in Nagoya and was
giving us directions how to find it. She told us to turn by some Lawson
near a park. We walked past the park and found a Lawson but couldnt
find the bar for the life of us. It was already like past 3 am or
something and Jan was tired as hell and his flight was early afternoon
the next day so he decided to call it quits and check into the manga
kissa. I was halfway ready to give up and sleep or keep trying on my
own so I flipped a coin and it came up that I should keep looking and
drinking. I would be alone all day tomorrow anyway and if I woke up too
early there wouldnt be much to do. I said bye to Jan as he checked
into the manga kissa and set out again on my own.
I back tracked
and eventually found ANOTHER Lawson that we missed cuz we were walking
on the other side of the park. After finding that Lawson I found 69
Rock You pretty easily. Unfortunately when I got there, it was
completely dead except for the bartender. The place was small but it
was a decent bar and they played good music (mostly 80s rock and metal).
I stayed for a few beers and chatted with the bartender and at around 4
am I was getting tired and bored so I just went to the manga kissa to
The next day (Friday), I woke up and took a shower. I
walked around a bit looking for a good restaurant and eventually found a
good place with cheesy fried shrimp and rice which was good. Then, I
headed to Nagoya Castle for sightseeing.
Nagoya castle was pretty
similar to Osaka castle except a bit smaller maybe. I took lots of
pictures so they pretty much can describe it better than I can, so you
might as well just check those out. I was there for a few hours and it
was fun. I bought a souvaneer for Ryoko and some rice crackers for the
teachers at my school that are flavored like tebasaki.
Nagoya castle, it was mid afternoon, so I figured it would be a good
time to check out Nagoya's arcade GG scene. Someone on SRK recommended I
try an arcade called Urban Squre. I took the subway out to where it
was. while I was on the subway, I was sitting on the end seat and this
hot chick got on and was like standing next to me and rubbing her ass on
my arm. We got off at the same stop and I sorta was getting the
feeling she wanted to talk to me or something. I didnt know where the
arcade was so I figured I might as well ask her. She never heard of it
but seemed really friendly and wanted to help me out so she like started
asking other random people if they heard of it. I had never
experienced a Japanese person try that hard to help me find somewhere
where they didnt know where it is. Most of the time in Japan, if people
dont know where something is, they just make some shit up so that they
feel like they are helping you, even though that in the end, it makes
things worse after you are sent in the wrong direction. So, I was
pretty surprised by this. I eventually told her that its cool and not
to worry about it. I asked her where theres lots of stores and stuff so
she pointed me in the direction of a shopping arcade. I totally got
the vibe that I could have maybe invited her to go drinking or something
tonight and got her number but since I have a girlfriend I figured it
would be a bad idea so I just said bye and thank you and headed to the
Thankfully, this shopping arcade was huge, and
after checking a map, I indeed found Urban Square, so in the end, that
girl actually did help me out! On the way to the arcade, I passed a
restaurant with a sign that grabbed my attention. In big letters it
said "Tacos and Beer". Being one of the greatest combinations ever, it
was easily enough to convince me to stop in for some food. They had a
pretty extensive menu of mexican food, american food, and imported
beers. I got a Bass ale and Chicken Burrito. The place was called
Jerry's Uno. The Burrito didnt end up tasting as authentic as I would
have hoped, but it was good enough.
After that, I eventually
found Urban Square. They had 2 GG cabs and a Robo-Ky was playing on one
so I sat down and played him. I think I beat him something like 10
times in a row until he eventually stopped playing me. I beat a few
other random people and then this one yellow Anji player got on the cab
and beat me in a close game. I was feeling sleepy so I went to get a
redbull and then came back. I rematched him and won. Then he picked
yellow Jam and I lost. Then I rematched him and won again. He was
pretty tough. Then, I fought a Sol. I beat him twice, then he beat me
like 6 in a row until I finally beat him again. He was also good. He
stopped playing after that, I beat a few random people, and then it was
kinda dead. A Slayer player was sitting at the cab next to me. I asked
him if there were any tournaments going on anywhere today in Nagoya and
it turns out that there was one happening at another arcade called
Comtech Plaza in like 2 hours. He told me that there was also another
tournament happening tomorrow at another arcade at 3 pm. I wanted to
try to go to that one too but my bus ticket back to Tokyo would be
leaving tomorrow morning at like 9 am so it didnt seem possible. I
considered the idea of trying to change my ticket.
Anyway, I left
Urban Square and took the subway over to Akaike station where Comtech
Plaza was. While I was on the train, this one white girl was sitting
across from me and kept looking at me. We got off at the same station.
Then as I was walking, she was like right behind me, passed me by, then
looked back and smiled at me for like a good few seconds. So, I took
off my headphones and said hi. She started talking to me asking what I
was doing and stuff and I told her how I was looking for an arcade cuz I
was going to enter a tournament. She said she figured I was looking
for an arcade cuz she saw my Nintendo backpack which she said she liked.
She said she was from Australia and was here on vacation by herself or
something. Turns out the arcade was right behind us in the opposite
direction I was walking and she pointed it out to me. I got the
impression that she was defenitely hitting on me but once again, it
would probably be a bad idea to exchange numbers with her for Ryoko's
sake and I didnt wanna be late for the tournament, so I thanked her for
her help and headed to the arcade.
When I got there, they hadnt
started signups yet. They only had one cab setup. A few players were
there playing casuals. It was 100 yen for 2 credits. I got on and got
like a 12 win streak and was wrecking all the people I fought. Finally,
a pretty good Zappa got on and I beat him. Then he used his 2nd credit
and beat me. I used my 2nd credit and beat him again. Then he
rematched me again and beat me again. At this point, lots of players
showed up so I didnt have time to play more casuals. I talked to a few
people there cuz they were sorta surprised to see a foreigner there.
Lots of them were saying how im really good and stuff after I beat them.
I told them who I was and that I play at Mikado a lot and some of them
had heard of me and saw some of my vids online.
tournament started and 27 people entered. It was a singles tournament.
I have no idea who any of them were, I dont think any of them were
famous players or anything. One of the guys told me that the best
players in Nagoya didnt show up to today's tournament but would be at
the one tomorrow.
Anyway, my first match was vs Testament. They
told me that this guy was the one who won the tournament they had here
last time. I beat him both rounds.
Next I had to fight a Potemkin. I beat him both rounds.
I had to fight an Eddie player. This guy was pretty good and he almost
won the first round but I made a comeback. Then I handled him well in
the 2nd round for the win.
Next I had to fight a Slayer player. He was also pretty good but I won both rounds.
Finally it was the finals and I had to fight a Johnny player. I beat him both rounds as well.
just like that, I had won the tournament! LOL I wasnt really
expecting to find a random tournament here and come and win it but I
did, heh. My prize for winning was a big back of Fujiya Home Pie and a
box full of herbal tea bags.
I took a picture of the full brackets after the tournament which you can see here and here.
of people gave me props, and then after the tournament ended, they told
me that they were about to start a random 2vs2 tournament. I sorta
promised Miki (Nozomi's friend) that I would drink with her tonight at
69 Rock You, and it was already like almost 11 and she told me she had
to catch the last train home, so I told them that I was sorry but that
someone was waiting for me so I couldnt enter. The comp in general
wasnt that good so I didnt really feel like I was missing out or needed
to prove anything so I decided to head back to Sakae to drink with Miki.
I was glad that I went though cuz the players were all nice and I got
to talk to lots of people and had fun anyway.
When I got back to
Sakae, Ryoko called me cuz she missed me so I was talking with her on
the phone for a bit while I was walking towards the bar. As I got
close, I saw Miki coming from the opposite direction. I got there too
late and she already had to head back home, so I told her sorry and said
I would drink with her next time she came to visit Current. She said
to say hi to Sushi for me and then left.
I figured I might as
well go in and check out the bar anyway so I went inside. It was still
dead this time but there were 2 dudes drinking there and the bartender
was there again. I stayed there for maybe 2 hours talking with the guys
and the bartender about random shit and listening to pretty decent
music and had several beers. Eventually, I decided I didnt want to
spend the rest of the night there so I headed out and went to look for
some more places.
I found this one place called Bar Mexigan which
was sorta more like an open restaurant than a bar but they had tons of
good looking Mexican food and good beers and tequila. I got a beer and 2
tacos and the tacos were actually really good and fairly authentic
(well, at not like super authentic but probably the closest ive had in
Japan so far). Also, the guy who took my order there noticed my
Symphony X hat and Children of Bodom shirt and it turns out hes all into
metal and stuff we we had a short conversation about bands and stuff
like that. He seemed pretty cool.
I enjoyed my food and headed
out and then looked for another good bar. I wasnt really sure of where I
should go so I eventually decided on this place called Devil Bar. Jan
and I noticed it the previous night but we didnt go in. It turns out we
probably should have, cuz this place was actually pretty cool. It was
small but the bar was really long. It reminded me of PSY except the bar
was longer and there were no tables in the back. The shelves behind
the bar were really tall and packed with bottles. The most unique thing
about this place was the lighting. It was very dark in there with just
very dim soft sorta yellowish light. I really liked the atmosphere,
and they were playing good music too! They played a huge long set of
Mr. Big and a few other good rock songs. I wish I had gone there
earlier. There were actually about 7 or 8 people in the bar too! These
2 dudes came in and were sitting next to me and we were talking with
one of the bartenders about random stuff for a bit. They were both
salary men in like their mid 3os probably and worked at the same
company. I honestly dont even really remember what we really talked
about. But, when they were ready to leave, they said they were going to
a hostess club. I guess one of the guys had a reservation there or
something. They asked if I wanted to come with and said they would pay
for my cover and my drinks! I was like, sure, why the hell not! So I
went with them to the hostess club.
This was the very first time I
had ever gone inside a hostess club because they are really expensive.
The place was really clean and looked really expensive. They escorted
us to a table and soon after, 3 really hot girls came and sat with us.
They didnt drink anything but just chatted with us for a while. About
halfway through, new girls rotated in. They were also very hot. I got 2
beers while we were there. It was a pretty fun and interesting new
experience. I cant say I would ever wanna blow my own money on
something like that but if someone else is gonna pay for it, why the
fuck not, right? The dudes were good on their word and paid for my
drinks and cover.
When we left the bar, it was already light
outside. The dudes said bye and headed for the station and I thanked
them for paying for me and chillin. After that, I got a quick bite to
eat by myself and then eventually headed for the station myself. Since
my bus was leaving at 9 am, I wasnt gonna stay at the manga kissa
tonight and pretty much just planned it so that I could sleep on the bus
and wake up in Tokyo. Unfortunately for me, when I got on the train, I
dont remember much except that I woke up at the end of the line pretty
damn far from Nagoya station where my bus was leaving from. It was
already almost 9, so there was no way I was going to catch my bus in
I headed back to Nagoya station and it was already 9:30. I
went to the ticket office and asked them what my options were. I was
still considering maybe staying in Nagoya for that other GG tournament
today (which was now Saturday) at 3 pm. The guy told me the last bus
other than overnight buses back to Shinjuku left at 5 pm. I figured 2
hours probably would be cutting it too close and didnt want to end up
missing another bus (since I had to buy a new ticket and wasted 5000
yen, and if I missed it again id just be blowing another 5000). I also
was really fucking tired and by the time I finished talking to this guy,
it was already past 10. I knew even if I stayed for the tournament, I
would be too tired to do well at all, so I figured I would just leave
now. I got a ticket for the next bus which was scheduled to leave at 11
am. I got on the bus, passed the fuck out, and made it back to
Shinjuku at around 5 pm.
I was still a bit tired but I just
manned up and drank a redbull. From there, I headed to Mikado for some
GG. There were lots of players there. It turns out the Russian team
was still in Tokyo and they were there playing at Mikado. I said hi to
them. I played Overkill again and won. I also played Goga's Chipp
again twice and this time he beat me once and I beat him once. He has a
pretty solid Chipp. I played against various other Japanese players,
but I cant really recall any matches that are worth mentioning. I
stayed at Mikado till about 11 and then felt like drinking, so I headed
back to Shinjuku.
I was hungry and was walking towards Current
and noticed this place called Ale House something something. Ive passed
it a zillion times but never went in, but I felt like eating pizza and
the menu they had on display outside had some pizza on it that looked
decent so I went in. The place was sorta like a HUB (pub/restaraunt).
It was really packed but I got a seat at the bar. I got the pizza, and
also they had this micro brew on tap there that I had never heard of
called Swan Lake Ale. It was brewed in Niigata and it ended up being
one of the best beers I have ever had in Japan. I had a nice hop flavor
and was 6% abv. The glass was a bit small though and it was 750 yen a
glass but I enjoyed it. The pizza was also ok but it had too much
mayonaise on it.
After that, I headed into Current. There were a
fair amount of people there. Mai and Yoshie were there but they left
for the last train a bit after I got there. I talked with Rina and this
pretty cool Finnish dude for a bit. Also, Pachi mailed me and wanted
to go drinking tonight so he eventually showed up too with a friend of
his that works at an arcade.
Also, Emmet showed up with the same
girl he hooked up with last week from Gas Panic in Roppongi. This girl
was fucking crazy. She was already drunk when they showed up. She
seemed like a total whore. She was flirting with like every guy there,
and was like giving Emmet lap dances and shit, and was like putting her
foot up on some dude's crotch and shit. She was just pretty insane.
Emmet said he still has claw mark scars from her nails accross his back
from last weekend! LOL
So anyway, the rest of the time at Current
involved lots of drinking and good times as always. After it closed, I
rallied up a big group of people and we headed to PSY. Emmet had
already left to the love hotel. PSY was fun and it was pretty packed.
Somehow, Natsume knew it was my birthday a few days ago and gave me 2
shots of tequila on the house! That guy rules.
After PSY closed,
I hardly remember things but I rallied about 6 people to go drinking
some more and took them to Tokyo Loose cuz its close and was still
opened. The time at Tokyo Loose was pretty much just a big blur.
woke up Sunday afternoon at the manga kissa with a headache and the
taste of vomit and McDonalds breakfast in my mouth. So, I can kinda
guess what I did after leaving Tokyo Loose. I have no idea where I
threw up but there was no vomit in the manga kissa so I guess I must
have done it on the street (hopefully). It was already like past 3 pm.
I was supposed to play poker with Emmet and some other guys in Takasaki
today at 5 but it was already too late to make it on time and I was
really hungover so I decided to just go home.
I took the train
home and Ryoko came over and we spent the rest of the evening together
and I was glad I did that over poker. I will try to play poker with
those guys the next time.
So, there you have it. Thats my first
ever trip to Nagoya. Despite a few bad things that happened, overall it
was a very fun trip and Im glad that I went.
I honestly dont
have any plans yet for the coming weekend and I dont know exactly when
the next time I will write my blog again, but if something worth typing
about comes up ill post again. Until then, keep playing Guilty Gear!