Kanto vs. Kansai

Trip Start Jan 23, 2007
Trip End ??? ??, 2007

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Flag of Japan  ,
Saturday, October 13, 2007

Welcome ladies, gentleman and special guests to the inaugural and long awaited heavyweight showdown between Kanto and Kansai, proudly bought to you by AndSkye. In the blue corner, we can see Kanto, looking as densely populated as ever and in fine form. This is the region of Japan that AndSkye now calls home, and with the superpowers of Tokyo and Yokohama cities under its belt, looks set to provide the opposition with a mean contest. And there's Kansai warming up over there in the red corner. A world famous Japanese region boasting the mature and experienced cities of Kyoto and Osaka, and of course not to mention the relaxed and classy Kobe where AndSkye first started out. The excitement is building and both sides will surely fight a great match tonight in all areas of the competition. We'll now cross to AndSkye herself for the commentary and special comments.

ROUND 1- Shibuya vs. Sannomiya
Tokyo's Shibuya and Kobe's Sannomiya are similar in that they each have a very cosmopolitan and youth orientated atmosphere: countless bars and restaurants, flashing neon signs, karaoke bars, and sound of some kind streaming out of every available orifice. Both are enjoyable places to hang around and window shop or meet your mates for a convenience store bought alcoholic beverage in public (Hachiko in Shibuya's case, Tits Park in Sannomiya's).
  Shibuya however is Sannomiya times a thousand.  After eight months in Kobe, I had experienced everything that Sannomiya had to offer, and to be brutally honest, I was getting bored with it. I doubt that one could get bored of, or even discover everything in Shibuya in eight months, that would take a year at least. And even if one does get tired of it, it's just so easy to pop up the road to the equally as flashy Shinjuku, or down the road to the chilled and funky Nakameguro for new adventures of different flavours.
Round 1 Winner: Kanto by a mile.

ROUND 2 - Kanto folk vs. Kansai folk
I just adore the Japanese friends that I made whilst living in Kobe. They were always up for a laugh and a good time, much like myself. Also they all seemed to lack a sense of seriousness. I could be sarcastic to them or poke fun and they just got it. Unfortunately, as I only teach kids at my new job, I am yet to make any Japanese friends here in Kanto. And even if I really really tried to do it, there are just so many bloody people here moving around me at break neck speed at every minute, that I wouldn't know which ones to choose or how to approach them anyway. Tokyo is just so crowded -  you don't stand out to anyone and everyone appears to be only concerned with their own affairs. They seem to lack a certain sense of familiarity or warmness or something.
  Yes my friends back in Kansai warned me about this.
Round 2 Winner: Kansai...it's not that the Kanto folk are that bad, they are just not open to others.

ROUND 3 - Harajuku vs. Amerika Mura
These areas of the respective regions (Harajuku, Tokyo, Kanto; Amerika Mura, Osaka, Kansai) are to put it simply, freak magnets. These are the places to go if you want to buy alternative clothing, or go and watch those select few Japanese people who enjoy wearing alternative clothing. Yes, you can find everything from facial piercings to punks here. Wild!
  When I was back in Kansai and suffering from homesickness, a stroll around Amerika Mura was all it would take to make me feel better again. It felt much the same as Brunswick Street. And whilst Amerika Mura does have a special place in my heart, Harajuku has so much more on the freak show front. Japanese teens dressed as gothic Little Bo Peeps, very daring Tokyoites offering free hugs and free punches (!), and this one crazy dude who just stands with his back to the crowd and dances to classic rock songs with all of his heart and soul...all day.
Round 3 Winner: Kanto. Both have great shops but if you want to see some true weirdos and eccentrics without looking to hard, head straight to Harajuku.

ROUND 4 - new job vs. old job
No competition here really. In Kobe, I worked for Nova, a multi billion yen English teaching company. This was all very well in the beginning. It was a nice break from secondary teaching. Classes of four people at the most, teaching adults, no work to take home. It wasn't long though before I began to feel certain parts of my brain shutting down due to lack of usage. Day in and day out; same students, same conversations, same lessons taken from an incredibly wanky and American set of textbooks. This aside I began to resent the fact and feel embarrassed that I worked for the McDonald's of English teaching schools. It was highly impersonal and we were not looked after as staff members. And the Block Trainer at my branch was a picky little fuck from New York with small man's syndrome who gave me (a trained teacher) several poors for my six month review...OK, I think you get the idea.
  On a much brighter note, my new job at Model Language Studio is brilliant. Right up my alley. MLS is a reasonably small company that is unique in that it teaches English through Drama. Everyone is just so lovely and we are like a big family. I am teaching kids between the ages of 0 and 10 which is fantastic for my CV as i'm considering getting into Primary teaching when I get back to Aus.@I feel so appreciated and involved at MLS and the best thing is that I no longer have to wear business attire to work (which just looked crap on me).
Round 4 Winner: Kanto all the way. MLS rocks and Nova is going down. I'm serious. Google them to find out about the latest Nova scandal. There's a new one every week.

ROUND 5 - Tokyo rush hour vs. Kobe rush hour
I fear for my life on the few mornings per week that I have to catch a city bound train or bus to work here in Tokyo. OK that's a slight exaggeration, but I seriously wonder how more people aren't hurt on rush hour public transport - it's really dangerous.
  When the train pulls into the station and the doors open, every carriage is already so full that you think to yourself, "Oh I can't possibly fit on there". But then the ten or so people waiting in the line behind you somehow sweep you on and you find yourself pushing into the poor bastards who are already there in order to find a (in my case) size 7 shoe sized bit of train floor space to stand on. It's hot, it's sweaty, it's uncomfortable and you can feel other people's genitals squashed against yours. 
  Then the train arrives at the next station where ten or so more people are lined up on the platform at each door and you think to yourself, "Oh they wont possibly fit on". But they do.
  I've thought long and hard about this though and i've come to the conclusion that there is no way to combat this problem. Trains come every three minutes during rush hour and each one is as packed as the next. They couldn't possible run a train every minute. The thing is, whilst I see this whole thing as a problem, Tokyoites don't seem to. Their just used to it.
Round 5 Winner: Kansai. I used to get get pissed off during rush hour there if I couldn't get a seat on the train with a free space on either side of me.

Well what a fight we've seen here tonight, ladies and gentleman. There's been blood, sweat and tears and we must congratulate Kansai for showing such enormous strength and courage. But this night belongs to Kanto. I'd now like to invite Kanto to the centre of the ring to receive the championship belt and say a few words...      
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