I have to wonder whether it’s called “the land of the rising sun” due to most visitors spending their first jetlagged days waking at 5am. Indeed, it was apparently a skewed body clock that had Chris walking round an Osaka park at sunrise when he began writing Lovers In Japan. It’s cheesy and obvious, but it’s impossible to wander the humid streets and not have the tune as a mental soundtrack.
Humid, now there’s a thing. It’s hot here. Not the ant-under-a-magnifying-glass hot of desert festivals like Coachella or Austin City Limits, but a special kind of oppressive clammy heat that the East specializes in. Walking out of the air conditioned oasis of the hotel converts you from a smartly dressed tourist to a wrung-out-damp-cloth in under a minute. The locals of course, take it all in their stride. They are slender and superlatively healthy. Us? We simply gasp for shade and pour bottles of water down our necks as fast as we can find vending machines to provide them. Besides the heat, I always forget how fragrant Japan can be. Even in the hyper-dense city, tiny well-tended gardens are everywhere – most pleasant.
Before soundman Dan Green and I head for the Bullet Train for the Summersonic Festival in Osaka, I dive out for a little shopping. I congratulate myself on negotiating the subway alone only to find upon arrival at Yodobashi (camera and general gadget mecca) that I’ve left my credit card in the ATM near the hotel. In all honesty, it’s probably for the best, as whoever finds it wont spend nearly as much as I would have….