Osaka is great and I've been enjoying every moment here in Japan. The place is full of amazing shops and places to eat and the only let down is not having all the money to get what I want. So far, I've spent the most in the Sanrio Gallery for Hello Kitty things that can't be bought anywhere else but in Japan and I've loved all that kind of thing since I was in pre-school. Then there is Tokyu Hands, the huge lifestyle department store which has all these amazing craft and hardware materials that I've not been able to buy anywhere else. I'll definitely be busy when I get home, making lots of cool accessories to sell on the market at the Download and Reading festivals! I discovered a brilliant merchandise and collectables store called the Rock 'n' Roll Museum, which has separate stands for particular bands and it is very well laid out. There is everything you can get merchandise wise for any band you want in the store and if there isn't an item on display, it can be ordered specially. I got a few photos of the Fueled By Ramen shop, the My Chemical Romance shop and Gimme Shelter, which is all dedicated to the Rolling Stones.
My local hang out here is Rock Rock, just a few minutes walk around the corner from the hotel I'm staying in. Two days ago Bullet For My Valentine were here. I arrived here in the morning on Tuesday, then went to bed for a few hours, then got up and went to Rock Rock. Fuck jet lag!
I met up with guitarist Michael Paget and drummer Michael "Moose" Thomas and a few guys from the Bullet For My Valentine crew and it was good to see Mole again, a tech who I first met almost seven years ago working for Rock City in Nottingham, but now works on tours. Two Japanese fans recognized me from being in photos on various websites with bands and Yoko from Rock Rock pointed me out and said, "I've seen you before..." and she's seen more of me since, because that place really does rock. It's a small bar, but with a great atmosphere and they play the best music from the past and present. The walls are covered with polaroids of all the bands who have partied there and it is literally an A-Z of who's who in rock 'n' roll, everyone who is anyone.
I got a photo pass for the Bullet For My Valentine show at Namba Hatch, I will upload the live photos from that show on here soon. A few video captures from the show are now on the YouTube page, so stay tuned for all the live photos...