Tokyo Damage Report

nikko damage report.

went to nikko again, the ski resort. This time was way better than the december trip. For one thing I decided not to wear sneakers in 6 feet of snow. Plus, later I realized that I did not worry about women the entire week I was there which was SO FUCKING AWESOME I cannot even begin to describe it.

3/8 TUES

Staying at the Astoria — this totally huge hotel with no customers. On the good side, there are no humans around to bother me so I am hella productive. On the bad side, dude this hotel is totally THE SHINING. I kept expecting the crazed owner to bust through my door with an axe, all screaming "HEEEERE’S PIKACHU!!!" But on the other hand, they have an outdoor hot spring. . . .AND IT IS OPEN ALL NIGHT. Holy COW. 3 in the morning, and a person can just be like, “let’s just get drunk and walk out naked into the freezing snow and then just as we are about to perish, dive into a hot-ass bowl of spring water."

Damn.

Do a 3 hour hike up the mountain and back down. See a humvee snowmobile that blew my fucking mind.

(not the snowmobile)

also there is THIS THING;

it is not a bridge. it is a giant concrete avalanche-shield!! with fucking dead trees growing out of it!!

all looking like Darth Vader’s Terrarium.

 

plus, the carpet in my room looks like some intestinal polyps grew an Afro just to be "Down."

Same carpet, drunk;

 

3/10 THURS

here is me: hiking for 4 hours in the perfect snow, wearing all black leather, under a cloudless mountain sky, surrounded by beatific vistas, and looking at nothing but my tiny-ass kanji cards THE WHOLE TIME.

I want to be the guy whose job it is to paint ご注意 (gochuui) (literally, “be warned!”) on the road signs. That fucker must be a millionaire. I swear it is like every 5 inches there is a sign, plackard, banner or sticker urging gochuui. It resembles every single graffiti guy’s wet dream rolled into one.

oh, plus this happened to my face:

A little Rod Stewart on top, a little Mountain Man on the bottom. And wack all over!

3/11 FRIDAY

The hotel is on a huge hill. Yesterday I hiked down the one-way street which leads up the hill. The hill is so steep that the road is always doing switch-backs and hairpin turns. Which, this being Japan, the hairpin turns are dutifully numbered and codified on signs (which also encourage us to “gochuui!”)

Anyway, today I hike down the OTHER one-way street, this one leading DOWN the hill. . . this hike IS SO MUCH MORE REDICULOUSLY AWESOME, despite having really bad views of the mountains. . .no, wait, BECAUSE it had really bad views of the mountains.

Let me explain that for a second.

First, there is a cemetary on the way. Not just any cemetary, but a cemetary ass-deep in 6 feet of snow, so just the tippy-tops of the gravestones and frozen-in-mid-rampage zombie heads pop up. Not just any cemetary ass-deep in 6 feet of snow, but one with a HUGE LIVE-SIZE LABYRYNTH CARVED IN IT (the snow). The thoughtful cemetary staff actually had a teeny tiny Japanese-style 2-foot-wide snowplow!!!!!!! And they were in the process of carving little alleys between the graves, turning the whole thing into a giant maze. It was so awesome, or would have been, had there been a zombie minotaur (zombie ICE-minotaur??) to chase me around. As it was, I just took some photos and moved on.

 

Less than a kilometer away, there’s a tunnel almost a kilometer long, plowed through some big-ass mountain. Not only that : it HAS SIDEWALKS. It practically screams, “Come on in, pedestrians!! It’s safe and fun up in here, like a Mole People Disneyland!” and those voices are totally right. For one thing, the ECHOES are INSANE.

how cool is the lighting???!??

If you yell, you get a good thrity fucking seconds of echo on that. And when a car comes, you can hear it literally minutes before you see it. It keeps getting louder and louder and scarier and scarier, all NNTTTHHHHHHEHHHEHHHEEEEHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

and you are like “Holy shit, not only has my life turned into a Merzbow song, but I am also going to die.”

. . . and then it turns out to be a 2 door Honda hatchback puttering along at 30 kph. Just when I thought the tunnel could not get any noisier, atop my personal screams and the rumble of cars, comes this sudden WHOOOOOSHHHHHHHing noise. What the hell?? Are we under attack by Mole People?? Is that an air-raid siren?? Is the world ending again?? No, but it is something almost as cool.

JET ENGINES.

Can you see them at the top?? just hanging out as if this was the most normal place for jet engines to be. all looking at you and being like, "What?!?"

Real honest to god airplane-grade get engines, mounted in the roof of this one random area of the tunnel, just going WHOOOOOGOGOGGOGOOGGOGOGGGOOOERRRRRRRRRRRRR.

!??!??

then I realized, man, I hate that fucker bill gates.

Not because he is so fucking rich or because of his nazi monopolistic business practices or overwhelming geekery or because his product causes so much misery to office workers. . . but because bill gates has all this fucking money sitting around and he somehow doesn’t do shit like this

. If I was him, I would be like, “OK PEOPLE! JET ENGINES!! I WANT ONE IN MY BATHTUB BY THIS TIME TOMORROW. LET’S JUST PUT THEM ON WALLS OR WHEREVER LOOKS COOL, AND HAVE THEM FIRE AT RANDOM TIMES. YOU KNOW WHAT WOULD REALLY LIVEN UP THIS ART GALLERY? A BIG OLD JET ENGINE RIGHT NEXT TO THAT MONET. TAKE THAT PICASSO!! FWOOOOSHH!! HMMM .. MY KITCHEN DOES NOT GRILL CHICKEN FAST ENOUGH. BUT ? WAIT A MINUTE– WHAT IF WE USE, I DON’T KNOW. .. .A JET ENGINE!!!! LET’S GET ALL DOCTOR SEUSS WITH THIS, OK GUYS? PUT ONE ON THE FLOOR, ON THE BEDROOM DOOR, IN THE DOG, UNDER A LOG, PUT FIVE IN THE CHAIR, PUT ONE ON MY HAIR. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH HOW COOL IS THAT?? I AM BILL GATES. HEY ALL YOU EMPLOYEES, GUESS WHAT? INSTEAD OF CHRISTMAS BONUSES, YOU ALL GOT JET ENGINES THIS YEAR. WHAT IS MORE ,WHILE YOU ARE AT WORK I HAD MY CREWS INSTALL THEM IN YOUR HOUSES. GO HOME AND ENJOY!”

Anyway, once I got done hating bill gates, I discovered yet another awesome thing about this tunnel. The walls!! They are hewn from huge vague slabs of granite, and lit with this alien-looking amber lighting. So I took these pictures. . .

with dopey stupid realistic flash

without flash.

crazy perspective vison

and tilting the camera. IS THIS NOT BLOWING YOUR FUCKING MIND??

. . . . . . .MAN???!!!???

 

After the tunnel, I went down the hill. The hill.

Jesus, where do I even start with the hill?

The hill — over a kilometer tall — is TOTALLY COVERED from bottom to top with government-funded “safety projects” to “prevent erosion” (read: waste taxpayer money on unnecessary construction, because the contractors own the government). Even though it is a real hill, and people are coming here specifically to see nature, it winds up looking like some Imagineered Disney-style Space Mountain type shit.

normally I would deplore such a waste, but the sheer profusion and imagination of the construction crews just blows my fucking mind. Who knew there were like 100 different styles of concrete? These guys are like the Raphaels of environmental waste!!!

See this? regular hill, right?

same hill, close up —

yikes!! it is actually totally fake.

and that is not all — there is different styles!!!

1) CRAZY PICASSO CUBIST HILL

WITH SPIKES FOR NO REASON EXCEPT MAYBE HEAVY METAL BUT PROBABLY NOT:

(see, they re versatile. Just like any great artist they progressed from realism to abstraction. )

STYLE TWO: REGULAR HILL WITH CRIS-CROSSING CONCRETE BEAMS 200 FEET HIGH;

 

STYLE THREE: NETS 100 FEET TALL, RAISED 10 FEET OFF THE SURFACE OF THE CLIFF.

STYLE FOUR; LET’S ALL BUILD A HILL, PEOPLE!!

 

STYLE FIVE; CUBIST HILL WITH CHICKEN WIRE FENCE TOO

STYLE SIX: my favorite.

OK, NOW ALL TOGETHER, STARTING FROM THE BOTTOM . . .

6a) regular rock wall

6b) big ole fence

6c) real-hill-looking-but-in-fact-paved-with-cement paving

6d) in the very center of the fake hill, they decided to, like, REINFORCE THE REINFORCEMENT with more cubism.

How fucking awesome is that? they build a realistic looking structual reinforcement, AND THEN PAVE OVER THAT to make it artifical looking again. Is your head exploding yet ? If the answer is no, then you are Roland Barthes and i fucking hate you.

STYLE SEVEN; MIDEVIAL RAMPART/ REPLICA OF NAVAL ARMORED SHIP THE MONITOR.

STYLE EIGHT; MORE CUBISM, BUT WITH A TWIST–

. .. .. HELLA GRASS ALL LIVING IN THE INTERSTICIES.

STYLE NINE; PAVE THE ENTIRE FUCKING MOUNTAINSIDE FROM BOTTOM TO TOP JESUS FUCKING CHRIST CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW MUCH THAT SHIT COST?

keep in mind, this is not like a terraced ricefield. this has no pupose whatsoever except to keep the mountain from falling down, like all the other mountains that are just toppling like so many dominoes. Puny mountains!

 

See, this has no fucking function whatsoever. so it must be art. sculpture, to be precise. unlike the hoity toity "fine-art" sculptors who only keep their million-dollar works in the hoity toity museum, these guys give away the art for free!! to the public!! in fact you can not escape it even if you try!!!

So now you can see why i am in awe of these artistic geniuses. There is only one thing that pisses me off . ..

HEY!!! guys, you forgot this one !!!

Not only is it causing erosion, but also it is such a fucking eyesore.

WHAT, YOU DIDN’T SEE THIS BULLSHIT???? WHAT ARE YOU THINKING, YOU PUSSIES??? WOULDN’T THAT LOOK BETTER UNDER 60000 TONS OF CONCRETE AND SPIKES, NETS, AND SHIT??? HURRY UP, THE MOUNTAIN IS MELTING. WITHOUT YOU GUYS HELPING IT WILL BE FLAT AS KANSAS BY NEXT YEAR. HURRY UP AND SAVE US!!

um, anyway. . .

Oh yeah, take the train back. Give it up a day early. It is just too fucking cold in the end. On the way back I spot this menacing english graffitti under an overpass : apparently there is a street gang named STREET GANG.

Awesome. Just the thing to renew my faith in humanity after being let down by those lazy-ass construction workers.

 

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