Tokyo Damage Report

people-watching in Shinjuku station – drunks!!!

I swear, Tokyo is not that expensive. I’ve been to all the rock shows, s/m shows, taiko, cosplay, all that shit. . . but my favorite thing is still Shinjuku station after 9 pm. And it’s free!! People from all walks of society converge here, united by a love of getting piss drunk. Salarimen, goths, sluts, pimps, nerds, punks, construction workers, posers, rich wives, foreigners, weirdos, cult members, retired people, Japanese hick tourists, everyone. And they are all somewhere between “buzzed” and “Oh nooo the wall is coming at me again!”



before alcohol:

after alcohol:



What makes this especially great is, the station is insanely crowded and everyone is walking fast. For folks with a craving for schadenfreude such as myself, watching drunks trying to navigate through this maze is better than NASCAR. The thing is, Japan as a society is as co-dependent as a Presidential spouse, so drunks can get away with pretty much anything without any reprisals. Like, this year they have even started taking those bags of “special elementary-school-puke-cleaning sawdust” and tying them to the pillars of the train platforms. Take that, Russia. The whole society is structured to allow people to get fucked up with impunity, which I guess is a testament to how peaceful and non-crimey Japanese people are. But on the other hand, lots of fools who are out drinking instead of home with their family, and probably could use a good ass-kicking. Anyway, I am getting pedantic.

My point is, go here and look. Go in the NORTH EAST ENTRANCE, next to Kabuicho. Go to the big pillar in front of the turnstiles and just watch for a good half-hour or so. If you go people watching with a friend, you can take turns narrarating people’s actions.


In the last week alone, I have seen a woman passed out in a puddle of puke on the tracks, her skirt up around her kidneys, being attended to by some station workers. Some old Asian dude so intoxicated his face was PURPLE. Also, I saw some college student so drunk that he went to bow goodbye to his friends and FELL. Homeboy just straight collapsed to his knees. Tried to play it off like it was on purpose but come on. Just 3 minutes ago, you were trying out your kung-fu moves in front of like 1,000 passers-by . . . and your glasses fell off, . . . and you put them on upside-down. It is a little to late to be like, “Hey, kidding, KIDDING.” Drunks are always doing that bullshit: “Yeah, I MEANT to do that. It’s COMEDY. Like, ME, pretending to be all fucked up. Hilarious, isn’t it? Can you imagine ME, being that drunk???? Hahahaha!! What?!?”

It was fun watching him but in the end his friends helped him walk to the turnstile. I felt a little ripped off. Like, I want this guy to HAVE TO WALK unassisted. A long way! Like, put him in a huge empty soccer stadium and make him walk all the way to a wall. That’s when I came up with an idea that had me laughing so hard, people probably thought I was the one who had had too many: DRUNK SPECIAL OLYMPICS.

What is so great about this concept is, it works both ways!

You can get special kids liquored up and turn them loose, or you can get regular career drunks and make them compete in contests. Sort of like the cops did when they pulled over your Dad and made him walk a line while reciting the alphabet backwards. But I don’t think the cops have really caught the Olympic fever. In my drunk special olympics, you’d have to …

* play volleyball against other drunks.

* draw a picture of a bunny with crayons, then chase a chicken.

* Stand directly in front of Tokyo Tower, and bend over so far backwards you could see the top.

* play Dance Dance Revolution to “sex machine”

* play baseball with a Nintendo WII, in a small room covered with precious ceramic figurines.

* String theory. You don’t have to explain it, you have to DO it.




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2 Comments so far

  1. Mr. Patton July 7th, 2011 10:57 am

    I am definitely going to try this as a means of passing time.  Great recommendation! 
    Some potentially worthy additions to the drunk olympics:
    – Drunken salarymen carry their three-sheets bosses on their shoulders in an alcohol-fueled variant of the classic headband-stealing school game.  Bonus points for awarding important contracts to the winner.
    – Intoxicated figure skating.
    – Formal wear wrestling matches.

  2. Tokyo city guide – Utblick April 2nd, 2014 2:42 am

    […] – complete with Polaroid photo by the previous owner) does a hilarious report on this practice: and […]

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