(photos from Osaka)

We finish the ride from Tokyo to Osaka and begin the last part of our trip:

- We show up at 3am at a friend of a friend's place in Osaka and wake up our gracious host John, who then gangs out with us till dawn. He also has possibly the only tall bike in Osaka.
- Our first day in Osaka = sleeping in/recovering, a flea market at a temple, cooking dinner at John's place.
- Wandering around Osaka late at night and getting caught in the rain. I take shelter under trees in a park, which works, sort of.
- It turns out I picked up some poison ivy while sheltering in the park. It spreads all over my arms and back (where I am scratching the scabby jellyfish wound).
- We ride around Osaka with Bike Summer and another friend of a friend, May-Z, a messenger in Osaka. She is rad, and also turns out to have grown up about right next door to my hometown. Random.
- After riding around Osaka, there are games of blindfolded-smash-the-watermelon (or fancy new track bike, dependingon your friends' sense of humor), and water gun foot down.
- We go to the opening of another "Piss bike" (slang for track bikes, from "Pista") boutique.
- John kind of kicks us out, due to our now mostly nocturnal schedule (I think).
- Almost walking into traffic while watching two guys practicing their "hip-hop dancing" on the street in front of the mirrored windows of an office building.
- Going to check out the Osaka Cycle Center (bicycle museum).
- Going out every single night in Osaka to shoot till 3-4am, and pretty much striking out. When you don't got it, you just don't, and there's not much you can do about it.
- May-Z takes us in on our last night in Osaka.
- We have to wrap up our bikes to take them on the bus back to Tokyo, so we find some "leisure tarps" and make nice little packages.
- Back in Tokyo I am still amused by the trains that squeak/sigh like someone having sex.
- "Have you ever heard of a knuckle-rice-ball?"
- Spending my last day in Japan going to and from the airport to confirm that we will not be charged another exorbitant fee to check our bicycles. We tried calling, but the phone number for the Japan Airways office at the airport is not available for the public to use.
- Conrad DJs a Cumbia party in Roppongi, all of our friends in Tokyo come out. It's a great send-off.
- The reputation of the Japanese as being polite and patient completely dissolves as soon as you enter rush hour on the subway, or waiting in line at the airport.
- I leave Japan and head home to NYC. . .

Learn Japanese:
"Onaka Suita" = My stomach is empty (I am hungry).
"Yo" = Good.
"Oishi" = Good taste.
"Imaichi" = Not so good.
"Yokunai" = Bad.
"Shashinka" = Photographer.
"Hori shi" = Tattoo artist.


• The Antlers - Two

A band's place at last.


  1. Sounds and looks like a good time. But how much was it to get your bikes checked and transported there and back?

    Thanks for posting "Two" for it'll tide me over until I get the album. Take care, man.

  2. It ended up costing me nothing, the whole trip. It was a crap-shoot each time we flew though. They always checked for weight, anything over 50lbs was an additional $50. But they treated the bike box like a regular piece of luggage, the larger of your two allotted pieces of checked luggage (168cm and 115cm total dimensions). However when Greg and Conrad flew out of JFK they threw the book at them and charged them for oversize and overweight luggage. As like all things with airlines, everything is arbitrary.

  3. I've had a really great time following this travel blog, and your site in general. Looks like it was a great adventure. Welcome home, and I hope the re adjustment is smooth for you. I slept for 2 days after returning from Japan. It seemed to help.

  4. How did you guys get the tallbike frames apart to fit into the tarp backpack? I didn't see any couplers.

  5. The tall bikes break down into two normal frames. You just unbolt the fork extension from the lower headset, and pop the seat post (welded to the top frame) out of the tube on the lower frame. So the bikes break down to a regular bike size, but not any smaller than that.