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Checked in to the hotel around 6PM, conscious of the late time made a quick call to the cell phone of Michael "Stumpy" Steumpel. Never met him, only conversed through Aikiweb, but he`d kindly offered to "get me onto local time"....
He was at the hotel in 20 mins whisking me off to some charlatan area called Roppongi. We were to meet up with Drew Hamilton at a bar before moving on to a restaurant for some food.
Enter Geronimo`s Shot Bar, before I`d closed the door, drinks are provided curteousy of "Victoria", an English regular, freshly returned from the UK that PM.
A number of charming ladies lined up around the small bar, who all seem to be very fond of Stumpy. Alarmingly, there`s a small brass plaque with Stumpy`s fading name screwed to the counter (reward for good custom, I`m informed). It`s one of those bars you hear about, the drinks are reloaded with alarming speed. 3, or was it 4 "quick" beers later we relocate 50 yards down the street to an izakaya.
The beer here is 75% cheaper than the bar!! A selection of dishes follow including some delicious tako wasabi (raw octopus with wasabi), which only Stumpy and I seem to eat...... A Dai joki or two(?) later and we`re heading back to Geronimo`s, eek!!
Those of you familiar with the book "Angry White Pyjamas" may recall the author had a "situation" in a bar....yep, it was here, although the bar is vastly smaller than the image held in my head whilst reading the book (a phrase involving swinging cats comes to mind).
I have no idea how many more beers were sunk?? Some complete stranger attempted the Geronimo challenge failing miserably as he puked all over the counter (on your plaque too Michael, all though I`m not telling tales). A successfull Geronimo`s challenge invloves downing 15 shots, and is rewarded with a brass plaque on the wall of fame/shame and a free Geronimo`s T-shirt), . Eventually managed to crawl away from Stumpy`s fantastic hospitality and some stimulating Aikido conversation sometime after midnight, with a promise to visit Stumpy`s dojo on Tuesday morning at 5:45AM!!
"Century Southern Tower Hotel, Shinjuku,........don`t know it sir" (only one of the bigger hotels in Shinjuku, right by the station). "Yodobashi Camera,.........don`t know it sir" (only the most famous electrical superstore in Shinjuku). Was this guy havin` a laugh? "Shinjuku station,...... I think so". Convinced he was taking us for a ride in more than one sense of the word, I tried to remain as alert as that many beers would let me.....
Eventually we did arrive at Shinjuku station without further issue, where we stumbled from the cab and "walked" to the hotel. "Of course I can, look I`m walking straight" I answered when my colleague asked whether I thought I could still defend myself if someone attacked me now!
Tumbled into bed around 1AM falling asleep instantly, only to wake up about 2 hours later. Eyes wide awake, totally unable to get back to sleep, so much for switching onto Tokyo time...