We awoke to a little treat, instead of signing autographs in the city it was time to get out of Tokyo and head into the rural suburbs to visit some of K2’s best accounts. Tomuro arrived promptly at ten am in the most hideous Toyota van with K2 logos everywhere that we all nicknamed the “Embarasser. We drove two hours outside of the city to meet to meet with our first store, Flea Snowboard Shop.
About an hour into our countryside drive we were all starving, and pulled off at the first rest stop. Here’s another great thing about Japan, when you pull up at a rest stop they just keep the whole theme of vending machines going. There are displays of food everywhere with numbers printed beside them. Once you find something that looks appetizing you simply walk up to the vending machine, put in some yen, and type in the number of the item you want to eat. The machine then prints a ticket and you simply walk over to the next counter, hand a lady your ticket, and Walla! Lunch. With our bellies stuffed, we loaded back into the Embarasser and moved on Flea.
When we entered Flea, we where anxiously greeted by the employees, and noticing that we had skateboards in hand from a sweet parking lot session out front, guided us to the back of the store. To our surprise, Flea skate shop had its own private skate park! Unable to contain ourselves we hopped on our decks to reap some havoc on the place. Let me rephrase that, Louie destroyed that place. He is not only an incredible snowboarder; he also kills it on a skateboard. Giving up on my skills on the skateboard, I whipped out my camera to try and catch a few moments of Louie’s skateboarding.
After about two solid hours, it was time to get back on the road. On our way out, we signed some more autographs and shook hands with the owner, who had his Lamborghini parked out front. That’s right his Lamborghini! We said our farewell and moved on to our next stop.
Arriving at the next shop, we were greeted by the owner, who immediately led us up stair into his restaurant and bar for food and drinks, and told us that when we were ready we should come down stairs because he had something to show us. With much needed food in our systems, we headed down stairs only to be led to another private skate park. Although this wasn’t the wooden dreamland at Frea, it was fun but a little sketchy. I opted out because of the fear of getting tetanus from the rusted metal ramps. Louie kept on skating and proceeded to catch three-foot airs out the quarter pipe.
Completely exhausted, we all headed back into the shop and go figure, signed more autographs for awaiting fans. With our mission accomplished we bid our new friends a farewell, and loaded back up into the Embarasser.
Thanks so much to K2 Japan for my amazing first time in Japan. Thanks for popping my cherry!
Feature story: Big In Japan: Day 2
Feature story: Big In Japan: Day 1