The phone rang. A man with heavy Japanese accent and broken English mumbled over the phone to Louie Fountain, “Where are you guys? Without hesitation, and before he could finish his sentence, Louie and I sprang out of bed realizing that we had forgotten to meet K2 Japan’s Tomuro in the hotel lobby. Louie and I threw on the first thing we could find, grabbed our cameras and rushed down to the hotel lobby to meet Tomuro and Shaun McKay. After the previous night’s festivities I was in no condition to be moving this fast but Louie was fully rested, and I followed along half asleep.K2 Japan had a big day planned for us visiting the local snowboard shops and there was no way we could be late. With today’s schedule in one hand and some vending machine coffee in the other we were on the subway to Kanda.Kanda is considered the sporting goods district of Tokyo. At first when I had heard that every snowboard shop in Tokyo was in Kanda and that they all were on one street within a mile of each other, I thought “There is no way every single shop in the city would be right next store to each other. After a subway ride and a delicious brunch of curry udaun, sure as the morning sun, there they were, all lined up one after another and selling exactly the same things. I couldn’t believe my eyes, not only was each shop right next to each other, most were two to three stories tall and every single one of them was busier than any snowboard shop I’d been to in the states. It was such a peculiar sight seeing guys in suits walking down what seemed like a very business oriented part of the city, carrying brand new snowboards and talking on their cell phones. Still in shock, Tomuro led our crew to meet up with K2 Japans’ Fujitsu and Hisoka for our first round of signing autographs and photo ops. At the first store we joined up with MDP’s Director Brad Kremer, and one of the stars of their newest film Follow Me Around, Aaron Biittner. We all said our good mornings and headed into the first shop on our very busy “schedure.All the riders were immediately swarmed as they entered the store. Everyone asked for an autograph and got their picture taken with the riders but now it was time to move on to next store. As we crossed the street we saw an American landmark. What might you ask could this American jewel be? Well Starbucks of course, so we loaded ourselves up with caffeine and pushed on to the second store of the day.This shop was definitely on it. They had televisions outside playing the newest MDP movies and a line of fans awaiting our arrival. As I looked around before the carnage of autograph signing and picture taking began, I walked around the shop only to find a huge rack full of MDP movies. Cha ching, cha ching, thank you Japan. The store’s movie rack had one whole side of MDP movies on it, filled to the brim with about 100 copies of Follow Me Around, and People. Not only was the rack full of MDP films but it also had MDP ranked as the number one video of the year and it was playing our newest project, People. Too excited to contain myself I headed outside to see how the rest of the crew was doing.
In full autograph mode with lines protruding out into the street, the crew was firing off autographs like it was going out of style. One hour later we took a few bows and headed off on the rest of our journey through the snowboard district. In one store we all decided to get dressed up in these amazing surfing poncho’s called Moo Moo’s. You can take a look at the photos to get a better idea of what I’m talking about. All I have to say is that we’re definitely the next generation of Gangster. So for the next couple of hours my homeys and I signed some more autographs, and took some more photos until the sun went down and we called it quits.
Since we had a big night the day before, we all decided to keep the evening mellow and just do a little shopping and exploring of the rest of Tokyo.
After a little dinner, courtessy of our friends at K2 Japan, we headed out into the city to. Our steam didn’t last long before the jet lag had completely come over us. We were all exhausted and headed our separate ways and back to the rooms for some much needed sleep. Oh yea, by the way a hotel room in Tokyo is not normal. Normally in America you can easily share a room with another person. This is not the case at all in Japan. The rooms are ridiculously small, and when they say a single they mean it. Imagine standing on top of your bed and spreading your arms wide like you are trying to fly then imagine that your hands could touch each wall if they were only 6 inches longer then put two grown men in there with all their gear. Yeah, not a sweet sleeping situation. But whatever, we were in Japan and we weren’t a going to let it get us down