Killers, Bulls, Kongs and more - the Japan Report!

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class316
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Re: Killers, Bulls, Kongs and more - the Japan Report!

Post by class316 » January 15th, 2018, 2:12 pm

Great report AJLe! While there's no shortage of reports that feature a slew of celebs or reports about big conventions, there are few unique reports such as this.
AJLe wrote:
January 14th, 2018, 8:10 pm
Right before New Year's, I left for my second tour of Japan - this time a two week journey. After a long, 13+ hour flight, that had a layover in Beijing, China,
Why couldn't you get a direct flight to Tokyo? Also, how much was airfare in total? What did you spend on hotel total? And throughout your travels in Japan you managed to get by with public transportation?
So I say goodnight, and get back to my hotel to get ready for the next day, which is going to be big. That morning I try for one of my all-time favorite Japanese wrestlers, Toshiaki Kawada. Kawada is now retired, but he runs a ramen restaurant in the suburbs of Tokyo. I made it there for the start of his lunch hours, and sure enough, Kawada is behind the counter!


Couldn't you have tried asking him right there?
That Sunday, for the first time I participated in a New Year's Eve countdown, at the Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo. Fun bucket list type of thing, but I really never have any desire to do it again anywhere. Too crowded (and I'm sure it's NOTHING compared to Times Square), and too much of a hassle.
I couldn't believe it seeing all those people standing in sub zero temperature just for that. Made me feel sane and normal. I don't even stand outside in that cold for celebrities!
A couple of days later, I make my way up to Shinjuku to try to meet WWF legend Killer Khan. My directions take me through a questionable neighborhood (I'm pretty sure I was propositioned by a non-English speaking prostitute a block before Killer Khan’s place)


That would have been a great behind the scenes shot!
I finished the week doing sightseeing things like visiting Mount Fuji, and stopped off at the original Ribera Steakhouse. But when it’s time to fly home, I have a connecting flight in Beijing, ultimately to land in JFK. Problem is, there was a massive rainstorm which caused flooding and fog throughout JFK, and a ton of flights (including mine) got cancelled. So I’m stuck in CHINA for about 30 hours before I could get my rescheduled flight home. I’m a pretty adventurous person, but being stranded in a foreign country, with no knowledge of the language and no local currency, was pretty damn scary. When I finally got on my flight (exactly one day after it was originally scheduled to depart), I could have done a Flair strut into my seat I was so happy.
Wow that must have been rough!
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AJLe
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Re: Killers, Bulls, Kongs and more - the Japan Report!

Post by AJLe » January 15th, 2018, 2:33 pm

class316 wrote:
January 15th, 2018, 2:12 pm

Why couldn't you get a direct flight to Tokyo? Also, how much was airfare in total? What did you spend on hotel total? And throughout your travels in Japan you managed to get by with public transportation? .
I could have gotten a direct flight, but when it came time to book, the best price I found for direct flights that fit my schedule was around $1300. The flight connecting out of Beijing was under $600, so I sacrificed a little time and convenience in order to save $700.

My hotel came out to about a little over $800 total for the two weeks. And seeing how it was located within walking distance of Korakuen and Tokyo Dome, I thought it was a damn good deal.

And yes, I got by with just public transportation. The main subway line will take you just about anywhere in central Tokyo you would ever need to get to. And you can fairly easily transfer to other train/subway lines if you need to get to the suburbs or other common destinations like the Mt. Fuji area, which was a couple of hours outside of Tokyo. It's really not hard once you figure it out - most (but not all) of the station signs are in Japanese and English, and the fare machines have an option to display in English as well.
class316 wrote:
January 15th, 2018, 2:12 pm
Couldn't you have tried asking him right there?.
No - this wasn't some token "celebrity restaurant", where the celeb is out BSing with people while the real cooks handle the food, Kawada was literally the sole cook there preparing everybody's food. So when he's obviously busy working, it's not a good time to ask. After I finished, everybody in the place had been served, so I thought I was good to ask, but I didn't realize there was still a line outside waiting to come in.
class316 wrote:
January 15th, 2018, 2:12 pm
I couldn't believe it seeing all those people standing in sub zero temperature just for that. Made me feel sane and normal. I don't even stand outside in that cold for celebrities!
,

It wasn't nearly as cold in Japan as it was over here that week. Overnight lows were "only" in the low 30's, so it wasn't the single digit cold that the Northeast was experiencing.

class316 wrote:
January 15th, 2018, 2:12 pm
That would have been a great behind the scenes shot!
Well, she was either a hooker looking for a john, or she was hoping to rob me, or both. So I wasn't too anxious to stick around and take pictures.

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oldschoolwwwf
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Re: Killers, Bulls, Kongs and more - the Japan Report!

Post by oldschoolwwwf » January 15th, 2018, 2:39 pm

Were there any other japanese wrestlers you had hoped to meet but didn't? For me, Khan and Kabuki would be must meets but i would have hoped for Mr. Saito and chono, and maybe tiger chung lee.

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AJLe
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Re: Killers, Bulls, Kongs and more - the Japan Report!

Post by AJLe » January 15th, 2018, 2:56 pm

oldschoolwwwf wrote:
January 15th, 2018, 2:39 pm
Were there any other japanese wrestlers you had hoped to meet but didn't? For me, Khan and Kabuki would be must meets but i would have hoped for Mr. Saito and chono, and maybe tiger chung lee.
The only wrestler I actually had info on but didn't get to meet was "Mr. Danger" Mitsuhiro Matsunaga , but the timing never worked out to make it to his place. Inoki also had a bar, but from what I read, it's basically just him whoring his name to the bar, and he's rarely, if ever, actually in the place, so I didn't end up making it there either.

Anybody else I didn't have any leads on.

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Re: Killers, Bulls, Kongs and more - the Japan Report!

Post by Bobby » January 15th, 2018, 4:20 pm

oldschoolwwwf wrote:
January 15th, 2018, 2:39 pm
Were there any other japanese wrestlers you had hoped to meet but didn't? For me, Khan and Kabuki would be must meets but i would have hoped for Mr. Saito and chono, and maybe tiger chung lee.
Luckily i got Saito in 2011. Missed Chono by 5 seconds at wrestle kingdom :(

Amazing report AJ. Cant wait to post mine


prowrestlingmall
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Re: Killers, Bulls, Kongs and more - the Japan Report!

Post by prowrestlingmall » January 15th, 2018, 10:13 pm

Dude...I have been attending wrestling shows/conventions/weekends/etc. for close to over 30 years and this is my DREAM wrestling vacation and meets! This is absolutely AWESOME! Congratulations and thanks so much for sharing!

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Re: Killers, Bulls, Kongs and more - the Japan Report!

Post by Rmweisner » January 15th, 2018, 10:51 pm

Awesome !!! The Great Kabuki is an awesome meet !!! I tip my hat to you !! These are guys that you can’t get in the states and to make this trip is legendary !!! Awesome x10

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AJLe
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Re: Killers, Bulls, Kongs and more - the Japan Report!

Post by AJLe » January 16th, 2018, 5:44 am

prowrestlingmall wrote:
January 15th, 2018, 10:13 pm
Dude...I have been attending wrestling shows/conventions/weekends/etc. for close to over 30 years and this is my DREAM wrestling vacation and meets! This is absolutely AWESOME! Congratulations and thanks so much for sharing!
Thanks!

I hear a lot of people tell me that this is their dream vacation, and it was mine too, but people should realize that it's an ATTAINABLE dream if you want it bad enough. I'm not a rich man by any means, but if you plan long enough ahead of time, you can save your money, price out flights and hotels to find good deals, and actually make it happen. Everything I did was either within walking distance, or within subway/train access. And even with attending 9 wrestling shows, and food, souvenirs, etc, my spending money was able to be kept under around $100 a day in US dollars.

So it's not something that's totally out of reach for anybody to do. As long as somebody has a job, they'd be able to save up enough to do exactly what I did if they planned it out long enough in advance, and was willing to put up with the long flight over.

And obviously, if anybody does end up planning a Japan trip down the road, feel free to message me, and I'd be glad to help out with any tips or advice.

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MrTonyRuben
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Re: Killers, Bulls, Kongs and more - the Japan Report!

Post by MrTonyRuben » January 16th, 2018, 10:44 pm

Late to the party, but this was an excellent read. A lot of cool pics, AJ!


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