JAPANESE CHRONICLES | How music connects people in Japan

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It was December 25th 2013 in Shinjuku. After the final epic date of Perfume’s LEVEL3 Dome Tour, I decided to go alone for dinner and then chill at the hotel for a while, to relax a moment and decide what to do later. But time passed, and right before I was going to sleep, I received a message from a friend of mine that asked to join him in a Perfume party in Shinjuku, just near my hotel. Of course I accepted immediately, and in a minute I was out in the cold of the wonderful Tokyo night. Once I met with him, we reached the place where the party already started: It was an underground place in one of the main streets near Studio Alta, and after we entered and walked down the stairs, we reached a room with a bar, a small dance floor, and about fifteen people: There was a DJ playing Perfume’s songs and also videos on all the walls, for a pretty calm but cool atmosphere. In just half an hour, though, the situation got way hotter as more DJs joined the party and the volume started to rise, and so I ended up half drunk dancing with people I had never met before, laughing and singing like there was no tomorrow, and as grand finale, everyone took positions and started dancing to Akihabalove all together in perfect synchronization; It was an incredible sight, and seeing them having so much fun and sharing the same passion and love for this group has been exciting and wonderful. It was pure and genuine fun, and yes, everything was full of love.

Another funny episode happened with some friends in a rock bar in Shibuya called Rockaholic, where you can sit down, have a drink, and request songs to the DJ while rock and metal music blasts your ears. It was a Saturday night, so around 11pm all the people inside the bar was so drunk that madness took over the place and everyone started to jump, scream and hug (?) each other to tracks of groups like Rage Against the Machine and Limp Bizkit. It was kinda sudden, really, but so beautiful that I didn’t even wondered why: I just enjoyed it. I went back there alone once and still had a blast, chatted with a girl for a while and failed in getting her contact, literally drank and screamed like a mad man with the guys at the bar (that broke three bottles in ten minutes) and met an US army dude outside the bar, where we talked about life and our futures.

I’ll never see all those people again, but instead of being sad about it, I believe that’s what makes these experiences so special. Because while I’m here miles away from them writing alone in this room and aware they all probably forgot about me, they’re still part of the reason why I travel to Japan and love its music and people so much. Little experiences make great memories, and music is the bond that creates and keeps them together, and music is everywhere in Japan: Like a world inside a world, a secret place where to share our passion and have fun, while the entire city outside keeps its eyes on everyone and takes care of us at the same time.

You don’t only listen to music in Japan. You live it.

– Alex

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