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Tokyo, Japan  —  Organizer: gomichild

Tokyo Planning Thread
May 6, 2009 7:30 PM   RSS feed for this thread Subscribe

We need to pick a date and time between July 17 and July 19 and a location, central to Tokyo.

Help me plan the Tokyo MeFi 10 year anniversary :)
posted by gen to Tokyo, Japan at 7:30 PM (74 comments total)

No clue about anything cos I'm a kiwi, but I'll be in Japan for the anniversary and would love to meet up with you all. I fly out of Tokyo on Sunday evening (19th), so before then would be good. I'll have my non-mefi boyfriend with me, but he's an IT geek so he's cool.
posted by shelleycat at 7:50 PM on May 6, 2009

yay, you set one up! (I plucked your name from thin air for the site mockups)
posted by mathowie at 7:51 PM on May 6, 2009

I'd hate to miss this one! I'll try to be there no matter when or where.
posted by misozaki at 9:23 PM on May 6, 2009

posted by gomichild at 11:10 PM on May 6, 2009

Guess it'll depend on how many people plan to participate. Somewhere on or in the Yamanote line would be nice.

Though someplace like Popeye in Ryogoku might be fun.
posted by armage at 12:03 AM on May 7, 2009

mathowie :)

My preference is that we try to do something that is family friendly, say on a weekend afternoon, as a number of us do have kids. There can be a nijikai group that goes out drinking too, that's of course an option.
posted by gen at 5:35 AM on May 7, 2009

Yeah, I'd like to do a daytime thing with the young 'uns AND a nightime drinky thingy!

And I'm all for making the daytime one out at woodblock's place in Ome (making special MeFi 10th custom woodblock prints!) if that can work. I think woodblock has some ideas about that, and I reckon he'll drop in on this thread before too long...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:41 AM on May 7, 2009

I reckon he'll drop in on this thread before too long...

I done dropped, Flapjax. Here. Still haven't quite got the hang of how the levels of this work ...
posted by woodblock100 at 8:09 AM on May 7, 2009

I'm in Nagoya, and actually don't know if I'll still be in Japan and employed by then, but I'd like to put myself down as a definite かもしれない。
posted by greasepig at 6:10 AM on May 8, 2009

Much as I'd love to, I won't be able to make it out to Ome for the family-friendly part, but if there is eating and/or drinking accessible to the Yamanote line afterwards I will do my best to attend.
posted by No-sword at 6:11 AM on May 10, 2009

I suggest y'all coming out to Sado Island! :)

What? Too far? Darn.

Well, I suppose I can try and get down to Tokyo. We'll see how much money I have left by then. ;)
posted by snwod at 5:29 PM on May 10, 2009

I suggest y'all coming out to Sado Island!

Nah, sorry, but we're all Masochists.

/ba-dom psssshhh

Actually, that might be the reason to come!

/ba-dom psssshhh

I say, to come...

/drummer steps away from drum kit, heads to the bar
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:10 PM on May 10, 2009

How can anyone on metafilter possibly plan this far in advance??
I'd definitely come for dinner-somethings on Yamanote.
I really really want to go to Ome, but can probably only do it on the Sunday.

And where is Sado Island? I feel like we've been handed a challenge...
posted by whatzit at 4:37 AM on May 12, 2009

where is Sado Island

You see the map on the previous page? Click and drag it downwards. You will see a (roughly) 'S' shaped island off the coast on the opposite side of Japan from Tokyo. That's it.
posted by woodblock100 at 7:15 AM on May 12, 2009

What woodblock said. :)

That's where I live. Getting to Tokyo isn't too hard, but the weekend before this I'll be taking another trip down to Hyogo, so my finances might not support another outing so soon. We'll see, though. I am a "maybe" on the list.
posted by snwod at 5:30 PM on May 13, 2009

I'll be there in spirit. Trapped in the "heartland", surrounded by hatake, but lifting a glass of spirits in all of your general direction, nonetheless.
posted by squasha at 8:32 AM on May 15, 2009

Would love to attend, but I have a trip back to Spain scheduled right on the 14th. Boo. :(

I'll be there in spirit, though. Have a blast!
posted by doctorpiorno at 11:52 PM on May 15, 2009

I'll try and represent Kansai!
posted by emmling at 7:30 AM on May 19, 2009

Did we decide a day for this event? We may not be in Tokyo on Friday night (although our plans aren't yet set in stone) as we'd like do some hiking and to spend a night out in the countryside (probably at Mitake, again not set in stone). Will it be doable to go out to Ome during the day on Saturday then come back to party in Tokyo on Saturday evening?

I need to book accommodation in the next day or two so that we're not sleeping on the subway, which probably means making at least some decisions for us. Planning the holiday has been second priority after getting some actual results to present at the conference I'm going to, so I'm feeling a bit disorganised so far.
posted by shelleycat at 4:11 PM on May 19, 2009

i'm also interested in joining, provided i'm not in singapore around that time. I also wouldn't be opposed to a trip out to Ome, especially if it wouldn't be a problem to bring a 9 month old along.
posted by mexican at 12:40 AM on May 27, 2009

Well, I'm still excited about both going to Ome and hanging out in tokyo, but am a loser unable to fully commit to anything until much closer to the date in question. snwod, I'll have to come bother your neighborhood some other time!
posted by whatzit at 7:29 AM on June 5, 2009

So, have we still not finalized a date? There are going to be a ton of maybes until we actually decide when it will be.
posted by Bugbread at 3:26 PM on June 19, 2009

We'll be in Tokyo all week but staying out of town on the Friday night, 17th (here) then back in Tokyo for Saturday. So my vote is either for during the week (since hey, I'll be on holiday!) or on Saturday evening. We'll be staying in Ueno while in Tokyo but hopefully will get the hang of the subway etc pretty quickly.

I'm actually leaving NZ on July 4th and have no idea what my internet access will be like while I'm over there. So hopefully there will be some tentative plans by then. My boyfriend doesn't leave until 10th though (I'm at a conference for the first week) and can participate in planning up til then. Plus I'm guessing that Tokyo has internet cafes or something heh. One of us may have a working mobile phone too, I need to check if either of ours are new enough to work over there.
posted by shelleycat at 3:58 PM on June 19, 2009

I've been wondering about this, too. Since it's now less than a month before the anniversary weekend, maybe we should be making more concrete plans?

I'm still all for visiting woodblock100's workshop during the day with my son if the invitation's still open, and maybe even hanging out for an evening drinking thingy on either Saturday or Sunday sans son if there's going to be one.

But I don't get out much so I have no specific suggestions for a venue. Oh, and I've moved out east so I vote for doing something in the general vicinity of Ueno if that's where shelleycat's staying. But again, I have no specific suggestions so I promise not to complain if we end up in Shimokita or Kichijoji or wherever. (^_^)
posted by misozaki at 6:21 PM on June 19, 2009

if the invitation's still open ...

Sure; no problem at this end at all. Either day is completely OK here. It's worth mentioning that each Sat and Sun, there are special trains running from Tokyo/Shinjuku out to Ome (out in the morning, and back in the late afternoon).

Here are the times for the return trip to town:
posted by woodblock100 at 8:10 PM on June 19, 2009

I'm very much all for visiting woodblock since I think we're out that way already in Mitake. It looks like we can get back to town at a reasonable time too for Saturday night drinking? We'll need to book into our hotel when we get back to Tokyo before heading back out again for the evening.
posted by shelleycat at 9:18 PM on June 19, 2009

It turns out that I'll almost certainly be unable to attend any meetup anywhere during the earmarked weekend. I'm bummed, but it's unavoidable.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:34 AM on June 20, 2009

What?! Boooooo.(T_T)
posted by misozaki at 7:01 AM on June 20, 2009

flapjax, what about during the week sometime, avoiding Friday when shelleycat can't attend? An anniversary meetup without the flapjax would just be so sad.
posted by misozaki at 7:30 AM on June 20, 2009

During the week sometime would probably be doable for me (I can't say exactly which days right now, but I can in a couple more days). BUT, wouldn't the weekend be better for virtually everyone else? I'm just assuming that it would be...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:19 AM on June 20, 2009

I can do during the week AND during the weekend. Just not Friday. Yay for being on holiday! I like meeting new people, so does my boyfriend, and we don't really have evening plans beyond just hanging out in Tokyo to see what it's like.

(yeah so the holiday realisation thing only kicked in a few days ago, been focussing so much on getting some damn results for the conference!)
posted by shelleycat at 11:36 PM on June 20, 2009

So can we nail down a date for this and start working on a location? We need to be scheduled by July 7th to remain 'official'. Plus having a date will mean people can confirm attendance and might make it easier to get input on a place.

I propose that we make Saturday 18th the final date for the main meetup. I don't know anything about Tokyo so can't suggest a place but am open to pretty much anywhere and any kind of experience (drinking, not drinking, eating, whatever) except maybe kareoke, Boyd and I are both terribly terrible singers.

Then we should also confirm the daytime side meetup out at Ome over in the other thread, hopefully on Saturday? I think there is a mechanism to do this now that wasn't there when we started.

Lastly if there's enough interest I'd be very happy to meetup with flapjax and whoever else earlier than the 18th, anytime from Friday 10th to Thursday 16th. We can set this up as a satellite meetup too if you want. I move from Shinjuku to Ueno on Saturday 11th (and Boyd arrives that morning) and hopefully will have worked out the subway system by then.

My poster for the conference is done and I'm starting to think about what to pack and just all round get excited about this!
posted by shelleycat at 8:19 PM on June 29, 2009

I have no problem with any of the evenings of the 17th, 18th, or 19th (since Monday the 20th is a holiday). The 17th or the 18th would probably be best.

Anyone else?
posted by armage at 11:28 PM on June 30, 2009

I'm still in. So shall we say Saturday, the 18th for the evening meetup?

So far, the only "yes"s seem to be shelleycat (+1), armage, and me.

...Where's gen? And everyone else?
posted by misozaki at 4:00 AM on July 1, 2009

Hey y'all. Well, as I mentioned before, that weekend is NG for me, unfortunately. Dammit!

But I hope a fine time is had by all, and I hope to see as many of you Tokyoites (and any visitors that may be around) at the next meetup... maybe the Fall?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:54 AM on July 1, 2009

Does anyone else want to try to do a Kansai area meetup? Are there enough people for it?
posted by sleepytako at 9:53 AM on July 1, 2009

Darnit, just flying in to Tokyo on the 14th then immediately heading for Kyoto for the float-parade on the 17th. Let's have a meetup there too, shan't we :)
posted by avocade at 2:16 PM on July 2, 2009

A Gion Matsuri Meetup?
posted by emmling at 4:10 AM on July 3, 2009

I fly out this afternoon (eep!) but Boyd will be checking in over the next week and I should have some internet access while I'm away. Am still hoping very much we get organised.
posted by shelleycat at 1:36 PM on July 3, 2009

Hey Boyd, if you`re checking this. I can`t check my email from here although this seems to work. Tokyo is fun, meeting mefites would be even more fun.
posted by shelleycat at 2:05 AM on July 7, 2009

Admin reminder: this meetup is going to be removed from the site tomorrow because the deadline for confirming the date, time, and location has passed. Please contact us with the details if you'd like to move this meetup from planning to scheduled.
posted by pb at 10:00 PM on July 8, 2009

Gen, didja see that? From pb? You started this thread, bro, ain'tcha gonna try to pull something together? Well, I personally have no dog in this race cause I can't make it anyway, but, seems a shame that Tokyo won't represent.

Well, I know the demands of fatherhood are great, too, you new papa you. Hope all's well.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:07 AM on July 9, 2009

Hi Shelley, forgot to check this till this morning. Looking forward to seeing you again tomorrow. Isn't looking good for the meet up but we can still go tramping anyway. - Boyd
posted by shelleycat at 6:04 PM on July 9, 2009

Moshi moshi??
posted by gomichild at 1:14 AM on July 10, 2009

Ok I've spoken to woodblock100 and we are definitely meeting to do this event on Saturday July 18.

We will meet at Studio Alta under the TV screen at 8:15am to catch the Shinjuku: 8:47 ~ Ome 9:45 train.

As for afterwards it may be play by ear if you are interested in joining up please mail me at for any developments (I will get on my iPhone any messages) if a plan isn't in place beforehand.

Let's Meet Up in (almost) Tokyo!
posted by gomichild at 6:55 AM on July 10, 2009

Cool, y'all, I'm glad to hear something is happening, and I'm really sorry I can't be there. Woodblock is a helluva guy, and I'd sure love to see his printing setup and hang out. And gomichild? Yeah, she's alright, too! And her kid is as cute as they come! You other Tokyoites: get thee to Ome!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:24 AM on July 10, 2009

Thanks for the heads-up, gomichild and woodblock100. My son's expressed interest, so put us down as attending, please.

If you don't mind, we'll catch the 8:47 Holiday Kaisoku train directly because that way we can leave home a bit later... I still have gomichild's keitai number in my phone (has it changed since?), so I'll call to find out where you all are on the train if we don't see you on the platform. Or we'll just walk thru the train car to car until we find you...

I'm glad Tokyo is having this meetup after all!
posted by misozaki at 4:11 PM on July 10, 2009

Keitai number is the same! Also you can text me via TO make things easier though we could just try for the very front carriage?
posted by gomichild at 4:24 PM on July 11, 2009

Using the front carriage would not be a bad idea; some of those trains split up at Haijima Station (partway up the Ome line). The front section comes here, the rear four carriages go to Itsukaichi. At least that's the usual pattern - please listen carefully at that point. If you feel the train jostling around, like they are splitting it up, check where you are headed ...

As for jumping on the same train after it leaves Shinjuku, the only other halts on the Chuo line segment of the route are at:
posted by woodblock100 at 4:36 PM on July 11, 2009

Thanks woodblock100!

Ok let's definitely do front carriage!
posted by gomichild at 10:04 PM on July 11, 2009

posted by misozaki at 4:39 AM on July 12, 2009

Hi everyone, sorry for being out of touch. Familia gen (my SO, my chibi who is 9 mo. and I) will be joining on Saturday at Woodblock100's place. We're not sure if we'll rent a car or take the train but I'll post here when we decide either way. Should we bring lunch with us?
posted by gen at 5:32 AM on July 12, 2009

I'll try to make it -- but since I'm coming from Kawasaki I'll just meet up with you all at Ome Station around 9:45. If something comes up I'll post here by Friday.
posted by armage at 6:06 PM on July 12, 2009

I'm not going to be able to make it.... (T_T) Can't afford a trip up to Tokyo and back this month. Stupid city tax.
posted by emmling at 7:30 AM on July 14, 2009

Should we bring lunch with us?

I'll fire up the oven on Saturday morning and make some muffins. I'll also stock up the fridge with juice/beer/water. But if people brought a bit of 'this or that' to put on the table too, it wouldn't be a bad idea.
posted by woodblock100 at 3:18 AM on July 15, 2009

Well, at first I was thinking about making obento-esque thingies like kara-age and onigiri to bring, but the train's a bit early so I've changed my mind to things that I can either stock up on or make on the day before. So I'm thinking of bringing some wine + dip, cheese & crackers, because I personally like having these things around. You know, woodblock, you really don't have to do anything more than help us with the prints.
posted by misozaki at 5:50 AM on July 15, 2009

Oh, and I'm glad to hear gen and armage might make it, and sad that emmling can't join us (T_T). I wonder if shelleycat's still following this thread?
posted by misozaki at 5:59 AM on July 15, 2009

Still here, sort of. We;ll try to be at Ome station by 945 am or earlier to meet you all. Finding a timetable has been a pain so we\ll figure it out as we go. If we\re late then we have the adress and will ind our way. So far japan has been very friendly and easy so I'm sure it will be fine. Looking forward to seeing you all!
posted by shelleycat at 7:05 PM on July 15, 2009

Team gen will be taking the train with everyone else. We'll take that 8:47 Holiday Kaisoku train (leaving from Shinjuku, Chuo-line, right?)
posted by gen at 7:08 PM on July 15, 2009

Someone should email pb to get this made official.
posted by shelleycat at 7:09 PM on July 15, 2009

As the weather is HOT HOT HOT, we'll also bring some appropriate snack food that won't spoil and enough to share. We have to get back to Tokyo by the early evening for a dinner engagement so we may be leaving around 4pm-ish.
posted by gen at 7:34 PM on July 15, 2009

to get this made official

I think we already are ... at least we're on the big main map, and also here.

that 8:47 Holiday Kaisoku train (leaving from Shinjuku, Chuo-line, right?)

Yep. It's this train.

we may be leaving around 4pm-ish.

Possible return times: There are more later. Final from Ome direct to Tokyo is at 8:17.
posted by woodblock100 at 7:38 PM on July 15, 2009

woodblock100, awesome, thanks!
posted by gen at 7:55 PM on July 15, 2009

gol-dernit, I wish I could make this meetup.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:40 PM on July 15, 2009

We are official! On the side bar and everything.

Now for something annoying - Elliot Mason couldn't have his vaccination on Wednesday because he had a slight fever. The only day he could be rescheduled for is OF COURSE Saturday. And they won't negotiate to move it to Tuesday because he is outside of the vaccination window then (and Sunday and Monday they are closed).

So we can't make it after all! The appt. is at 11am close to here and by the time we get to Ome it will be time to come home.
posted by gomichild at 2:40 AM on July 17, 2009

All systems are 'go' at the Ome end ... Printing paper is moistened in the stack ready for work, I've cleaned up a bunch of boxes of junk to make the place a bit more presentable, and the 'playzone' is cleaned up and ready for kids from 1 to 100.

If the weather is comfortably 'walkable', I'll be meeting the appointed train at Ome Station for the walk back here. If it's pouring down, it's pointless for me to do that, so just grab a cab. Keep my number at hand (0428-22-2212) so that the driver can call me for guidance if necessary.

While (if) I'm up at the station I'm out of contact (no cell phone), so I'll leave the front door open so that shelleycat - who may be coming from another direction - can 'come in and make yourself at home'.
posted by woodblock100 at 3:35 AM on July 17, 2009

Sorry folks, I'm not going to be able make this one. I got called in for a Saturday shift. And I was really looking forward to seeing woodblock100's studio...

The next time we have a Tokyo meetup, though, I'll be there!
posted by armage at 3:52 AM on July 17, 2009

team gen is still scheduled to go.
posted by gen at 6:48 AM on July 17, 2009

Webcam is now live. Nobody here yet of course; we should be getting under way somewhere around noon I guess - depends on how hungry everybody is, etc.

There is a 'message board' on the webcam view page. We'll have a computer down in the workshop, and will be watching for your input and comments!
posted by woodblock100 at 3:18 PM on July 17, 2009

Team misozaki will be leaving now!
posted by misozaki at 3:28 PM on July 17, 2009

I'll be tuning in!
posted by gomichild at 3:29 PM on July 17, 2009

Yay I can see you! *waves*
posted by gomichild at 8:13 PM on July 17, 2009

OK, they're all gone ... off on the long trip back to Tokyo.

I guess a lot of the meetups this weekend will be rip-roarin' affairs, but I have to report that our Tokyo event was nothing of the sort. Quite the 'sleeper' actually!

Everybody arrived on the planned train, and we wandered over to my place via back streets and river park. After a bit of get-acquainted chat, we headed down into the workshop and 'messed around with prints' for a couple of hours. misozaki-san's son was the most energetic, and went back to the blocks time and again, determined to 'get it right'. I think everybody got a pretty good result though, and took their print home as a souvenir.

We had a nice lunch together, and 'thought about' heading down to the river for a swim, but we were comfortable ... it was lazy, and ... ... in order to protect the innocent, I won't tell you who fell asleep first ...

All too soon, it was train time, and that was that ...

The webcam ran nonstop in one corner, and there is a folder here with a bunch of shots captured from it. As you can see, 3625 was the last man out, in the final picture. (I think some of the participants will be Flickering some pics, too ...)

A most pleasant afternoon! Thanks to everybody for bringing along nibbles and stuff, and for being willing to come so far on this hot muggy day!
posted by woodblock100 at 2:02 AM on July 18, 2009

A good time was had by all! Happy 10th, people!

Thanks so much to shelleycat for hanging in there for us Tokyoites when it really looked like this anniversary meetup would fall through. It was great meeting you (AND learning at the last minute that you were the one who made the FPP about I Heart Guts! I love those designs!) and Boyd, and I hope you both come back to visit us again sometime. But first, enjoy your last day here and have a safe trip home.

It was nice seeing you again, gen, this time with your family. For the record: gen's wife is lovely and his son is such a cute cute cute happy baby!

And thanks again to woodblock100 for inviting us to his workshop for the day, and for taking the time to teach us the abc's of woodblock printing. My son had a wonderful time, too, and some summer homework done early as an added bonus!

To gomichild: thanks for finalizing things for us. It was really too bad you couldn't make it. And I was really looking forward to meeting Elliot Mason again, too! Let's get together again when the weather cools down a bit.

I'll link to photos here. Please let me know if any of you want me to remove something. I look forward to seeing you all again soon!
posted by misozaki at 6:48 AM on July 18, 2009

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