A few months back I was invited by Gatorade to fly out to Japan to do some stuff with Nigel Sylvester for Defgrip. I was super excited and couldn’t wait to take my first trip to Japan! Along with me and a few other media people was Ryan Fudger. He was working on a full article for Ride that will be out next month. Fudger and I have known each other for a long time, but some how have never ended up on a trip together. We had a blast and ended up staying in Japan a few extra days to ride and explore a bit more. When we got back, I hit up Fudger for a quick top 5 from the trip, so keep reading to see what Fudger thought of Japan!
1. In all corniness, the first thing that comes to mind is getting to hang out with Hiroshi Uehara…one of the most hospitable people I’ve ever met. Hiroshi is a long time professional flatlander that owns BMX/fashion boutique, Decade, in Tokyo. I literally met Hiroshi for ten minutes when I was in Tokyo last year on the Subrosa trip and when I met up with him this time, he treated me (and anyone else who hung out) with almost indescribable kindness. He was a wealth of legit information about Japanese culture, was down to do whatever I wanted at any moment, and showed me the best time. I can’t even begin to explain how legit he kept it…what a fucking awesome dude. I owe him.
2. Sumo wrestling was a trip. Sippin’ on a beer in Tokyo at the sumo championships in a box seat—which was literally a box on the ground—with my shoes off. I had no idea what the hell was going on, why they were throwing dust all over the place, or what those detachable tassels on their junk are about, and that only added to the, “How the hell did I get here?” moment.
3. I’m a big fan of that Ninja Warrior show on G4; the announcer is super over the top with the importance of it all and, in general, the way the show is put together really unique and entertaining. Going into the trip, I joked how I was going to go run the course and become a Ninja Warrior. I had no idea where the mountain was, or if you could just stroll up and give it a go. I still don’t know, actually. But I got the chance to go with a couple of good dudes that I met through you (Harrison) out to some weird place that was like a Nickelodeon spinoff—oddball balance games, ball-suction challenges, and frisbee throwing competitions. It was weird and awesome. But, it also had a mini Ninja Warrior course. No pit of water or crazy vert walls-to-ropes, but it was branded with the Japanese word for Ninja Warrior and it was just a small taste of what it was like. Between getting humbled on that and all the laughs on the other games, it was definitely an awesomely odd departure from the normal ride, shop, and get drunk thing we had been doing the previous days. Not that I didn’t start drinking shortly after.
4.Unfortunately I’m getting to the point where I’m not so culture-shocked anymore, but even still, I like to walk outside and realize that day is going to be an adventure. Every so often it happens at home, but it happened everyday in Tokyo. Even if it was raining, I just knew that I was going to see something I hadn’t before, or that something entertaining was about an hour or two off. Riding included, of course. From falling down stairs in the rain to pussing out on gaps, I had a great time just cruising around and checking out spots and shooting some photos of Nigel Sylvester. I really wish it hadn’t rained quite so much, though.
5. Food, drinks, and going out. Like I said, Hiroshi kept it legit. Eight dollar piles of sashimi, a discovery of the hangover-free green tea and vodka, and walking out of the club/bar/who knows where when the sun was up. Can’t hate. I also liked hanging out with Harrison a lot, we should do that more often, eh?