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Thursday, October 8, 2009

WJAAS - Landed!

It never happened to me: few hours before leaving for Japan, Thomas Schick introduced me to a friend, living in Yokohama, a nice guy and an hard-core audio and music lover.

A couple of e-mails and for the very first time ever, I found - at my arrival at Narita airport - someone waiting for me with an A3 format paper and my name printed on it.

Thanks a lot, Thomas... nice to meet you, Kazumasa Oguri-san!

In few minutes we reached his car at the Terminal parking and headed to his home in Yokohama hills.

My first exposure to Japan, its traffic and road was amusing - i.e. where are the cars of a 136 millions people country?!? - broad highways and lanes, clear signals in Hiragana and English... a dream.

We reached Yokohama suburbs in about one hour, while chatting of audio and cars and work and families...

Found a restaurant where I had my first japanese chopsticks-dinner of many to come... then... the (german) car was bound for the little, tidy house - the first of many to come during my trip - a very nice one, with a little garden.

K. introduced me to his wife and son and we were in his music-room: superb music system he had!

Siemens' Coaxials in the rare, sought-after double driver version, Garrard 401 with, I guess, a Lafayette broadcasting arm and an old Ortofon RMG-309 and handmade, homebrew tube amps and preamps... most jealous about the super Eckmiller's stepped studio attenuator!

We listened to some classical music and to some old italian 78 rpm opera disc.
The sound, awesome and classy, was the VERY first promising "welcome" of a very musical country, where people isn't shy about their audio and music passion, yet proud!

Baseball & audio, as I discovered later during my vacation.

K's wife brought us some green tea and homemade chestnuts... his son drawed an italian flag with his coloured pencils... despite the VERY long - almost 36 hours from previous "night" and the upper-deck Boeing 747 flight which helped, but really missing a genuine "beddo";-), anyway - I enjoyed a lot meeting this extremely fine gentleman and host and I appreciated the music and, most of all, the class and good taste he used in assemblying his audio system.

After some chatting and taking some pixes, K. picked me up to Yokohama station (without forgetting, before using again the car, to rescue a "mantis" which was risking its life, near the car); I was ready, at last, for reaching my hotel in Ikebukuro, where I arrived, exhausted, at about 1 p.m.

Slept 'til noon... and - Hey! - I was in Japan!

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