So I'm writing this from a hotel in Tokyo, where I'm with eclectic pop/rock group Magazine Gap as part of a 12 day tour of the Far East. In just 6 days we've played 4 gigs in 2 different countries and 4 different cities.
Firstly - what an amazing experience! We've visited Singapore, Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo so far and everything has been an experience to remember. From nice hotels, to good cuisine, efficient transport, friendly locals and of course some smoking gigs.
One thing that is so abundantly clear in this part of the world is that there is a wealth of RESPECT. Respect for others, for themselves, the environment, society. Without fail, everybody I've come across in Singapore and Japan have been courteous, kind and helpful with impeccable manners. It really is a world away from the U.K. and London, which really need to sit up and take notice of the way of life over here. It's above and beyond the standards back home and as someone that's always been naturally polite with good manners (thanks Mum), I'm absolutely loving it.
As an extension of that topic, it's amazing how much attention to detail for everything there is here. Everywhere you go is spotless; meticulously cleaned round the clock by diligent staff. Bathrooms and toilets cater for your well-being and cleanliness. Trains are regular, fast and high-tec. The 'bullet train' is something to behold, with seat aisles that rotate 180 degrees to always face in the direction of the destination and a top speed and smoothness that gets you across Japan quickly yet calmly. There is very little street litter anywhere - and in Singapore, chewing gum is banned altogether apparently. One thing's for sure...there are some stringent rules in place in this part of the world but it encourages discipline and respect and for the relatively little I've seen so far, it makes for a pleasant region.
Tomorrow I leave for the final leg of the tour in Hong Kong. We'll be playing a show on Thursday evening so that should leave some time to explore the city, I'm really looking forward to comparing it to Japan and Singapore.
Oh and I found a music shop here in Tokyo and got to have a 20 min shed on a Fodera Emperor...if I could work out the exchange rate for such a high figure, I'm sure it'd still be worth the price...maybe...