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Gee, it's 4am again. Watch some crazy Japanese TV, they have strange shows here and seem to be obsessed with food. Even on the news they show what the people they are reporting on, had for dinner. Weird. Raining again. Put on the same clothes for the 4th day in a row. Sigh. Go down for 10:45am lobby call for airport, no bag. Talk to Yoko, she says my bag will be at the check-in counter. Get on bus, ride 30min. to airport.

Arrive at airport. Go to counter with Yoko, and see my bag directly behind the girl checking us in. Ask if I am able to open it before the flight, she says OK and hands me bag. Score!! I immediately get new clothes out and put them in my backpack so I can change ASAP. Reluctantly re-check my bag with ANA Airlines. Hope it makes it to Osaka!!

We are getting a group check-in, so it takes a while. Band and their families arrive (they are on same flight). See my boss and talk motorcycles, etc. until I realize the crew is gone and I'm now hanging with the band and autograph hounds. Walk to the gate with boss and family, he doesn't get hassled too much. Arrive at gate, where there are 100 or so Japanese schoolgirls in uniform, who freak when singer arrives. Try to distance myself from the cacophony.

They board us first, pretty cool, and we (the crew) sit in the upper deck of the 747. BIG plane. I have a window seat, and there is even a compartment under the window that my messenger bag fits in. Cool! Plane is full and Japanese crew member sits next to me (in middle seat). He smells of alcohol and BO. GREAT. I avert my nose and look out the window, we are very high up, compared to the usual jet. On take off, they have a camera mounted on the landing gear, and you can see the runway flying by. VERY COOL. We don't seem to be going very fast, but plane takes off easily. Uneventful flight, do see the strange man-made island airport that is built outside one of the cities (forgot which one). I hear it sinks a few inches every day.

Arrive in Osaka and go to baggage claim. We have our own belt for our group. Watch as regular passengers get their bags and leave. Wait by our special belt, and get our bags slowly come out 10min later. So glad we got the "special" treatment. My bag arrives and I hug it. Head outside, immediate climate change from Sapporo, HOT and HUMID, did I mention HUMID? It's about 96 degrees and I have jeans on. Find the truck and load in bag, then go to bus. Hotel is 45min away, grrrrrrrr.

Get to the Swisshotel and check in. Hotel is above the Namba station in a very busy part of Osaka. Around the hotel is a ton of arcades (covered shopping streets) and an Electronics Town (which is a street full of big and small shops all selling the same gadgets for about the same prices).

Go out with other backline guys across the street to noodle shop. They have gyozas!! We order some, and I order Ramen too. Gyozas are great and only 190yen. Cheap. Walk around arcades a bit, notice that although it is incredibly hot, no one is wearing shorts, except for kids and old people. How fashionable. We head back to hotel around 6pm, promise to meet others around 8pm for dinner.

Start reading in room and decide to take short nap around 7pm. I awake at 9:30pm and feel like I've been drugged. Go back to sleep and awake at 2:30am. Uh oh. Go back to sleep till 4:30am, then get up to read and check email. Sun is not up yet, it waits till 5am to rise.

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    I got tired of writing the same email to everybody asking about life on the road. So here it is, day by day...
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