Archive for March, 2009


Ayanna at Kon’s Corner

Last night I hung out with one of my students and she took me to a Piano Bar in an area of Yokohama called Motomachi Chuukagai. The name of the place was: Kon’s Corner. コンズコーナー

I had a wonderful time! I’m not much for reviews so I’ll just say the food was delicious, the vibe was cozy, the staff was attentive, it wasn’t too expensive, and, perhaps my favorite feature, the live entertainment was HOT!

A woman named Ayanna was singing and my sister had some pipes! She did a little current stuff, a few blasts from the recent past and a few classics as well, and all with a great deal of energy, personality and undeniable talent! And she ain’t hard to look at at all!

cimg0424 That’s Ayanna in the middle

She’s a hard working young lady. While we were there, over the course of 4 hours, she did about 3 sets! And each time she brought a new set of songs and a high level of intensity and fire. My favorites were: Kelis’ Milkshake (which actually got me up out of my seat and dancing)  Rihanna’s Umbrella, Beyonce’s Independent Woman, and, as a special request of mine, R. Kelly’s Step in the name of love. (-;

She’ll be performing at Kon’s Corner every night except Sunday through May and I highly recommend you go check her out if you have a chance. You won’t regret it!


Thanks Ayanna! I had a fantastic time and I’ll definitely be back through!

Loco Lyte (-;


Reader’s Choice – Gimme some homework!

Well, I have a spring vacation coming up and I don’t have any plans except to do some writing- and hit up an onsen or hanami (cherry blossom vewing party) or two. So here’s your chance to give Loco some homework. What would you like to read about? If it interest me as well I will give it the Loco Lyte treatment. If not, well….

Looking forward to hearing your ideas.

Loco Lyte

great taste less feeling


Conversation 3/16/09 – I hate waking up mad, too

This conversation took place between myself and my boy EZ yesterday. Actually it was via my blog comment area but I thought it noteworthy enough to make a post out of it.

EZ: All right, here’s my amateur translation of Sora’s blog post (currently with no comments). I apologize for any errors:

“So I decided to sneak a peek at Loco-san’s blog after a long while. It was the one that introduced me to THAT (当) Blog and this video . Although he has had this experience back in NY, in Japan he has it much worse, saying that he goes through this terrible thing ten times a day, every day. The purpose of this article is to raise the problem of how he cannot hold this kind of dissatisfaction with Japan, especially in light of the fact that foreigners exist throughout Japan we find this type of behavior strange. There is much to learn from the blogs that allow open comments and don’t block opposing opinions since there are a whole lot of opinions to be had.

Of course, such dissatisfaction is good to say and must be said. However, you must take care on how you say it. If you made the same video, you would just get more antipathy in Japan since the seeds of fear for black people have already been planted.

If you are going to relate your opinion, you must stress that such avoidances makes you unhappy. Also, a good shortcut is for black people to make the impression to more and more Japanese people that they really, really want to speak Japanese normally with them.

The Japanese have made firm opinions that all black people are the same as Westernized black people, based on the actions of some black folks, and this is wrong. There are good and bad images of black folks available. Hollywood films and foreign newscasts will show black people as the same and over blow unusual characteristics. Because of that, there are negative opinions about black people in Japan. There are a whole lot of people that have not met a real live black person.

I think that even if there wasn’t such a history concerning Westerners, if black people in Japan were to give the impression that they are against Japanese people, then this new image will just take hold again. If the discussion among the population spreads, as well as the cultural exchange, then a lot of the images might change, however, the opinion that Japanese people have of black folks will probably remain low for the years to come.

Recently, Mr. Loco made a post that included a videos his students graduating from middle school. The way he made his greetings without seeming bewildered was pleasant to see. This is the way black people, or any people for that matter, should relate to these kids. This goes for relating to adults as well.

However, cursing them and calling them hicks won’t open those doors.

Please say the following to the Japanese in their own language: “Hey, Japanese people, if there is anyone among you that looks at us black folks and runs away, doing so will make us very unhappy. We are just like you and we just want to get along.” Because I believe in the Japanese, I think just doing this alone will change things.

It would be good if the government or the administrations would do this, I think, the government and administrations are not as quick to act as we wish. Since we can’t see through a Westerner’s eyes, these tragic events will continue to accumulate. Of course, the media neither investigates it or pays attention to those incidents.

It all starts with a small voice. I’m sure that people that will cooperate will come. From that small voice they will gather into a bigger voice.

However, you must first get the Japanese people to join you. You must appeal to the hearts of the Japanese people. What you did will only inflame the passions of the Japanese people and turn them against you.

Because of that, the calls to cooperate from Debito’s blog are no good. Because of the reasons that can be found here ( ) and the other things that he has written, and his is the only blog that is willing to cooperate, the sincerity and fidelity to this issue is held in doubt. It will just give another reason for all of Japan to hate the foreign-born.

In order for the Japanese society to someday be able to understand, or if possible, to be able to bring about the effect that you desire, by all means, work hard at studying the Japanese language because we really desire that.”

So what this dude is saying is that he also thinks Japanese folks should be mollycoddled when being called out on their racism and ignorance? Fuck that! If they won’t stand for that bullshit themselves (unless they do) then why should we stand for it?

All right, I guess I’ll make a deal. At first, I’ll get on the teevee, get all weepy and pull a Rodney King “treating us like criminals makes me saaaad! We’re just like you, can’t we all just get along?” and see if that sort of groveling to be treated as a human being actually works. If it doesn’t, then it’s back to kicking asses again, whether they like it or not.

Fuck, I shouldn’t wake up mad like this.

ME: YO EZ! My Man, 50 Grand! Thanks for the translation!!!! Otsukaresamadeshita… WOW!
Yeah, you said it, man, it’s a call for more mollycoddling. But, you know what…I’ve been doing some thinking (yet again, long and hard) and I’ve decided that I’m not going to fuel my anger, or allow them to fuel it anymore…enough is enough. The Iceman has cometh! I’m going to re-focus my energy on something more productive and let them be. I know it won’t be EZ (-; This issue is very complexed, and I’m hardly in the emotional shape to tackle it head on as much as I’d like to. I think my issues here are as much a result of the racial trauma I experienced back home as it is anything the Japanese have done, so for the time being I’m just going to deal with my own trauma, and if i can resolve that then I’ll be in a healthier state and better able to see the issues I’m having with nihonjin clearer, you know?

I mean I sat back and read a little James Baldwin (perhaps the most eloquent and intelligent man to deal with such issues) and Langston Hughes and WEB DuBois and then re-read some of the things I’ve been writing and I noticed some similarities but a big significant difference. They mostly came at the challenge the way Sora-san suggested. They Mollycoddled white people, sometimes. And sometimes they threw haymakers with the force of a Typhoon. It was all about timing, and knowing yourself, and knowing your target very well. Plus they were driven by the kind of passion that can only be derived from fighting for one’s home. And, while I live here, and pay taxes and have vested myself as much as one can in a place that one has no idea when they will leave, this is not home. The truth is, though I’ve been living here a few years, and i think I know Japanese people well, maybe I don’t know them as well as I should. So, I’ve decided to take a pause for the cause. Of course I’m going to continue writing…I love this too much to give this up…but, I too hate waking up mad. It’s bad for my digestion and my constitution and my general disposition, and so I’ve decided to go a lighter path for a while.

It’s funny though…I came to this epiphany a couple of days ago and I actually feel different already. I saw the same shit on the train today and my body tensed up but my mind was like “Yo, Dude! Chill!” The words actually almost came out my mouth. And you know what? I didn’t act out (well I did elbow this one asshole who was determined to keep his briefcase between us regardless of my efforts to avoid it coming in contact with me) I didn’t plot my literary assault (something I’m prone to do I’m sure you know) I simply chilled…and told myself something to the effect of “it must be a bitch being Japanese: intimidated by anyone and everyone, afraid of people who are not like you, stuck on a rock in Asia because your culture has made you unsuitable to survive off of it, afraid to look at or stand near a woman for fear of being accused of being Chikan, afraid of not being early for work and not staying late and not going drinking afterwards for then you may be labeled uncooperative…”etc etc. I looked around me and for the first time since I’ve been here…THE VERY FIRST TIME…I felt pity. It’s an awful feeling, feeling sorry for people, and I hated it. I’ve never really felt pity for people before, at least not healthy people anyway. But, maybe that’s it. Maybe I just realized that they are not so healthy, and neither am I. They’ve been traumatized by their society the same way I’ve been traumatized by mine. Mutually inclusive trauma…They see danger in my black skin…I see racism in their black eyes… They’re afraid of what they don’t know, and feel secure within the folds of the familiar, and I’m afraid of being persecuted and dehumanized for that’s what enabled the atrocities that have occurred throughout my life and our history in the US and I feel secure fighting against evil even if in some cases it’s only a delusion of persecution…
Yeah, EZ, I’m at a point right now where I just want to step back and NOT see what I want to see, or what I don’t want to see, but simply see what it is…and deal with it one moment at a time.

It’s the damnedest thing. I’m even having trouble articulating it…but I will, you can count on it. Whatever this is I’m going through, it’s changing the way I view myself and the people around me, for sure, and I think in a healthy, productive way.

But it could be that spicy (tasty) ass Ramen I ate last Friday…who knows (-;

PS: And thanks again for breaking down that post for me…
You are the most righteous…or you got too much free time on your hands between filling prescriptions and what not LOL


EZ: Nah, I ain’t filling no prescription yet, just applying to pharm school. If that 98th percentile PCAT score doesn’t put me in, then I’ll apply as a JET.

But you are right, though. Being an underemployed bum that I am, I do have too much time on my hand

But shit, though, wow. Hear you talk, you must have achieved the enlightenment of a Jesus or a Jackie Robinson. I don’t know if I’ll ever be that strong, I’d probably be binging at Roppongi bitching and pissing with the Army brothers stationed there.

ME: Tempting…bruh…tempting…sometimes the call of Roppongi (or shibuya or Kabukicho) is like a Siren’s cal lol

Shit, 98 Percentile??? you should be in no sweat.

Loco lite

Lyte as a rock


White Night at a Yokohama Love Hotel – Part 2

Your room size and amenities will depend mostly on how much you’re willing to spend. I’m pretty utilitarian and frugal to boot so I usually go for the cheapest room, but on certain occasions I am apt to pamper myself and overindulge a little. And I had planned to do so on White Night, but because of the crowd, room selection wasn’t so much a matter of choice as it was a matter of first come first served.  So, I took the first available room, which happened to be pretty average, not much in the way of amenities.

But, at Hotel Vigado average is still pretty decent. You get the basic package of Jacuzzi tub large enough for two (perhaps even two foreigners), Large flat screen TV with cable (and half a dozen adult channels,) Karaoke, Play Station (in Shinjuku Hotels you get a PC too, but Yokohama is not Shinjuku)


Here you can see a fairly large bed, a leather-ish love seat, and a glass closet. This is a typical midsize room. Those are Karaoke mics hanging on the wall.



Nice sized flat screen TV, with Playstation and DVD (etc) Player. The Karaoke is wired into the television so with the Universal remote control you can pretty much control all of the electronics.





There’s a refrigerator, a microwave and a vending machine. Some rooms have vending machine with all kinds of sex toys and sexual aids in it, but this room didn’t. )-; Gomen ne.


The vending machines has all kinds of beverages and some munchies but I highly recommend you stop at a combini (convenience store) before you come because: a) leaving once you’ve checked in is “discouraged” and b) the stuff in the machine is, yappari, a little overpriced. The vending machines are wired directly to the cashier in the lobby. You’ve already paid for the room in advance of using it, However, when you return the key they will charge you for whatever you purchase from the vending machines. There’s beer, wine, Pepsi, Oolong and Green Tea and of course water in the machine. I think those are Cup of Noodles in the munchies compartment but I’m not sure. I always try to go to the convenience store first.




Big bed…typical comfort. Instead of a mint or a piece of chocolate, though, you get a couple of complimentary condoms (a little tight though for me so I’d bring my own if I were you.)  They’re on top of the tissue box on the right. Those sliding doors above the bed hide the windows. The room appears windowless to, I guess, maintain an illusion of timelessness. Besides people don’t come here for the view (-: Also at the head of the bed is a console that pretty much controls all the room effects that the remote control doesn’t cover.


This console controls all the lights, heat or AC, ventilation, music (it  a satellite radio and receives stations from all over the world live I believe. Yep, you can control the mood up in there if you control this thing.





Here we have a glass cabinet containing coffee, tea, glasses, etc…cimg0394












There’s also a vanity with all kinds of cosmetics, and a stand with hair dryer’s and styling irons, etc…I never touch the stuff so I don’t know exactly what you get.










Your toilet is of the super variety. I love these things. This is one of those technologies where the Japanese have done it again. They took something Western and improved upon it leaps and bounds!


And what’s a hotel room without a jacuzzi tub? A place to sleep, that’s what. Well, Hotel Vigado’s got ’em and I love ’em. Compared to the typical Japanese bathing experience (tubs are so small you practically have to be a contortionist to get into them) they are a slice of heaven.

Well, there you have it…the PG-13 version of a Love Hotel experience. If you have an opportunity, get yourself into one and Enjoy!

It’s not an onsen (y’all know how I feel about onsens) but for the price and convenience, it’s not a bad way to spend White Night or any night with that special someone! My artificial date doesn’t take to water too well so I bathed alone…but at least she isn’t intimidated by my AV watching (-; and very patient, too.


Loco lite – Taste great –  less feeling!


White Night at a Yokohama Love Hotel pt. 1

In Japan, Valentine’s day is for the boys.  The girls buy chocolate and what not and give it to the guys. The Japanese have a separate holiday for the return of these Valentines. Its called White Day. I don’t know why it’s called White Day…I’ve heard because chocolate companies were trying to market White Chocolate…I’ve also heard something about it being associated with powdered sugar, which is also white… Anyway, on White Day the guy is expected to return the favor to the girl or girls who hit him off on Valentines. I received a bunch of chocolates from my students, but most of them were 3rd year students and they’ve finished so I don’t have much favor returning to do.

White Night is a busy date night as you might imagine, and after the Sushi, the karaoke, and the purikura,it’s time to head to…yep, you guessed it: The Love Hotel!

Love Hotels are yet another thing on a long list of things I just Love about Japan. I mean, sure, doing it in the comfort of your own home has its moments, but…I don’t know about y’all, but my home in Japan ain’t got nothing on the Love Hotels.

Compared to Shibuya and Shinjuku, Yokohama doesn’t have much of a selection of Love Hotels, and some them are pretty dodgy. But there are a few good ones. I’d go cimg0371as far as to recommend Hotel Vigado and Hotel Riviera. They are both pretty good and reasonably priced on the weekdays. You can get a short stay (3 hours) for about  3500 yen ($35) or a little more than double that and stay all night.

On White Night it can get pretty busy (and pretty expensive).  Outside of the Love Hotels, like at Motels in the States, there are signs that inform you whether rooms are available or not…They’ll say OPEN or FULL or they might have it kanji. However, if cimg03681you know a little something about how these places work then you might be able to ignore the light.

Hotel Vigado’s FULL light was on…I ignored it.

If you’re going to spend the night you can’t check in until 11pm…unless you pay an extra charge. So if you plan to stay, and you anticipate a big crowd like on a major let’s go play at Love Hotel night like White Night, then arrive a little early. When I arrived the FULL light was still lit (see right) but that’s because couples who did not plan to spend the night were getting their 3 hours of fun in before last train. Somewhere between 11pm and 12 midnight they’ll come out and the FULL lamp will turn to OPEN.

So, what do you do? You cop a squat in the ultra clean, ultra gaudy lobby, done up like a Las Vegas hotel or something, and you wait in special waiting areas where couples sit and try not to die of shame. In one sitting area the chairs actually face the wall so that couples can wait in relative anonymity. front11

The cashier’s window is on the right…she can see you but not well- for your privacy. The three tables and six chairs in the back is one waiting area. Looks glitzy doesn’t it? Very Sparkly. (-;

machi1This is another waiting area. These three alcoves contained couples waiting patiently for other couples to vacate the rooms and the cleaning staff to go in and do their best to remove all the remnants the departing couples leave behind. We do not want to think about the job of these clean up people. Whatever they’re paid it’s not enough.  However, they usually do a pretty good job but I probably wouldn’t want to go through the place with one of those gadgets they had in Ocean’s 13. I might never go to any hotel ever again, let alone a Love Hotel. (-;

paneThe usual process is to enter the Love Hotel, go to wall full of glass panels that looks like something from “Jeopardy” and select a room. There are various levels with various amenities and sizes, and of course various prices. I tried to get a close up photo of the panel but because it’s glass and lit up it’s very difficult to shoot… and besides nothing makes Japanese  patrons waiting in the very conspicuous position of everyone knowing you are there to fuck  more comfortable than a foreigner with a camera, right? So, out of courtesy, I only shot this one very quickly. Gomen ne.

cimg0372What you  can see are two prices for room number 608. One price is for a short 3 hour stay, and the other price is for overnight, as I mentioned before, about twice the 3 hour rate. The prices are lower during the week…If the panel is lit that means the room is available.  There’s also a picture of the room and a brief description of its amenities. Can you see the bed in my reflection? Maybe not.

Once you’ve paid the cashier, you pop in elevator and up you go! The elevators are very nice and the hallways are all marble and glass and lights as well with lots of plants and flowers. It’s not luxurious but you get the feeling that they spared no expense which is a good feeling for a place you’re about to sleep in (at some point) to have…deshou?cimg0373

Want to see what inside the room looks like? I bet you do…

To be continued (-;


おーい、日本人のみなさん、See how beautiful I am…And be ashamed!


Roughly translated it means something to the effect of:  “Hey, Japanese People! When you see us black people do not avoid us. Every time you do it we get very upset. We are all the same! And we want to have a good relationship with you.

My friend, , after reading Lighten up Loco, was inspired to write an article on his blog about the black man’s experience in Japan as well as  instruct me to say the above to Nihonjin. Unfortunately I don’t have many Japanese readers that I’m aware of and I’d be too embarrassed, humiliated to say it in public.  So, I’m not exactly sure how I shall go about using the above except to post it here and share it with my readers.

If you can read Japanese and you want to read the rest of the post it’s available on ‘s Blog. It’s well written and passionate. A great article! , I would love to respond to you in Japanese but my skills are just not where they ought to be (for various reasons I won’t make any excuses) and I feel that would be seriously detrimental to my communication ability. Sorry.

But, not for nothing, and though I’ve lightened up, I would like to say something…

The purpose of the lighten up loco article was to address my concerns about the attitudes of some of the gaijin who live here…not so much to admonish nihonjin. I think I’ve done enough of that throughout my blog. As far as being avoided is concerned…you know… if Nihonjin* simply avoided me I would be fine with that. It would bother me a little, but you know what, too bad. People have the right to avoid whomever they want. It’s just the way they* go about it that pisses me off sometimes.

But, no, my issue is not with avoidance. To be honest, that’s one of the lesser issues I deal with on a regular basis. Hell, my co-workers avoided me for 2 years. What I have an issue with is something I’m afraid may be primal and beyond redress. It’s the look in a nihonjin’s* eyes when he or she unexpectedly finds himself in my vicinity. It’s the terrified parent’s yank on their children from anywhere around me with a cry/yelp of ‘ABU~NAI’ (danger!), it’s the purse clutching and wallet pocket-shifting, and the turning of their* backs to me, and the placing of elbows, shoulders and briefcases between us on trains as to avoid any contact whatsoever, and the conspicuousness, the blatancy of all this…shameless, SHAMELESS…There’s absolutely no shame in their game at all. Dehumanizing and humiliating me is like common sense to Nihonjin*.

That’s why I said primal.

You know, sometimes when I find myself walking behind a nihonjin* I change my path quickly just to avoid the inevitable fear reaction I will cause (and the feeling of anger it will trigger in me- anger I don’t like to feel for nihonjin* everyday) or, if I must continue in the same direction, I pray they don’t turn around…and if they do I try to time their look around with the turn of my head, just like Japanese do (Geez, nihonjin ni nachau) My point though is if I don’t turn my head and pretend that I haven’t noticed the person at all, they’ll speed up, conspicuously so, or race away a distance then look back to see if I followed…and I watch them…I watch this nutty terrorized fucking behavior daily….there’s no shame that they had created this dramatic stalking episode in their minds, no question that they might have been wrong about it. No nothing. Just a “Phew. I made it! I’m safe! My quick reaction must have deterred him!” And I bet they’ll go home and tell their children or maybe their grandchildren someday in the future about how they escaped a close encounter with a hostile black stalker…and the children will sit there enthralled and terrified at the depiction of me, embellished with fabrication no doubt.

This is not avoidance I’m painstakingly trying to describe for you. This, my dear friend, this kind of thing cannot be addressed with a message as subtle as yours, I’m sorry…I’m also sorry that you feel the need to even say it. That, in and of itself, is a shame. This should go without saying…to feel the need to plead to your people for common decency, for them to treat people like they themselves would want to be treated…you must feel awful! I commiserate and I sympathize.

Nevertheless, I’d be happy to help you revise it…From what I’ve been able to glean over the past 5 years here, shame (and avoiding it) is a hell of a motivation for Nihonjin* so if you could somehow show them the shamefulness of behaving in such a way, maybe you’ll have a chance. I know…but it’s the best I could think of. Hell, it worked in America, to an extent. Thanks to people like one of my favorite writers, Langston Hughes. He wrote a poem called “I, too, sing America” which I think contains a message that is close to what I would like to say, but not quite. The poem goes a little something like this:

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed–

I, too, am America.

Yes, Langston Hughes was quite brilliant.  Most of this poem I don”t think applies to the situation here. Just this stanza stands out as relevant to me:

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed–

I know that shame is asking for a lot. But if you really want to compose a message to your brethren* then use that stanza as your inspiration and you probably won’t go wrong… I’m sure you have a much better idea of how to reach the minds and hearts of your people* than I do. If you come up with anything I’d be all too happy to read it. maybe we can put it on a T-Shirt (-;

And thank you again for caring. It’s really encouraging to know that there are people like yourself willing to stand up to the masses and say: “Alright, enough is enough!” I commend you 空さん、頑張って下さいね

Loco Lite (-; Tastes great, Less Feeling (-;

* The asterisks is for you “others” out there just dying to say something in defense of the Japanese (for some reason) who were thinking as they read this ‘he doesn’t like stereotyping yet he stereotypes Japanese’…just so you guys know: I don’t mean ALL Japanese people. Just the vast majority of the ones I’ve encountered who participate in said behavior. The Japanese otherwise are the salt of the earth and God’s gift to nature and all that good stuff.. (-:

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in! LOL


Looky, Looky at what Loco found (-:

I must have walked past this store 1000 times…it’s next to Vivre Mall in, yes, here it comes, wait for it…Yokohama!



And what does Loco in Yokohama sell? Well, you guessed it! Sweets (-: This can’t be a coincidence. I think I’m divining a message in this sudden discovery…

Me thinks I’ll pop in there this weekend and have me a slice of  strawberry shortcake so light you can practically inhale it.

Loco Lite

Lyte  as a rock (-;

Copyright © 2010 Loco in Yokohama / All Rights Reserved

Please know that this blog is my original writing and may not be reproduced in any way without the expressed written permission of the author (that's me!) Thanks!

Words I love…

Everybody is a star
I can feel it when you shine on me
I love you for who you are
Not the one you feel you need to be
Ever catch a falling star
Ain't no stopping 'til it's in the ground
Everybody is a star
One big circle going round and round

Words by: Sly Stone

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