bar reboot

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nogizaka
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bar reboot

Post by nogizaka » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:16 pm

Our first full day in Hokkaido was a busy one. We spent the morning and early afternoon visiting the Pioneer Village, a park full of period buildings and artifacts about the settling of Hokkaido. We returned to downtown Sapporo in the late afternoon so we could locate bar reboot and have dinner before the bar opened.

The mapquest my wife created had us gradually moving farther and farther away from center city, but there was still a lot of activity. We stopped for dinner (at a hamburger steak restaurant called 'Surprised Donkey') when we knew we were in the vicinity of the bar. From that point, the mapquest wasn't proving to be of much use, so we finally pinpointed the location when my wife asked the valet at a nearby hotel.

bar reboot is located on the fifth floor of a highrise building similar to most used by businesses. The fifth floor of this building, though, seemed to be occupied by clubs. When we arrived, there was not much activity besides music and people coming from a karaoke bar on the opposite side of the hall. Around 7:30 pm, we confirmed our destination by identifying a small sign on the wall next to a door. From the outside, one could be standing in front of a typical office. This 'office,' though, had a row of plastic chairs mounted to the wall outside, two of which were occupied.

A short while later, the door opened, and a young lady came out and said "Hello." She then proceeded to put up small signs announcing that night's party. She came in and out a few times, and as she did, we could hear DCT songs coming from within. We started to get excited.

By the time the door opened (and stayed open) at 8:00 pm, about ten people were lined up. When we walked in, we were surprised to see that bar reboot is even smaller than it appears in photographs, about fifteen by twenty feet. The door is on the right as you enter into an open space with chairs and tables against the right and rear walls. The left wall was taken up by the bar, which ended in a closet-like room against the front wall. The remainder of the front wall was taken up by the DJ's station. There was the usual lighting and sound equipment, along with a big screen TV behind the bar, showing excerpts from the Wonderland videos and televised DCT specials. At the back wall end of the bar was a large lucite sculpture (about three feet high) spelling out DREAMS COME TRUE; imbedded in the plastic were copies of the band's first nine albums ('Dreams Come True' to '7th of July Sunny Day'). At the base of the sculpture was a plate reading "Presented to Nishikawa Takahiro for sales of 28,000,000 copies." This sculpture looked similar to one I had seen at DCT Garden Ikeda and perhaps presented to Miwa or Masa. We took seats against the right wall.

Then, as more people started to come in and drinks were served, there was Niehya, wearing glasses, but otherwise not looking much different from when he was asked to leave DCT. We were surprised to see him, knowing that he was the owner, but not sure he would put in an appearance, let alone start working. He stayed around the bar and DJ at first, getting things organized, but gradually moving throughout the room as the evening progressed. Two ladies asked if they could sit with us, which we were happy to allow. They turned out to be from Tokyo, about five years younger than us, and hard-core DCT fans, following the band from the beginning, with tickets to five (!) of the shows on this tour.

It was a lot of fun to compare notes with fellow fans face-to face. What is your favorite song ('Kanashii Kiss,' 'Forty-three Degrees North Latitude'), have you been to DCT Garden Ikeda ("Yes"), have you gone to Miwa's parent's house to look for Miwa ("Yes"), have you been to the elm tree ("Yes"), for example. Between easy conversation about DCT (with my wife translating, of course), singing along to songs we all knew, and watching the big screen for things we had seen (and things we had missed), the evening went by fast.

A number of people moved in and out of the club, some stopping to thank Niehya and give him gifts, with several people sitting in the chairs outside being served drinks because inside was full. Suddenly, there was a group of customers who realized I was a gaijin (the people sitting with us didn't seem too amazed by this, although they were surprised that DCT was so popular in other countries), and were excited to talk to me. They seemed very impressed that I had came from America to see the concert, and that there were foreign DCT fans.

Around 10:30, my wife reminded me that we needed to get back to the hotel and rest up for tomorrow. My wife had asked me earlier if I wanted to speak to Niehya, and I decided that I wanted to tell him we were glad he was doing well. So, I went over to him at the bar, shook hands with him as my wife told him we were visiting from America, and he said, "Will you be there tomorrow?" I nodded and said, "Tomorrow," and thanked him. As we left, some of the waitresses came over to thank me for coming, and I thanked them for a wonderful time. We waved goodbye to our new friends, and went back to the hotel.

It seemed to me that Niehya really enjoys owning a bar; he was working just as hard as his staff, mixing and serving drinks, picking up empty glasses, moving through the crowd and making sure everyone was happy. He seemed very down-to-earth, despite having been a big star. Perhaps this was all he ever really wanted, but I'm sure the experience of being a star helped achieve this for him.

Wow, I finally got to meet a celebrity!

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Jei
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Post by Jei » Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:31 pm

Thanks for sharing that great story and experience :)

It's great to know he's doing well and that he's so accessible at his place. Fab :)
-Jay
DCTJoy.Com - The Joy that is Dreams Come True
http://www.dctjoy.com/

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tokyophoto
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Post by tokyophoto » Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:17 am

That was a great story -- thanks for taking the time to write it up in such detail.

Did you get a shot of the sculpture?

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nogizaka
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Post by nogizaka » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:54 pm


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tokyophoto
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Post by tokyophoto » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:44 am

Way cool-!
Looks heavy, too!

Imagine if they did that with LPs... probably couldn't lift it.

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tachikaze
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Post by tachikaze » Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:14 pm

28,000,000 copies. That's some sales!

DCT had good timing catching the CD boom, 1989-1996. Over half the million-selling singles (130 of 242 total) were sold in the 1989-1996 period.

In 1995 the baby boom was in their late 40s and the baby boom echo was in their early 20s. It's been all downhill since -- there is no baby boom echo.

I do wonder how much money DCT got for that 28,000,000. Probably not as much as we would assume.

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tokyophoto
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Post by tokyophoto » Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:15 pm

tachikaze wrote:I do wonder how much money DCT got for that 28,000,000. Probably not as much as we would assume.
You're right about the perfect timing on the CD boom.

They were also smart to exercise more control over their own label & goods operations in recent years.

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