On Street Musicians and Parking Violations

I was wandering around in Sakae (a busy, trendy shopping district of Nagoya) one Friday night and heard what sounded like live music. I followed the sound a sure enough, there was a band playing on the sidewalk in front of a certain department store near a busy street corner. And they’re weren’t just your typical acoustic sidewalk musicians either. They were a full-on rock band, playing classic blues-rock style music, loud a clear, the only thing missing a lead singer. They were good enough (and fun enough to watch) that I stayed quite a while. I also took a lot of photos and even shot some video, but the department store closed and turned of their huge neon window sign, so the lighting wasn’t so good.

The best part of the whole show was when the cops showed up. Turns out the band’s cars (parked right behind them) were illegally parked. So right in the middle of another jam session, the guitarist and bass player had to take off and move the cars before they got ticketed or towed. The drummer and organist kept playing for a while, but paused after a few minutes while the organ guy handed out flyers. Soon, though, the other returned and they picked up seemingly right where they left off, without missing a beat. I was actually quite impressed.

You never know what you’re going to find when you go wandering the streets of Japan on a Friday night.


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