Midnight Asia: Eat Dance Dream (2022–…): Season 1, Episode 1 - Midnight Asia: Eat Dance Dream - full transcript

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[suspenseful music]

[engine revving]

[Shinichi] I built this Lamborghini…

so it can be driven at night.

[light upbeat music]

[engine revving]

Driving in a car that lights up…

makes me feel like a pilot of a jet plane.

It's exciting.

[engine revving]

[man on radio] Ladies and gentlemen…

[woman on radio] We broadcast
Tokyo-area information in English,

Chinese, Korean, Tagalog,

Spanish and Portuguese.

[electronic music]

InterFM897 Tokyo Scene.

After so much excitement,
I'd like to bring it down a notch or two.

[light upbeat music]

[Ren] It's all about, you know,

entertaining people
when it comes to Tokyo's nightlife.

[Ren] It's a big city.

Within Greater Tokyo,
we have around 37 million people.

It's the world's
largest metropolitan area.

[upbeat music]

Japanese people, they work so hard.

We call it hataraki ari
which means "working ants."

It's a really strict environment.

You can never be late.

You'll be stuck in a train full of people.

If you have a stressing daytime,
then you will want to let it go at night.

[man cheers]

[Iku] In Tokyo at night, people here
get a release from their daily stresses.

When night falls,

many people
completely flip their switches.

[Iku] It's the time to take off
their daytime facade

to return to who they really are.

[Rogerio] There is something magical
about Tokyo at night.

You encounter a lot of secrets.

-[people cheering]
-[live music]

[Sumiko] At night, my time is my own.

Tokyo, they say,
is a city of possibilities.

[tranquil music]

[Iku] Tokyo at night is different
from the clean, efficient,

and orderly city of the day.

It's full of a vibrancy
you don't usually find

in Japan travel and guidebooks.

[Iku] The city is lit up in neon,
and it feels like everyone is still awake

finding time to do other things.

Old or young,
it's a time when people give free rein

to their unique inner selves.

[chuckles softly]

[light music]

My name is Sumiko Iwamuro.

I'm 85 years old.

I was born in January in the year of 1935.

This is my CDJ.
This is what I use to practice.

I put in a CD or a USB to practice

and hone my mixing skills at home.

I started DJing around eight years ago.

[techno music playing]

A friend then held an event one day
at my restaurant.

That's how it started.

A techno party.

At that party, someone asked me
if I was interested to try DJing.

I just had to stand there like a monkey.

It was fun.

After that, I went to DJ school.

It was very difficult.

I was always getting scolded
by the teacher.

You have to match the… beat

and operate all the equipment.

I was so happy
when I started to get the hang of it.

And now after work,
I perform at a monthly event

called the Tokyo Decadance.

It's a popular event and people love it.

Sumirock is not a name I chose for myself

My friends chose it.

They took Sumi from my first name, Sumiko,

and Rock from my last name, Iwamuro,
which means "rock room."

I am performing at 1 a.m. today,
so I am a bit nervous.

My technique is still… amateurish.

I need to work on it more.

[light upbeat music]

I love sequins on my clothes.

If I'm too flashy,

people will think
that I'm a little crazy in the head.

So I go for something less flashy.

I like clothes with a snug fit.

[light upbeat music]

-[man] There you go.
-Thank you.

-[man] It's hot.
-Great, thanks.

[Sumiko] I work six days a week,

from 4 in the afternoon to almost 11 p.m.

The menu. Please take it.

[in Japanese]
Your wife?


-[customer] Future wife.
-[in Japanese] Future wife?

It's okay.

[Sumiko] You know, in 1954,
my hardworking father

opened the restaurant.

I was just 19 years old
when he decided to open this place.

The girl who is seated is me.

Many years back, during the war,

we used to own a music player.

It was called a gramophone
that we'd put a cushion over

and listen to jazz with my father.

We didn't want our neighbors to know

that all of us were listening
to enemy music on our gramophone.

After that, my father,
he worked as a jazz drummer,

in a band.

And his company would put on shows
for American soldiers

that were around at that time.

He worked very long hours
on numerous days,

and the pay was very little.

So he probably didn't want
his, um, children

to go through the same challenges
that he experienced.

He forbade me from studying music
during that time.

Okay, thanks.

[Sumiko] Stir-fried clams
and stir-fried morning glory.

-[woman] Where are you DJing tonight?
-[Sumiko] In Kabukicho.

Wow, Kabukicho.

[Sumiko] At one o'clock exactly.

Oh, one o'clock.



Music, to me, is one thing
that is a daily essential,

and I cannot live without it.

In my mind,
music is just as important as food

that comes after water and air.

[light music]

[Rogerio] In the streets of Tokyo,
there are a lot of alleys.

And sometimes you'd see
a little, tiny door.

So many secret places.

It's amazing for the experience

because it's something
that we're not expecting.

[light upbeat music]

My name is Rogerio Igarashi Vaz.

I was born in Brazil.
My grandparents were Japanese.

Since I had a Japanese background,
I wanted to take a look at how it was.

The real Japan.

[Rogerio] We opened Bar Trench
ten years ago

in a little, tiny alley
where not so many people walked by.

At the beginning,
we didn't have so many customers.

[Iku] Bar Trench.

Voted by many
as one of Asia's 50 best bars.

It's one of the early pioneers
of Tokyo's cocktail scene.

[Rogerio] The Greyhound cocktail's

uses clarified grapefruit juice
to bring out the taste.

Vodka is the usual base,
but here we use gin as the base instead.

We use gin. Okay.

[Rogerio] We started to change
little by little, step by step,

and see what the customers want from us.

[Rogerio] Here you go.

How is it?

[Shoshi] It's spicy with a bitter kick.

But it's good.

He uses ordinary ingredients.
For example, there's paprika and carrots.

I'm learning to visualize
and mix ingredients like that.

I hope to master the art soon.

[Rogerio] At the beginning,
I was a terrible bartender

because I didn't understand
why I was serving

the people that I was serving.

And then I started to hate
the job that I was doing.

-[Rogerio] Good evening.
-[customer] Good evening.

[Rogerio] What would you like to drink?

I think I'll go for the absinthe.

For absinthe, we have Swiss and French
to choose from.

[Iku] The key in Japanese hospitality
is attentive Japanese service

called omotenashi.

Its spirit is central
to all social interactions in Japan.

The bartender can't be too friendly
or too aloof to the customers.

They need to maintain
just the right distance

to let their customers relax and enjoy.

[Rogerio] To master your craft,
you need to master yourself.

In Japan, there is
a strong culture of shokunin.

That means "artisan,"

or a person that is always pursuing
to better his craft.

The first time when I encountered
the shokunin philosophy

was when I first
went to a high-end sushi place.

When the food was delivered
for a left-handed person,

I asked, "How did you realize
that I was left-handed?"

He said, "I saw you
when you pulled up the chair."

That's what it is, I believe. Shokunin.

A Japanese guest
is not going to rise and ask,

"Hey, come on, please.
Can you come here and serve?"

If he puts the glass
outside of the coaster,

that means that he wants another drink.

Sometimes it's just from eye contact,
that it means, "I need you."

-[customer] Can you suggest something?

-[Rogerio] Something light?

-[customer] Yeah. Come on.
-Maybe the garibaldi for you.

[Rogerio] It's an Italian cocktail.

Okay, let's go for it.

[upbeat music]

Trench is starting to get famous
around the world,

so I feel proud.

[Rogerio] Once I start to ask myself

why the clients want to drink in that way,

then something that I hate,
I start to love.

[upbeat music]

[Rogerio] I'm happy to present to you
your garibaldi. Enjoy.


[car engine revving]

[car engine revving]

[upbeat music]

[Shinichi] Driving around Tokyo is like…

racing through outer space
in your own spacecraft.

I'm Shinichi Morohoshi.


-[man 1] Hey!
-[man 2] Hey there!

-What's up, dude?
-[Shinichi] How are you?

Good to see you.

[Shinichi] We've got lots of cars tonight.

Tokyo has a unique culture

of customizing all sorts of cars.

[upbeat music]

Those of us into customizing these cars

feel like we share a special connection.

[engine rumbling]

There are a lot of Lamborghinis in Tokyo,

but I think it's really boring
to have the same car as others.

My friends feel the same way,
so what we did was…

to invest even more money
on customizations.

-Are these SS20 crystals?
-That's right.

[man] There's about 1,500 now.

-I'll use 10,000 in all.
-[Shinichi] Mm-hmm.

This is a shop

where I usually take my Lamborghini
for customization creations.

Right now,
this is my favorite Lamborghini.

I just love this projection door lamp.

Growing up, as a boy,

I saw the Lamborghini Countach
when it came out in the market.

And seeing the doors swing upwards
had a big impact on me.

I swore to myself that someday
I would own and ride one.

So I worked very hard,

saved my money, and finally bought
my first Lamborghini when I was 32.

And since then,
I've bought and sold around 20 of them.

This car's my favorite.

I love how it's been customized.


In Japanese society,

the nail that sticks out
gets hammered down.

They think it's bad to stand out.

This might not fit so well
with Japanese convention

but I believe it's still part
of Japanese culture.

[engine revs]

I customized this Lamborghini
to be driven at night.

I combined Star Wars with a unique style

of Japanese motorcycle biker gangs.

So when you see my car, it's customized.

[light upbeat music]

Tokyo's Shuto Expressway
is like a one-of-a-kind racetrack

that meanders between the city buildings.

Very exciting.

Driving into a tunnel at night

really feels like I'm in my own podracer.

I drive past with the awesomeness
of thunder and lightning.

[engine revving]

In Japanese, there's a word, ikigai.

It is something that ultimately satisfies
and fulfills your life.

I'd say mine is to drive Lamborghinis
that I customize and love.

[engine revving]

[engine zooming]

[electronic music]

[uptempo electronic music]

[Iku] After sundown
in Tokyo's backstreets,

the lights become bright
under the eaves of izakaya.

An izakaya is an informal Japanese bar

that serve both food and alcohol
to its numerous customers.

[light upbeat music]

Can I have some sake?

[Narukiyo] Sure thing. Pour Luke
some sake from the bamboo.

You all need to drink more.
Or I'll else I'll go broke.


[Iku] Many of these establishments
are small and individually run

where the owner decides everything

from the food and drinks menu

to the interior design of his own bar.

The place is like a castle to them.

Narukiyo Izakaya
is a perfect izakaya example.

[Narukiyo] Okay, for table two.

When you eat out at night in Tokyo…

Aiyo douzo.

…it's about meeting people
and maintaining the relationships.

All right, you're welcome.

I'm Yoshida Narukiyo,
owner of Narukiyo Bar and Restaurant.


[Narukiyo] I opened this place
16 years ago.

It's a standing bar,
but I wanted to make it like a restaurant.

At the start,
I got tables made of real thick wood.

I carefully chose crockery, the bowls,

the special ones made out of earthenware.

But soon enough, I ran out of funds
for the wooden chairs.

So I ended up converting it
into a standing counter bar.

At first, no one in Tokyo would stand.

But thankfully,
the standing bar boom happened.


I actually wanted to go into fashion tech.

I also wanted to study French
and be a fashion designer.

But my family back then
was running a small restaurant.

I was their only son.

So naturally, they told me
to take over the business.

One day, my grandmother told me
that I had made something

that was really tasty, and I thought,

"This must be a good profession."

[Narukiyo] This is beef stew.

How do I make it?

I boil it.

I created a place
I'd like to visit as a customer.

[customer] My friends and I,
we love eating out

and trying new places.

This place is special.
It's like nowhere else.

I definitely recommend it.
I'm sure you'll like it here.

[Narukiyo] Horse heart.

Very good.

The great thing about a horse's heart
is it makes your dick hard.

-I'll always comment on food…
-[customer laughs]

…or anything that comes to mind.


I can only say stuff like this at the bar.

Naturally, this is a drinking joint,

so there's always a hint of sex.

These are penises. See that?

[sensual music]


[Narukiyo] I've never bought any of these.

[both laughing]

I love chatting as I eat.
It's entertainment.


Yes, so you would keep on coming back.

The owner is really funny
and the food is great.

I want to come all the time.

She's in love with me.

Next to her boyfriend.



I'm not too focused
on making a high profit.

You know, what I hope for every day
is for people

to come over and enjoy themselves.

Come on, everybody!

[customers laughing]

[gentle music]

[Sumiko] I know people who don't consider
Shinjuku a beautiful place.

It's their opinion, but to me it's lovely.

[light upbeat music]

[Sumiko] The buildings are taller now,

but I don't think
it has changed that much.

This side, at least.

-[Sumiko] Good morning.

-[Vivi] Are you playing today?
-Yes, I am.

-Oh, we're huge fans.
-Thank you. That's nice of you.

Very cute outfit.

-I can see your boobs.

[Vivi] Sumiko, that's see-through too.
So cute!

It's super sexy. And also sparkly.

Her outfits are fashionable and fantastic.

And she chooses songs
that make everybody dance all night,

so she's amazing and super cool.

[Sumiko] People that are around my age
don't really understand what a DJ is.

They do this and then say, "You do this?"

But they don't even understand
what the spinning means.

-[indistinct chatter]
-[muffled upbeat music playing]

[Vivi] Today's crowd will want to show off
their loud fashion

like colorful wigs
or lots of body piercings

and tattoos on their body.

This attracts more people
to join in the event.

To dance and let off steam.

[Sumiko] I'm a little bit anxious.

I tap this once to play music.

Sometimes I'm scared and tap twice.
That means stop already.

That happened maybe
two or three times before.

I'm gonna play techno
and some old Japanese songs.

I hope they will understand my,
you know, idea.

Maybe they'll wonder
why this old woman is here.

You can see, very soon.

[techno music]

[Iku] Nighttime in Tokyo
is a time for adventure.

When the sun hides from the city,

there's a sense
of possibility and playfulness.

[Iku] Twillo is a traveling bar
that's packed in a street stall.

It offers up some form of escapism

to help stressed people rediscover
their sense of adventure.

My name is Shotaro Kamijo.

[Shotaro] Tokyo is a huge city,

and there are a lot of people
of different ages living here.

[slow techno music]

I go around to different places

to gather and to connect
all sorts of people.

Late night in the busy metropolis…

is when everyone's loneliness
merges together.

Some places are very lively
and other places are quiet.

Actually, I've already visited
this spot before,

and it's one of my usual locations.

It's called Mannenbashi.

Twillo doesn't have any set rules.

No set location,

and no set drinks menu.

Also, no regular set prices.

When I started, people didn't understand.

They made fun of me.
They said I wouldn't last three months.

I used to work as an aide
in the House of Representatives.

But I quit as I wanted to live off
my own sweat and effort.

It feels like I'm doing that now.

I feel it's a great accomplishment for me.

I always post my location
on Twitter and Facebook.

Let me do that right now.

"I'm in East Ginza,
across from the Kabukiza Theater."

"Tonight is great."

"I'm just going to light a cigar
and relax right here."

Now I'm all set.

I just have to wait
for the customers to arrive.

[light upbeat music]

A lot of different folks
come to visit me here one by one.

-[customer 1] Good evening.
-[Shotaro] Hi, good evening.

-We have two spirits today.
-[customer 1] Okay.

-The first one is calvados.

-It's an apple brandy.

This is a 23-year-old rum.

-[customer 1] The calvados, please.

[Shotaro] It's been 13
and a half years now

since I started this.

I have about 14,000 Twitter followers
to date.

-[Shotaro] Good evening.
-[customer 1] May I?

[Shotaro] Go ahead.

This is my 3,303rd night of doing this.

There you go. Enjoy your drink.

Okay. Thank you very much.

Every night is different,
from the location to the people.

Every night is special.

It's great how it shakes.

[Shotaro] Yes, this bridge shakes.

Especially when a big truck goes over it.

He always puts his location up on Twitter,

so I use that to find him,
like a treasure hunt.

[customer 2] In Tokyo
there are many adventures to go on,

but it feels like I'm guided here.

And that's why I'm here at this moment.

[Shotaro] When you think about it,
it's like a small boat

that people decide to board in a whim.


The thought that I made all this happen…

makes me happy.

It's like destiny.

[chill music]

[Iku] Japanese society
is said to have strict rules,

but the tricky thing is

that these rules aren't clearly defined

and can be misunderstood.

Activities that easily disturb others
are generally seen as a nuisance

and are prohibited during the day.

But when night comes,
when there are fewer people,

things are a little more free
and forgiving towards activities

that are normally prohibited by day.


[skate boarder] Let's do this.
Come on. Go now.

[upbeat music]

[all laughing]

[Eri] Tokyo has a daytime face
and a nighttime face.

Totally different from one another.

In the day, there are so many rules

and burdens you have to face
that you'll explode.

That's life in Tokyo.

[Eri] We are thankful for the night

that many people can show their passions
and true selves confidently without guilt.

[announcer] Welcome, everyone.
Good evening.

Welcome to the party!

[Margarette] Department H is said to be
Japan's oldest fetish party.

In Japan, there are private lives
and public fronts.

An executive at a huge company

might come to Department H

and end up naked on all fours
late in the evening.

We strictly don't pry
into the private lives of our clientele.

So this place I think
creates a free space for them.

[party attendee 1]
How do I feel about this?

Well, it's comforting.
I like the feel of rubber.

[party attendee 2] I've been coming here
for over 25 years.

I'm a wine sommelier by profession,

and it's quite a rigid job.

So I come here to relax and have fun.

[live music playing]

[party attendee] It might look
a little weird from the outside, but…

everybody has a little weird side in them.

If people have the courage
to join us here,

we can all have fun together.

[Eri] There aren't many places in Japan
that host these shows,

but that's the reason

that the people of the night
want these performances.

This is my first ever performance
at Department H.

I used to work long hours in an office.

But it wasn't fun, and I didn't stay long.

[announcer] Contortionist Eri!

[cheering and applause]

[Eri] I'm thankful
for this side of the world at night

so that way I can keep working hard
during the day.

[cheering and applause]

[upbeat music]

[Sumiko] Whenever people notice me,

or when they tell me that I'm amazing,

half of the time,

I guess it's because of my age.

But I'm okay with that.

That's sexy. It's super see-through.

-[woman] It's very fashionable.
-Just like the boss.

Oh, that's hot. Go easy on me, okay?

[Sumiko] I want to hear them say

I'm good regardless of my age.

-[techno music]

[Sumiko] I have always been
a night person.

My mother said

I'd open my eyes at night

and just lie there, wide awake.

[techno music]

[announcer] Give me some more energy!

[Sumiko] I love seeing them dance
to the music I dish out.

[techno music]

[Sumiko] Working the CDJ
is a lot like fry cooking.

You see and get the results quickly.

If it's good, they dance.

So you can tell straightaway
that they like you and your music.

[Iku] DJ Sumirock's vitality and passion

reflects a wonderful part
of Tokyo's distinct nightlife.

The darkness blurs boundaries

and people of different ages
and alternate preferences

often enjoy themselves
in the same unique space at nighttime.

[techno music intensifies]

What I love about Sumirock
is her crazy energy.

[clubber 1] It seems unlimited.

[clubber 2] She has vigor,
and she's always smiling.

I really admire her for that.

[both] Sumirock has a great sound!

[techno music]

[Sumiko] My dad passed away
at quite a young age,

but if he were alive today
and saw me DJing here,

I'm pretty sure he'd be happy
dancing to it.

Big applause for DJ Sumirock!

Come on everybody!
Put your hands together!


[techno music fades]


[Iku] Nighttime in Tokyo
is a special time.

All the imagination,
diversity, and activities

and creativity of its vibrant population
truly shows itself

and makes the city of Tokyo
like no other place on planet Earth.

[Shinichi] The day is when everyone works

and night is when everyone plays.

So that's my complete image of Tokyo.

Yes, I had lots of fun today.

I've lived through countless nights
doing different things each day.

But the nights when I DJ
are the most special.

[Rogerio] Tokyo, it grabs your heart,

and those little, small things
that happen very often in Tokyo

keeps you fall in love with the culture.


Tokyo is a magical city.

[Shotaro] Tokyo is a huge city
that has everything.

But there are all sorts of unique places.

And if you dive down,
it goes very, very deep.

[closing theme music]