Last weekend was probably the most polarized weekend since I got here. It started off on quite a sour note, but ended up quite good and amazing.
There was a Temple University sponsored Halloween party in Roppongi. I've never done the whole 'nightlife' thing in Roppongi, as it's known for being the place for foreigners and nightclub. To me, it seemed like a place to go if you wanted to forget you were in Japan. It's also a place to go if you want to randomly hook up with someone. As of now, I don't really have a desire to randomly hook up with someone or forget that I'm in Japan, so it had nothing to offer me. In fact, I really didn't like it.
I found the whole place quite sleazy and disgusting. The club was a nice club, but it was too packed. It was so crowded, you couldn't move. I was really hoping to get to talk to some people outside of school for a change, but when you could barely move, it kind of kills the ability to have a conversation. It was poor planning on the student government committee's behalf to have Temple finance a club that couldn't hold everyone who they invited. There was also a costume contest that never happened.
The most fun, however, was riding the train with my friends who were all in costume. When this African dorm mate was riding the train wearing a skull mask, along with 2 friends dressed up as flappers were riding the train with me, it was a very humorous experience.
Well, once the annoying Friday was over, my lovely Saturday began. The original plan was to go to the Yokohama Thai festival, but since there was literally a typhoon and the festival was going to be outdoors, this plan was promptly scrapped. But, it was Saturday and I wasn't going to let a potentially deadly storm ruin my day.
So, I met up with a friend and she quickly became my "Hero of the Week™". As this person went with me to Shimokitazawa to find the Theremin magazine/kit, she knew they were sold out. But, for some reason the store down the street from her had a few, so she bought me one! Here it is:
I can't thank this person enough for my wonderful, wonderful gift. She gets a gold star!
Anyways, back to my weekend.
So, what do you do when there's a typhoon outside but you want to have fun? You go to the Yokohama RAMEN museum! First off, it's spelled "Raumen museum" for some reason, and the concept itself is a bit silly. A museum based off on a food product is quite odd, but ramen is very much a beloved dish here in Japan and when I was making plans for the day I was quite hungry. Plus, it was indoors.
I was completely blown away by this place.
The ramen museum is supposed to be based on a 1958 Japanese town. I feel like I should mention that the 1950's and 60's weren't as good to Japan as they were to the US. I felt like I had stepped into the past once I entered the museum. It was really well done.
There were narrow alleys, shops selling old candies and toys, and a little game parlor where I had a great time struggling to communicate with the guy who ran the shooting parlor. He was a riot.
My friend was a masked man in a tuxedo.
And I am a guy in a loin cloth.
It was quite amazing. I really didn't it expect to be this much fun.
But, what about the ramen you ask? Well, it was quite delicious. What they did at this place is they took famous ramen restaurants from all over Japan and got their chefs to recreate their most famous dishes all in one place. You can get a half bowl of ramen and try more than one type. I got to try some tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet) ramen from southern Japan and some miso and pork fat ramen from up north. Both were absolutely amazing and I only regret that I could try two types before I was full.
(notice how the color of the roof changed)
It was an amazing way to spend a terribly windy and rainy Saturday afternoon. After we left, we had little other option but to go home and wait out the storm. So, Saturday ended with me building my Theremin and having a fun evening at home.
Moving on to Sunday...
Sunday was a was a really lovely day. Unlike Saturday, the weather was absolutely amazing. I went out to the Thai festival that I planned on seeing on Saturday and met up with someone in Yokohama.
It was pretty fun. I found it a bit unusual that at a Thai festival in Yokohama, Japan there was someone on stage singing in English. Despite that, it was pretty fun. Good food and good people make for good times.
I did get to eat a large chunk of durian. It was quite tasty actually. The cutting booth was a bit stinky.
We did some walking around, some shopping, and had a great time. I was amazed to find that there were so many things that were also pens.
Then we enjoyed a roller coaster ride and a nice walk around town.
We walked by the Landmark tower, the tallest building in Japan.
I think I really like Yokohama.
The nighttime scene was really nice.
So that was my weekend. Despite the fairly poor beginning, it was quite an amazing and memorable weekend.