School is almost over. I have 2 more finals and a take home final due this week. Both of the classes I'm feeling pretty decent about, so I'm not that concerned. That's not to say that I won't be studying anymore, but it is to say I finally have some breathing time.
"So, Keith. It's been almost a month since your last REAL post, what have you been doing?" Well, everything.
Just to get it out of the way, Thanksgiving was lame. There is no Thanksgiving in Japan, as it's pretty much an America only holiday. I didn't have turkey, as it's really hard to get here, but I did go to a strange birthday party (more on that later). Also, I had a TON of stuff due on Monday, so that 4 day weekend was spent mostly indoors doing boring stuff. Much love to my roommate Chisa for helping me on my Japanese homework.
"So, what about the rest of your time off, Keith?"
Well, among other things, I went back to Yokohama.
I found this quite fancy shopping street on accident. It was nice and there was a grocery store that sold root beer!
I really like Yokohama. It's got a much different feel than Tokyo, and it's less crowded with more open space and fewer tourists, it seems. Chinatown is a terrible example of everything I just said, but I like it anyways.
I also like that they don't fuck around with store names in Yokohama.
Hey, at least they're honest. I'm not so sure I can say the same about Lawson.
Was it really happy? I didn't go in, but people didn't exactly look "happy" going in and out of there. They weren't UNhappy, but, well, you get my point.
I also went up Landmark tower. It's the tallest building in Japan (which pales in comparison to the tallest building in America, but whatever), and it had a really lovely view.
Why do I always go to these places at night? Anyways, that was Yokohama.
I got to see how much people in my neighborhood respect the law and follow all signs.
I got to see my roommate's old high school yearbook.
I went to this CRAZY restaurant in Shinjuku called "Pink Big Pig" and it was really bizarre.
It was all you can eat, all you can drink for 3500 yen, which is like $32. The food was good and the drinks were tasty but weak which I think is preferable when it's all you can drink. But the atmosphere? This place was weird.
That's the buffet table. It had a giant rotating pink pig. It was really really bizarre. We also had a nice private room, but it seems most people didn't get that luxury.
This was above our table:
I want to go back there, but man, it was strange.
I went to this bizarre place with a new friend and an old one. A great time was had by all.
But, like every time I hang out with that friend, it started raining.
I also saw the world's least intimidating police car.
I feel like if that was chasing me, I would be too busy laughing to drive fast. I know cars in Japan are small, but this was tiny. Like 'Mr. Bean' tiny.
I also FINALLY saw Mt. Fuji!
It was off in the distance and from a train, but it was still amazing to see.
On Thanksgiving day, it was 2 of my friend's birthdays. So, what did we do? We went to Alcatraz ER, an izakaya with an insane asylum hospital theme.
They had things like drinks from I.V. bags or baby bottles, Russian Roulette food, where there were 6 pieces and 1 was REALLY spicy, item menus like fried chicken in a cage (REALLY good) and a bizarre meat and vegetable ball served in a bedpan...
The food was great, but that wasn't the point. The atmosphere was hilarious and there was this really bizarre show where they had monsters running around, banging on the metal doors, rattling cages.
It was truly a bizarre site to see. This guy forgot to pay his bill:
I went to Akihabara and experienced a made cafe. Well, it was a maid izakaya, but it's the same concept. You're not allowed to take pictures inside, which is too bad, because it was a lot more fun than I expected, and I understand the appeal now. It's enjoyable to have cute girls in silly outfits be nice to you. The food was overpriced (of course), but not THAT overpriced. I found the whole experience to be really relaxing and fun. It was a bit odd as I was the only foreigner and my friend was the only woman who wasn't working, but it was a really fun experience. Would I go again? Sure, if I was with a friend who wanted to go. Would I go alone? It'd be a bit creepy, but if I was in the neighborhood and hungry anyways, then maybe. I wouldn't go out of my way to go alone. Would I wait in line for hours like some people do? Hell no.
I also went to Tokyo Station after the maid izakaya. Apparently it just recently got totally revamped, and now is much nicer than before. But, also most of the shops are closed after 8, and we just ate so going to a restaurant wasn't the best idea, so it was a tad lame, but we had fun anyways.
On Friday, I got a chance to explore the park near my house. It was amazing.
I liked it so much that I'm going back as soon as I'm done writing this.
I also went to this AMAZING chicken restaurant here in Mitaka. It was way better than I expected and I'm very anxious to go back. Unfortunately the menu is all in Japanese (and loaded with Kanji) and my roommate hates chicken, but I got a copy of the menu and I want to get it translated.
And that guy in the corner was awesome. I saw him yesterday riding a Harley.
So, that's what I've been up to. I know I'm leaving out a lot, but those are the main highlights that I want to share.
Every day is an adventure here, and I am loving it. It can be quite challenging, but the rewards make it worthwhile.