Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Obon Holiday = Sushi, Karaoke, City and Beach Days for me!

Okay, so, August 13-17th was the national Obon holiday in Japan. From what I understand, this is a time when Japanese may or may not get off work to go visit their deceased relatives and pay their respects. I think all public employees have off – so no school for us! We had Gunma orientation August 15-17th, but that gave us a good long weekend to hang out and cover some ground. Check it out!

I had ridden my bike past this sweet sushi go round like place a few times and was dying to go – so I made everyone come to my side of town and walk there (apparently a 30 min. walk). It was definitely worth it as all plates were about $1. As you can see, you can get every kind of sushi and sushi roll known to man, as well as fries, beer (not $1!), and other random foods here and there.

A hamburger-esque “sushi” plate came around – so we peer pressured Jake into eating it. It was apparently as bad as it looked. He drew the line at the mini-hot dog sushi however.

Post sushi, I finally had my first karaoke experience. Your group gets its own private room with this massive electronic touch pad that has all the songs in it. You pay a flat fee for all you can drink (apple juice) and sing until it closes. If you can’t tell, we’re rocking out to “Land Down Under”… most hilarious videos to accompany the songs as well. I.e. – One of the Bon Jovi songs we did had a girl rolling around on a beach… the entire 2 minutes and 46 seconds of the song.

On Monday, we met up with a Japanese friend who showed us around the Shibuya area of Tokyo. Even though it’s in the city, trees lined the streets and there were some beautiful parks.

This is the parliament building. I tried to understand their governing system, to no avail. Nice building though!

There was this really cute bench at the park that was in memoriam of a couple that had been married 75 years. Can you imagine?

I really liked these little ‘restaurants’ and bars that were below the highways and railways. Really cool vibe in that area at night. Met a few really interesting people in our lil pub crawl.

The next day, we headed off to the Kanagawa prefecture to Karakaru beach. I had originally suggested we go to an onsen (hot spring), until my Japanese friend called me an idiot and made fun of me for wanting to go to a hot spring in 105 degree weather. It was still ridiculously hot and the Pacific Ocean water was warmer than bath water – but it was still a blast and we met a bunch of Kaz’s friends who were so kind and so much fun! There was even an MTV beach house there… playing trance music. Nice!

Chris, Charly, Yuki, Yuri, and Yuya.

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