Japan Time

Monday, August 31, 2009

Some random stuff.

Tonight I went to dinner in Kanaya, which is only two stops from Fujieda, at a lovely Italian restaurant with a great view of the town:

When I got back to Fujieda, I went grocery shopping and came across this disturbing item:

Keep your hands where you can see them. Or else they might get shredded. In one of three ways.

It's the first day of September here in Japan and you know what that means...extremely premature Halloween decorations!
I'm pretty sure I'm the only person in Fujieda with a wreath on my door but that's fine. It makes me happy.

This sweet awesome jack-o'lantern-meets-Japanese-lamp also makes me happy.

Some other new additions to my apartment:

Manekineko, the lucky cat that is everywhere in Japan (and many Asian restaurants back home).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I would not mind doing this every weekend for the rest of the summer...

I had an amazing time yesterday!
A student has a boat and all kinds of fun water things, like jetskis and bit inflatable rafts, and I was lucky enough to be invited to spend the day boating and lounging around Izu, along with some of the student's Japanese co-workers, and a German and Canadian man living in Izu teaching English as well.
We started the day early - I had to get up at 5 am to take the train to Numazu to be picked up at 8 am. We headed to the marina and loaded all the food and drinks on boat, then started out with a long cruise from Numazu to Izu. Rob and I got to be the hood ornaments on the front of the boat, which was so fun.

We stopped near a beach and a few rock formations to do some snorkeling. It was my first time to try it and I had a lot of fun checking out the fish and other underwater-type things.

After a while, we relocated to an inlet area to go cruising around on jetskis and inflatable rafts. The main goal was to basically go so fast on the jetski that all of the people on the raft went flying off and skidding across the water like skipping stones. So fun. When I was on the raft, we got up to 85 kilometers - 52 mph!

The day went by too quickly and suddenly it was time to go back to the marina.

I definitely think this is one of the best things I've done this summer. Everyone on the boat was so nice and I really enjoyed getting to know our co-passengers. I had an incredible time just enjoying the beautiful scenery and the relaxation that only comes from being on the water. I think I would consider staying in Japan for another summer just to go boating in Izu again.

Summer sunset.

There was a beautiful sunset in Fujieda on Sunday. I couldn't resist walking around and getting some shots.

a rainbow, too!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I mean, seriously?

There was another earthquake today during one of my lessons.
Just a small one.

But both my student and I gasped and gripped the table when it happened, remembering the big one a week ago.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Obon Vacation - Sunday.

On Sunday, we went to Odaiba, which is a great area of Tokyo that I hadn't been to before. There were many things to see and do, including a man-made beach, European style shopping mall, and a little Hong Kong.

The first thing we found was a monkey doing tricks in a mall for a large crowd:

flying monkey!

lunch in Daiba Little Hong Kong was great - I love Chinese food and I haven't had much since I've been in Japan (no, Japanese food and Chinese food aren't much alike)

Then to Joypolis, a huge arcade/virtual reality center that's pretty well-known...even Leonardo DiCaprio's been there!

Remember Mameshiba? Well, since we found him in Hiroshima, he's been growing in popularity, and we were lucky enough to be in Odaiba during a Mameshiba convention! We were in Mameshiba heaven.

Then to Venus Fort, a European style shopping mall that was incredibly beautiful on the inside:

I really enjoyed visiting Odaiba and would like to go back to spend some more time there.

And now vacation is over and it's time to go back to work tomorrow. It's always so difficult to go back to work after a vacation, but luckily we have a four-day weekend in September so I don't have long to wait until the next one!

Obon Vacation - Saturday.

On Saturday, after sleeping in, we went to Asakusa for a few hours. When I was in Japan in 2005, me and the other girls went to Asakusa three or four times because we loved it so much. I've been itching to go back since I came to Japan and was so happy to see it again on Saturday. Asakusa is a historical part of Tokyo with great shopping and lots of interesting alleys and restaurants. It so crowded and hot but still really fun.

the big temple was apparently under construction, but I saw it when I came before, so it was no big deal

a place that only sells and serves whale meat

we had to drink some ramune, which is a drink I found long ago with friends in Philadephia

the Asahi building with its beer foam that kind of looks like a carrot

Then back to Shinjuku to meet up with Hiromi. It was so great to hang out with her again! We had dinner at a great Italian restaurant, hit some arcades, and ended up on a great rooftop hangout with lots of little bars and restaurants. I loved it.

How cool is this rooftop place? The roof was open with a terrance over it and lots of great lamps, decorations, drinks and food.
Saturday was a great day with plenty of good food, beautiful sights, and fun with friends. I think the rooftop is one of the best things I've seen in Tokyo yet.