Monday, March 23, 2009

The School Year Rolls to an End

This past week Elementary schools and Junior Highs had graduation ceremonies. Unfortunately I was scheduled at ES when the JH had its graduation and JH when the ES has its graduation. I didn't get to see any ceremonies! I was a bit bummed but nothing I could do. Here's a pic of what it looked like after I help set up at one of my schools.

This weekend was a three day weekend, due to Vernal Equinox day (So random?) Friday was a holiday. So Thursday night I went out with everyone (other ALT friends) to sing at karaoke. When we got there I found out that the same night alot of schools had an Enkai 宴会(or year end party) the same night. So there were many schools celebrating at Karaoke (their after party).

Two of my schools were there so I joined them and sang. There aren't many Japanese songs I can sing well so I ended up singing a Dragonball Z song hahah. Also sang some Enka (old Japanese sorrowful song popular with babyboomers). Here's me doing a kamehameha with my teachers from Azuma Elem. haha.

Since I had Friday off I wanted to take advantage of it, so I went to Tokyo to meet some friends. I got to Shibuya a bit earlier than everyone else so I walked around and saw some protest. I wasn't sure what it was for but I took a quick video of it. video

After that I went to Tower Records and browsed some music there. I ended up buying a CD by a group called Jabberloop. They are a Jazz group, kind of uptempo quick Jazz. I've never been to a concert in my life, maybe I'll go to one in Tokyo sometime, I just need to find someone to go with. Here's a video from their website.

Anyways, at around 4 I met with Hiromi and Kumainu (his nickname, he comes from Kumamoto and likes dogs (inu in Japanese) We went to a place called Daikanyama 代官山. It is a pretty upscale place and they said if it had to be compared with something it would be like SoHo in New York. We went to a cafe and ate outside, unfortunately it was really windy but it was still nice out.

While there we did some shopping but I didn't buy anything because of course everything was overpriced. I saw some coats I liked but its getting warm so I didn't want to get them. I also some some ridiculous "fashion" shirts and pants , but its not really my style haha. Later that night we went to a mexican food restaurant. Japan really really lacks in its Mexican food department, they have alot of room for improvement.
The food was good, but slightly over priced and not enough.

After that we headed back to Shibuya (place in Tokyo where we met) and played darts in a bar. It was Kumainu's first time playing. I taught him how to play 301 and somehow he won hah. After the dart place we went to an Izakaya called Elephant. It's a south east asian restaurant and its huge inside. To be that big in Shibuya (like times square in NY) must be expensive. I think its the biggest place I've seen in Shibuya.

Hiromi in front of the big statue in the restaurant

After that we decided to head back. We didn't think we'd make it back to Chiba (where hiromi lives) in time. We thought we'd miss the last train but luckily we made it. The problem is we passed her stop so we had to take a taxi anyways back to her house haha.

The next day I got an invite from Mayu (a friend I met last week at Utsunomyia). She wanted to go shopping in Koshigaya where there's a huge shopping center. It's one of the biggest in all of Japan. I wanted to get a good picture of it but it was impossible to get it all in one shot. We shopped for a bit and went to some cafes. She wanted to go to certain cafe but we made a mistake and went in the wrong one. She paid for the drinks because she felt silly for making the mistake. After we found the one she wanted to go to. I told her to point to the drink she wanted at the right cafe, for a laugh. After shopping some more the only thing I ended up buying is this An Pan Man mask. (An pan man is a superhero, but also a delicious snack). I'll wear the mask to school one day and tell everyone to call me An Pan Sensei. Around 4 Mayu said she wanted to see a movie, but for a couple reasons I decided against it. Then she offered to drive me home. I thought it would be fine. We got back to Sano around 6:30 or 7 and we got Ramen for dinner. She had to go back home because her sister wanted to go someplace. After that I biked home and got ready for the party that night.

A friend of mine here named Buck is going to move to Hokkaido (the northern most island in Japan) really soon, so he had a farewell party. It started at 9 and was nomihodai (open bar) until 11. Here Buck is giving a speech.
Me and some random guy who didn't even know Buck haha.


After the bar closed we tried to go to an Izakaya, but it was full. While we were waiting Carrie was messing around and fell and broke her ankle. Now she has to get surgury on thursday to repair it and will have to be in a cast for a month. High heels are dangerous, another reason I'm glad I'm a man.

Anyways, after that a bunch of people were at some dance club so we decided to join them. I didn't know any dance clubs existed in Sano but apparently over near the Outlet mall there is a place. It was really small and we were pretty much the whole party but that was ok. I ended up getting home around 3 am. Needless to say I just stayed in and relaxed on Sunday.

This week I only teach today (Monday) and Tuesday, then spring break starts. I was going to hang out with Chris alot over spring break, but he missed his flight back to Japan and is stuck in America for another week and a half. Now that he's not coming back for a while I'm not sure what to do over the break. I might try to go somewhere but I don't really know yet.

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