Oh god. Why do I take so many photos…
It feels like I have a million things to do, but I spent a good couple hours tonight just sorting through and editing pictures instead XD Oh well, at least I’m getting it all done. Plus, I have tomorrow off. Yay! More about that later…
So, as the title would suggest, Golden Week just finished up! And I got to spend my four day weekend in good ol’ Tokyo with my brother Danny. After a very mentally-checked-out day at school, I had an extremely awkward and awesome sushi dinner with Alea in Furukawa; we kept fucking up the order screen, and just generally were obnoxious foreigners. On top of that, Alea has allergies to most soy sauces, she she brought her own in a plastic baggie… which of course elicited looks of disapproval all around.
After dinner I hopped on an overnight bus at Furukawa Station. It quickly became apparent that I was placed in the most uncomfortable spot on the entire damned bus. I was right behind the driver, so there was no room for me to stretch my legs out in front. I got zero sleep and to make matters more gloomy, it was pouring rain when I arrived in Shinjuku at the ungodly hour of 5:30 AM.
I don’t know what the hell I was thinking, but I decided it would be a good idea to walk to Danny’s house using my memory of the route from two years ago… which would have been OK if not for the rain. In fact my memory served me really well and I made it there, but unfortunately was pretty much entirely soaking wet :( Add to this the fact that Japan apparently doesn’t believe in dryers, and you have all the makings of a shitty time trying to dry your things by airing them out— all while it’s cold and pouring rain.
It’s also important to mention… Danny and his girlfriend Yoko live in a little condo in West Tokyo. They have a roommate, Maryann, the one who met up with me in Sendai a few weeks ago. Anyways, Maryann’s brother and his girlfriend were also visiting, so the house was quite a party at all times… anyways, after getting a couple hours of sleep, we all went out to get okonomiyaki for lunch.
It was pretty good, though I was honestly pretty tired and weak for the entire day. We spent the rest of the day shopping/playing arcade games at Akihabara, the electronics/gaming/otaku district of Tokyo.
Also… say hello to Pommy, Yoko’s adorable Japanese Spitz. She does absolutely nothing but walk around and be the most cute fluffy little dog ever.
I went to bed a little early that night and felt incredibly better the next day. I had given Yoko some organic honey from Temecula as a gift, and she decided to make pancakes for us all so she could try it out.
My brother’s been trying to get Yoko to color her hair for awhile, and she finally consented on the condition that he pay for the whole salon treatment :P So we went after breakfast to this awesome salon that had a color + cut special going on. Here’s my new hair! Super short and dyed reddish-brown:
I gotta say, I feel really really weird with short hair. I feel less feminine… not that short hair isn’t feminine. It just makes me feel more boyish I guess. I do like it though and want to try different things in the future. Honestly I kind of wish I hadn’t dyed it though. It’s gonna be a bitch when the natural color starts showing…
Afterwards was a sweet shopping day in Shibuya. As bad as it sounds, I really wanted to go to the Forever 21 and H&M… not because I’m a dumb American that only wanted to buy Western clothes, it’s just that they’re much cheaper than most Japanese stores. We also grabbed lunch at this Hawaiian burger place called Ku’Ainu. Also a sweet taste of America that I definitely needed…
Next day was Children’s Day; Danny had been planning a BBQ but we had to put it off til this day because of the weather. Turned out to be great timing because the weather was amazing— just like SoCal. We biked over to a nearby park and had a really chill relaxing day. A bunch of Danny’s friends came and we just ate and drank.
We ended up bringing way too much food… or rather, everyone brought food to share and there was more than enough. Danny’s friend Thomas from Australia even brought mushrooms he had grown himself.
And here’s Yoko, feeding beer to Pommy…
There aren’t any pics of it, but we went out to Karaoke that night in Mitaka. This place has a soda fountain, so we brought in a fat cooler of beer and whiskey and sang Beastie Boys songs in honor of Adam Yauch.
I thought my last day would be slower but no… turns out Yoshitaka Amano, original artist of the Final Fantasy series and all around badass artist was having an exhibition there in Tokyo, that weekend. So of course we went there and scored a bunch of free shwag since we’re foreigners. Unfortunately I couldn’t take any pics, but it was pretty damned awesome. Here’s a picture of a free poster print that we received:
Afterwards we headed to Ueno to meet up with Maryann, her brother and his girlfriend. We wanted ramen and looked around for awhile without avail til Danny spotted this tiny hole in the wall place. This place turned out to be fucking amazing. The ramen was great, and Danny got squid ink in his… but the sweet part about this place was that it was just 3 young guys running the whole thing, and they were blaring loud ass 80’s punk music the whole time.
Here we are saying bye bye to the Maryann trio after lunch~
I had a few hours to kill before my Shinkansen back to Miyagi, so we decided to visit Asakusa, a really famous tourist-y shrine featuring a ginormous lantern that we didn’t get to see last time I was in Japan. Ironically, two summers ago we opted instead to go to a park in Harajuku to watch Japanese 50’s greasers dance instead. Well, I think the universe doesn’t want me to see Asakusa or something, because as soon as we got there, super loud thunder came crashing down and the rain just came in torrents. It even started hailing for a few minutes. Danny and I ran to the Ginza station for the few minutes it stopped…
I decided it’d be cool to just hang out at the station for a couple hours, and I’m super glad I did— I’d been lugging my bag around with me that whole day and I was super tired. But the best part ended up being… I got a million streetpasses since it was the end of Golden Week and I was at the Shinkansen station. I scored at least 10 new regions on my streetpass map, and got the coveted meet-100-in-one-day achievement :D
It’s funny, it feels really nice to be back in my boring little town and apartment. Tokyo’s awesome but it really is a total sensory overload. All I wanna do is read and watch movies and nap and draw now. Luckily for me I have a really light workload! And… the kids are on their school trip, so I’ve got Tuesday and Thursday off from IwaChu. Just to sweeten the deal, I officially don’t have to prepare a lesson for my Wakatake class on Friday… we’re just pretty much all gonna chat about Golden Week together. And yet again… the teachers are having special meetings at noon, so I get to go home early! It’s like the universe wants to repay me for all the bullshit I’ve been going through 8)