Archive for October, 2017
It’s finally happened – after living in Japan for almost 3 years and having tons of adventures, I have finally become boring.
For anyone arguing that I have been boring for a while, the joke’s on you: you’re reading this blog!
The only thing notable from August 15 – 19 was a lack of kids classes. Other than that I go to work, eat, sleep, and play video games, just like I would anywhere else. I didn’t even have any crazy beer fueled karaoke adventures!
My adventure away from Canada has become ordinary. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just a thing.
Today I went to Tokyo to do some shopping. From Numazu to Tokyo station it’s only about an hour on the shinkansen, or about 2 hours on the Tokaido line.
My first stop was the wonderful Blue Parrot book store near Takadanobaba station, home to used English books, movies, and CDs. I really should have done this last because I ended up carrying heavy books around for the rest of my day.
My next stop was Ginza to look for a long overdue sympathy card for a friend of the family who had passed away recently. Sympathy cards are very different in Japan – I hadn’t had any luck shopping in Numazu. I had heard good things about Ito-Ya, the 100 year old Stationary store in Ginza. It’s located between Tiffany and Co and Bulgari, both stores that I can’t afford to window shop in. Ito-Ya’s selection was HUGE – I never thought I would be entertained looking around a stationary store. After some searching I found something that would work as a sympathy card in Canada.
My final stop was Akihabara, which is always a fun place to explore when you have free time. I was trying to find stores that sold English language video games. It’s very easy to find places to buy games in Japan, but there are only a few places that import English language versions of games. Finding these is not easy, but it’s still easier than learning enough Japanese to play RPGs.
I’m lucky that I live only a few hours away from one of the worlds biggest and most exciting cities. Not everyone can just hop on a train for a shopping trip to Tokyo!
After work I took a rare taxi ride to the Numazu port area to check out a bar called “Tap Room”. It is a small brew pub with a great view of the port. The house beer was fantastic, and they had a huge selection of (slightly expensive) snacks to go with it.
One of Koalako’s friends was the live music for the night, singing English songs while playing acoustic guitar. We also got a free performance from another one of Koalako’s friends Shinya, who specializes in close magic. It was entertaining to watch him perform the same tricks twice, first in English and then in Japanese for the crowd at our table.
Like most nights out, we all ended up at karaoke later on, ruining some songs over nomi-hodai.
(2017 Update) The correct name of the place I went is Baird Taproom Numazu Fishmarket. The brewery is a local success story – the American owner and his Japanese wife moved to Numazu and opened a tiny brewpub. Supported by family, they slowly grew and now have 6 tap rooms and export overseas. Read more here then go and enjoy a delicious beer!
The Penpal came over after work tonight for an evening of video games. We are still working our way through Final Fantasy 3, which is known as Final Fantasy 6 in Japan. I still don’t understand why some games in a popular series are never officially released in North America.
I have good memories of this game – I got it for Christmas in 1995 and spent my entire Christmas holiday grinding my way through the game.
The Penpal didn’t have a game system growing up, so she had to get her Nintendo fix at friends’ houses. I’m helping her make up for lost time. I can’t think of too many better ways to spend an evening!