Posts Tagged sushi

January 8, 2006 part 4 – Hanging out in Harajuku

Disclaimer: UPS is the nickname of one of my friends visiting Japan. This post has nothing to do with United Parcel Service.

After spending the afternoon in Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi park, The Penpal, UPS, and I decided to walk across the street and explore the high fashion district of Harajuku.

Harajuku is filled with trendy stores selling all kinds of expensive fashionable clothing. It’s also possible to find sensibly priced but still fashionable clothing as well if you look around a bit harder. We took our time walking through the busy side streets, checking out some of the displays and small stores. We also took dorky looking pictures with crazy hats.

Harajuku - me Harajuku - UPS

A full day of walking around had us hungry, so we decided to stop in at a kaiten sushi restaurant across from Harajuku station. UPS had eaten kaiten sushi before in Winnipeg, at a small chain called “Sushi Train”. Instead of a conveyor belt, there was a small electric train that drove around with sushi on it. There are lots of options for sushi in North America, but most of the menu is rolls. In Japan, sushi is dominated by nigiri sushi, which are the traditional looking pieces of fish on a lump of rice. UPS is an adventurous guy who was about to start a 4 month tour of Asia, so he had no problem trying out fish that was not familiar to him.

After stuffing ourselves to the point of pain, we started working our way across the street to Harajuku station. The station area was completely packed, and we had to shuffle our way through the crowds to get to the platform. We took the Yamanote line back to Shinagawa and then took the shinkansen towards Mishima.

Our car in the shinkansen was mostly empty, which is a bit unusual. We were discussing some of the interesting things about Japanese life, and the subject of hostess bars came up. UPS was interested to learn that there was also something called a host club, which was the same idea but with sexy, outgoing men treating female customers like queens (for money of course). UPS asked more questions, and ended up getting The Penpal to teach him some Japanese that he might need to flirt and drink with customers. It was hilarious.

We parted ways with The Penpal in Mishima, then UPS and I continued to Numazu. I was tired after a full day of exploring Tokyo, but UPS, who never seems to run out of energy, wanted to make the best use of his time in Japan. Instead of going home, we went out for drinks with some other English teachers at Speak EZ, the English school and bar in Numazu. After a few drinks even UPS was ready for sleep. It was a long day but a lot of fun!

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August 30, 2005 – Amy!

Yesterday I spent the day watching TV at my parents’ house in Portage la Prairie, so I decided to get out of the house and drive to Winnipeg for shopping, a movie, and wings with the regular wing group.

After buying some clothes, I treated myself to sushi lunch at Sushi train. I have been back for over a week, and I was craving sushi. I was also interested in how Canadian sushi would compare after eating really amazing sushi in Japan for the past few years. The taste was pretty good, but the presentation was nowhere near Japanese standards.

Today’s movie was “40 Year old Virgin” which was hilarious. One of the most memorable scenes involved actor Steve Carrell actually getting his chest waxed, screaming in pain, and shouting obscenities. I am not a hairy person at all, but I still cringed! Ouch!

The last time I returned to Canada, I wrote about going out for wings and karaoke with the regular group. Amy, one of the regulars, was upset that I didn’t mention her by name in my blog post. I tried to explain to Amy that I rarely use names in my blog, but Amy was upset anyway. So Amy, here is your name in my blog. Amy Amy Amy Amy.

(2015 Update) Amy!

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November 10, 2004 – Ryoba

After work I went to a chain izakaya called Ryoba with Azeroth. They specialize in cheap sushi and 100 yen draft beer. The beer was nothing special, but the sushi is amazing, especially considering the price. I can understand why Numazu is known for its sushi.

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November 2, 2003 – First visit to Numazu

Goyotei Memorial Park

Rewrite of original post

Today I went to visit The Penpal in Numazu. From Noborito it was a 2 hour train ride; first a train on Odakyu line to Odawara and then switching to Tokaido line to Numazu station. Compared to Kawasaki, Numazu is a beautiful city. Numazu is on the ocean and the skyline is full of mountains. I wonder if NOVA Numazu needs a new teacher?

I met The Penpal and one of her students who likes to be called Williams (his name is Akira). Together we went to Goyotei Memorial Park. This used to be one of the Emperor’s houses in the Meiji, Taisho and Showa era. The house stopped being used in 1969 and became a museum in 1970. US President Grant visited the Emperor at this house. It was very cool to see.

We went for lunch at a trendy restaurant where I tried to explain the many uses of the work “fuck”. Normally it isn’t polite to explain “fuck” and all of its variations in a restaurant, but this is Japan and I am an English teacher. After our lunch we went to karaoke. This was my first time with Japanese style karaoke, which is usually in a small private room instead of on a stage in front of strangers. I absolutely rocked on Monkees songs and Bohemian Rhapsody, but totally sucked many others. I really need singing lessons! After Karaoke we drove around and went to a massive sushi restaurant. I love sushi!

2013 Update

This was the day that started my love of karaoke. To say that I sung Bohemian Rhapsody well would likely be very generous.

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