Posts Tagged visitors to Japan

April 1, 2006 part 3 – Movie and drinks

My parents and I spent the better part of the day with The Penpal and her family. They dropped us off at Numazu station after our visit to Mishima Taisha so we could spend the evening together.

Today’s sightseeing included a lot of walking around (again), so my parents were looking for a relaxing evening activity. I suggested a movie, so we took a short walk over to Joyland (best name ever) to see what was playing. Fortunately for us, Japanese people prefer subtitles to dubbing for foreign movies. This makes it possible to enjoy Hollywood movies. We ended up choosing the Chronicles of Narnia, which was pretty good.

After the movie I was starving, but my parents still weren’t hungry after our ginormous lunches. Suddenly I had a good idea: beer! I took my parents to Uotami, the classy izakaya located conveniently across from the south side of Numazu station. Like most izakayas, there was a good selection of small orders of food in addition to delicious beer.

I was describing how Uotami was known as the classy izakaya among English teachers because of it’s sunken tables and glass floored entrance way built over a small zen rock garden. As we approached the entrance, we saw a very drunk man trying to help up a very drunk woman who had fallen over right outside the front door. Having been in Japan for a while, this was not as surprising to me as it was to my parents. My mom started to get concerned about what kind of place I was taking her to. I reassured her and asked her to trust me, hoping that the very drunk couple didn’t have a group of very drunk friends stumbling their way out as we went in.

Numazu Uotami

We were taken to a table incident free. The tables at Uotami are all separated by tall wooden slats, which gives a bit of a privacy while still allowing you to feel like you’re in an izakaya. The huge, colourful menu was filled with pictures of food and drinks, complete with English descriptions. Even if I wasn’t there, my parents would have been able to order by pointing at the pictures. Uotami has a really good selection of food, beyond the standard “meat on a stick”, and a nearly endless cocktail menu. My mom ordered a cocktail and my dad and I ordered large bottles of beer so we could drink Japanese style from small glasses.

An izakaya visit turned out to be just what everyone needed. We enjoyed spending time together and trying a bunch of different items from the food menu. The non-stop sightseeing was great, but tonight was probably my favourite night of my parents’ visit so far.

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January 7, 2006 – Welcome UPS!

Disclaimer: UPS is a nickname for my friend. This post is in no way associated with United Parcel Service.

After correctly considering the effects of the international date line, my friend UPS was scheduled to arrive in Japan today for a short visit. I took the local train (the cheapest option) from Numazu to Narita airport. The last time I picked up friends or family from the airport, I lived in Kawasaki, which was a lot closer. The trip from Numazu took me almost 4 hours!

I got to the airport early, which was fortunate because UPS’s flight arrived an hour early. This must be an absolute first in aviation history. UPS greeted me at the airport with a case of Moosehead beer! The last time I had Moosehead is when a group of friends visited in 2004 and we drank some very expensive imported Moosehead in Tokyo. Visitors to Japan: drink local beer, it’s way cheaper.

We took the Narita Express from the airport to Tokyo station, the shinkansen from Tokyo to Mishima, and then the Tokaido line from Mishima to Numazu. This trip took only 2 hours, but it seemed faster as UPS and I spent the time catching up on news from home and discussing our plans for his 4 days in Japan. For only a few days, we have a pretty packed agenda! I also learned that it’s pretty much impossible to talk about recent movies with someone from Canada, because most of the big movies come to Japan several months after they are released in North America. I was behind on everything.

We dropped off UPS’s luggage at my apartment, he had a quick shower, and we went out to an izakaya with some of my coworkers. UPS is one of the most outgoing and fun people I know, so he instantly got along with the English teachers. After we got home, we watched some videos that the fraternity guys from Canada recorded for me during their annual Christmas bottle exchange. It’s good to see that nothing changes there.

It’s going to be a fun 4 days!

 

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