yesterday i planned on sticking around the house and relaxing and recuperating from my very long “day”. i wanted to relax and post pictures and more updates. but the two laptops went off with their respective owners and so i was left internet-less.
So, Mike and i made killer Caribbean-flavored shrimps and i went off to Harajuku to check out the famous “Harajuku girls” fashion. Sunday is the day with the biggest turnout of girls who gather on the Harajuku bridge, dressed up in crazy outfits, ranging from shepherds to goth and drag. it’s really wild! everyone goes there either to see or to be seen, and the girls love being taken in picture. i spent about an hour walking around, asking if i could take their pictures with bad Japanese and killer sign language. i think i got some great shots.
i also took the opportunity to drop by an ATM while down there. there are many things that are surprisingly hard to find in japan, and an international ATM is one of them. there are only city banks and post offices that will let you do those transactions. the first one are far in between, the second are not open outside of business hours. other hard to find items here are:
– t-shirts with anything written in Japanese
– souvenirs that are not something that can be purchased back home, kimono, fans or ceramics
– trash cans on the street
then i headed back towards my “home station”, Ozumi-Gakuen to meet up with Mike and head out to an engagement party he kindly invited me to. i was thus introduced to the full on “Nova culture” – Nova is the biggest English school in japan and this was a gathering of teachers. it was great to meet people and it was funny because everyone would ask me if i was new here, where i was teaching and the likes. the party was in a park, and it was a great evening. i got to do like everyone else here and drink in public, i.e., walk into stores while drinking a beer and walking down the street. and i met a really nice girl from Scotland – Katy – who is really interested in meeting me in a month to travel with me in Southeast Asia. it would be great!
the party let out at around 2 am, which means that we had missed the train (a long time ago). in japan, if you miss your train, then you are not going home. there are no night buses and taxis are ridiculously expensive. a ride back home can easily run into the five digits in yen (hundreds in Canadian). so we crashed at Mike and Worth’s friend’s house. Japan is a culture of futons, and for a good reason! it was really great. i got to play asshole (trou d’cul, pour les francophones!) for the first time since elementary school. it was priceless.
today i had planned to go to Nikko but i woke up late from the late night and drinking and so decided that it would be better to simply do it tomorrow. as well, a typhoon was rumored to be moving in Tokyo today. aside from high winds, this seems very unlikely as the skies are clear as ever.
tomorrow will mark my last week left in Tokyo ~ Japan as i will be flying out to China on Monday the 29th. i still have many things left to do here so it will be a busy week! but very high on my priority list is uploading as many pictures as possible as to not carry over that task into China.
it will be weird to leave Japan. i have grown to be very fond of the place. i think that it’s a really easy thing to do here…