The Tokyo

Flight was good, butt did not agree, nonetheless, I arrived safe and sound and with nary a whisper of JET lag (hah, it’s a pun!).  Made good friends in Spokane that lasted through the conference, and most were placed in Kyushu (the southern-most island, which Iki is “part” of), so I plan to visit them.  For future reference, though I’m sure most of you will forget, their names are: Rebecca, Talia, Drew, and Lander.  

Overall the conference was mildly amusing.  Chairs were tough to endure for three-hour periods, but I made it through.  My tailbone, however, doth protest.  Tokyo was a bit intimidating-though my time in Beijing made me used to big cities, I’ve never been in such a big city with such a high tower without asthma-inducing pollution.  The buildings stretched on for dozens of miles, seemingly neverending, and the food was enjoyable.  My Japanese is so… useless it’s ridiculous, but I at least made it around without getting lost.

 

View from my hotelroom window

View from my hotelroom window

 

From the Government Metropolitan Building.  Circular Polarizer did not work as well as hoped.

From the Government Metropolitan Building. Circular Polarizer did not work as well as hoped.

Best part of the conference was seeing Tomo-chan, hands down.  She looks fantastic, as cute as ever, and was leaving the next day for a Tennis tournament in Nagano (…the middle of Honshu).  We ate some daikon (GIGANTIC RADISHES) and soba, and I discovered that though I do enjoy cooked daikon, I cannot abide it raw.  Tomo-chan had “nato” on her soba.  Here’s the definition of nato, in case you didn’t know:

Nato.  na-to (n.)

Fermented soybeans with the consistency of snot and smell of three-day old trash.  Considered very healthy, but looks like grey gloop.  Renowned throughout Japan as delicious, but known elsewhere as “Scary, gag-reflex inducing… stuff.  Do not attempt if gaijin.”

Nonetheless, a very nice night.  Tomo-chan said she’d try to visit me in Iki, and I hope to go back to Tokyo/Yokohama area next summer to climb Fuji-san (a rite of passage for any “Gaijin”-lit. outsider, but usually used as ‘foreigner’-similar to climbing the Great Wall in China).  Given that Iki is uber-cheap to live on, I should be okay as long as I watch my expenses.  

The last night I was there, I wandered around a restaurant area nearby taking pictures with my splendiferous new lensbaby.  The next day, I got on a plane to Nagasaki-ken for the last leg of my preparatory journey as an ALT in Japan.

 

Just a couple of blocks from our Tokyo hotel.

Just a couple of blocks from our Tokyo hotel.

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