Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween costume

I was an Otaku for my Halloween lesson at work. Basically, otaku means anyone that is nerdy and obsessed with something. The most common otaku in Japan is an anime/manga otaku. They generally wear jeans that are rolled up, have a mini back pack, a camera, big glasses and messy hair, a tightly tucked-in short sleeved collared shirt, running shoes, lots of acne, and all kinds of random accessories. I didn't exactly nail the costume this year, but there's always next year. I had fun and all of my students were really surprised since in Japan it's really only common to be either a witch, pirate, black cat or a vampire for Halloween.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Awesome restaurant

It's called Metropolis and the decorations are all vintage and absolutely amazing. You have to see them in person to really understand. There is only one option on the menu. $25 (2500 yen) for a five course meal and all you can drink alcohol and/or soda/fruit juice for 2 hours. The portions are small but tasty, and after 5 servings you feel pretty good. All you can drink is called "nomi-hodai" in Japanese, and is pretty much as good as it gets when it comes to going out drinking with your friends.

Spiral building

If you like spiral stair cases then you will love this building. I think I'd probably feel sick by the time I got to the top, but it looks pretty cool. It definitely deserves style points! (downtown Kagoshima City)

The cutest frisbee player ever

I overthrew the frisbee during one of our matches on Sunday and it went way out of bounds. No big deal, we just grabbed another disc and kept playing. After the game was over, this little girl appeared and was holding my frisbee like a little Japanese angel. She is quite possibly the cutest, most emotionless, stoic little girl I've ever met. I think she might have magic powers too.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm sorry mother nature!

They were big and ugly and multiplying... and I'm a bad person.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My October work outfit

My plan was to have a scary Halloween party, but the decorations are so cute and happy here. I think it's pretty much impossible!

Ninja aren't extinct

I was lucky enough to spot one in the wild!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Momotaro mochi

One of my students recently visted her family in a town called Okayama. The Japanese tale of Momotaro apparently originated from there, so she brought me some mochi (sweet, sticky rice paste balls) with the Momotaro characters on it. Below is a summarized story about the characters on the box of mochi.

Momotaro came to Earth inside a giant peach, which was found floating down a river by an old, childless woman who was washing clothes there. The woman and her husband discovered the child when they tried to open the peach to eat it. The child explained that he had been sent by heaven to be their son. The couple named him Momotaro, from momo (peach) and taro (eldest son in the family).

Years later, Momotaro left his parents for an island
called Onigashima to destroy the marauding oni (demons or orgres) that dwelt there. En route, Momotaro met and befriended a talking dog, monkey, and pheasant, who agreed to help him in his quest. At the island, Momotaro and his animal friends penetrated the demons' fort and beat the demons' leader, Ura, as well as his army, into surrendering. Momotaro returned home with his new friends, and his family lived comfortably from then on."

Russian roulette with sushi

Today after playing frisbee, a friend and I went out for some sushi. Neither of us can read Japanese characters and the menus had no pictures, so we decided to just point and order. It turns out our first selection was raw tuna (sashimi) and the second was some mystery fish meat on rice (sushi). We lucked out and got some very delicious food. Goes to show that you can survive in Japan by being brave and pointing.