People were coming down to Tokyo area for the weekend. A new friend from training, Heidi from Sendai, had asked if she could come hang out and check out Kawagoe. I love playing tour guide, so it was on! She got here crazy early though, since she took a night bus from her place. We did the Kawagoe tour. Good times!
The nice people who took our picture thought we were on our honeymoon. Really? People take honeymoons in Kawagoe?
Mags was kind enough to invite everyone over for a Thanksgiving potluck dinner at her place in Chiba. Her place was dubbed "Narnia" about 5 months ago, so I finally got to see why! It was a very nice 2LDK apartment. My favorite thing about it was that it had windows everywhere!
Apartments in Japan use code letters. I'll explain (skip ahead to the next paragraph if you get bored!). The first number is the number of random rooms. Bedrooms count as ranom rooms. The "LD" means living-dining room. The "K" means a kitchen area. I expected a 1K when before I came to Japan. That would be 1 room with a food preparing area in the corner. I ended up with a 1LDK. Bedroom, seperate living room, and a tiny kitchen area. I'm pleased with my place!
We had a great meal!
Afterwords people were a little tipsy from wine and we tried thinking of stuff to do. Half the group went off to do karaoke. I passed on this one. The other half went to the local sento. A sento is a public bathhouse. But I couldn't go in. I'll let you figure it out for yourself:
The next day Heidi, Tyler (my new co-teacher), and I did a little tourist fun in Tokyo. I thought I'd be sneaky and force them to the National Museum for the day. But, dammit, I forgot museums are closed on Mondays. So we did a little walking around Ueno park, then a little walking around Ginza. Lots of christmas stuff up in Japan. They aren't down with Jesus here, but they are totally down with shopping!
We found a cool shrine in Ueno. It had an eternal flame from Hiroshima. After the bombing in WWII, someone kept a flame from their burning house. They kept this flame alive and its a very famous memorial in Hiroshima. They took a torch lit with it to this shrine in Ueno. There is so much to think about when looking at this, whether its your opinions on war, or just the concept of energy being kept alive like this.
I don't really have any plans for December. I want to relax a bit, maybe take a break from Tokyo. I'd like to explore the mountains around Takao a bit more, and maybe visit some of my friends who ren't too far away. New Years break is coming up soon too. Almost 2 weeks off! But no plans... Anyone want to come visit?