Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Years Break, The Beginning

My first day off was spent here and there in Tokyo. Heidi was coming through town, so we made a day of it.

  • Sushi at Tsukiji fish market early early in the am
  • Massive mechanical walls that come to life every 3 hours
  • Chillaxing on the monorail above Odaibo, Mt. Fuji was in full view
  • Korin-cho motorcycle district in Ueno for some bike shopping
We hit up Tsukiji at like 6am. It was early. But Tsukiji is alive as always. Lots of comotion. We jumped in a random food line for some sushi. The line took over 2 hours, but who cares, 'cause it's Friday, I ain't got no job... and I ain't got shit to do.

Ordering the chefs recomendation turned out to be the way to go, and we enjoyed what was one of the best meals of raw fish I'd ever had. Heres a sampling of what was had.

1 day down, 9 to go. Also, I got a renewal offer from my company to stay for another year in Kawagoe. I have to make some big choices in the next few weeks! I've got some general plans for what I'd like to do and where I'd like to be for the next few years. These plans all entail maximum enjoyment and minimum effort on my behalf. I'll post when I know more.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I got my first surprise package today!!!

Thank you Tracy for the wonderful present. It is perfect. For those who don't know, things like dried fruit, nuts, and peanut butter are like gold in Japan. This package would cost me about a month's paycheck to aquire out here. I'm serious. If you are back in the states, and live near a Trader Joes, worship that place! And if you live near Tracy... worship her!

Merry Christmas

Sunday and we were off to the track! When I introduced myself to some new Japanese friends as Brian, they got excited. Apparently, Narita Brian is a famous horse.

I learned how to place a basic bet in Japan. I'd never bet on horses in my life. There are some crazy ways of dropping cash on this sport. I just bet that my choice would get in the top 3 spots. Fill out your scantron and put some money in the vending machine. Yes, it's all automatic.

And get one of these.

The first bet was a recomendation by one of the Japanese people who knew what they were doing. It won. Woohoo, I more than tripled my bet. Good times!

At the track, if your view isn't very good, just watch it on the TV on your cell phone.

Christmas came as I sat outside a cafe in Roppongi. We got caught up in some eating and drinking at an izakaya, as well as checking out the shiny Christmas lights.

As the story goes, we missed out last trains. No big deal... been there... done that. This time though, instead of clubbing and drinking too much, we just posted ourselves at a 24 hour bookstore and cafe. It was nice. Plenty of artsy type books to read, and I was able to go on a couple walks around the nicer part of Roppongi (away from the clubs). A little after midnight, a gang of Santas on motorcycles rode by, signalling the seasons greetings. Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


After a standerd week, singing song to babies and fielding questions about my penis size from the older kids, I decided to head up to Mito for the weekend. Mito is the home of Suwen, another teacher for my network of schools. 3 hours on a train and I was there.

Mito itself is a nice city, me thinks. Big wide streets, lots of trees and rivers, and even a red light district. Cool beans!

Sunday Mags, Tak, Branda, and Andy joined up with us for some sight seeing. We hit up lunch at a French cafe.

My salad was pretty damn good!

Desert was no joke. Also included was a big pasta dish, which was so-so. But the kicker was that there was all you can drink wine.

Andy couldn't believe that we got all this for 1000 yen. Thats less than 10 bucks.

After this we hit up Kairakuen garden. The Japanese love to rank things. Top 3 mountains, top 100 best rocks, top 10 soba noodle shops along a river with oarnge chairs. This garden was in the top 3. So anyways... we went there.

This place is most famouse for it's plum blossoms. But alas, December means bare branches.

A huge bamboo forest. I was doing some Crouching Tiger type shit up on top of the leaves, but I accidently deleted the pictures.

There was a dwelling of sorts in the middle of the garden. I could think of worse places to live! (I'm at one now)

Caves are scary.

After the garden we walked along the side of a gorgeous lake. Natue was in abundance. Check out the black swans.

The rest of the time in Mito was spent eating and drinking.

Also, I bought a new hat. My last one is soaked in blood, so I'm gonna wear this new one now. Thank you everyone for your concern, but really I'm fine. Head wounds are always very dramatic looking, but mostly superficial.

To everyone who reads this, Merry Christmas! The Japanese love this holiday. Tokyo is all lit up and the department stores are full of decarations. And I have "Last Christmas", by Wham stuck in my head. Peace-

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Pavement 2 - Brian's Head 0

Once again I got into a little accident on my bicycle. Once again it is in no way my fault. I was just riding home after work and something broke. I have no idea what broke, but the gear and chain doesn't seem to be connected to the wheel, and the rear brake seems to be stuck in the "on" position. I went down, banged up my knee, elbow, and head. I got a "Daijobu desu ka?" from a walker by. Daijobu ne. I think I'm ok.

Oh, you want pictures of my bloody, disgusting wound? Here they are. You'll have to click the link to see em though.

Very soon after the accident.
I let it ooze for a bit to get this nice shot.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Spicy Bath!

My plans of adventure in Yokohama this weekend got cancelled, so I spent some time exploring Kawagoe. But before my adventures in the urban expanse, I needed a bath. Not just any bath... a SPICY BATH

I was shopping for wierd Japanese things to send home for Christmas presents... this seems pretty fucking wierd. But I had to try it out first. You know, in case it melts skin or something really bad. How can anything pink be bad?

I filled the bathtub up with hot o-mizu and poured it in. It kinda smelled like hot tamales candy, those ones you get at movie theaters. So, yeah, kinda funky.

I was expecting a slightly painful acid feeling, maybe some burning on the sensitive bits. But actually it felt... slimy. My body was covered in a mucusy film. I let it do it's magic for about 20 minutes, rinsed off, and that was that.

So the next day I looked outside and saw mountains in the distance.

I decided to ride my bike to these mountains. 2 hours later...

I picked a random street and road to the top of them hills. It was kinda brutal on my single speed Japan style bike. At one point I met some mountain bikers who called me, "Kuraaaaazy Boy!"

The ride back was pretty quick, I think there was a tailwind on my back. It's good to know that there is some nature not too far away. I saw trains, so I bet I could get back to these tree covered hills in the future. Hmmm... what I really need is a motorcycle... hehe.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Love is in the Air!

Ah spring! The cherry trees are alive with blossoms, birds are chirping, the air is warm and pleasent, and love is in the air!

But wait... thats a winter cherry tree. It's cold as fuck up in this piece. The birds chirping are more crows squawking. But love is still in the air! Let me explain.

I wrote too much I think. So I'll just say that my students have been asking me all sorts of sex questions lately. Like, if I have threesomes and how long my "boinger" is. This has forced me to learn some new Japanese phrases, like, "That's inappropiate" and "Don't draw that". Yeah, I came into class one day with drawings all sorts of cocks, balls, and titties on my board.

3 weeks till my 10 day holiday vacation. Woohoo. No plans really. Still looking at New Years in Tokyo, New Years day at Meiji Shrine with 2 million of my closest friends. Maybe a short trip out to Osaka, but who knows...

Monday, December 04, 2006

Gardens and Gourging

Sunday was spent strolling about a beautiful Japanese garden in Tokyo. Koishikawa Korakuen is a very old garden, dating back almost 400 years. Fall is especially nice, because many trees in the area are showing their colors. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:

The next day I hit up Namja Town with my previous co-teachet Mandy and some of her friends. Namja Town is a wierd place. You pay to get in, then basically buy lots of food. There is a Gyoza (pot sticker) theme town, Ice Cream City, where you can eat like 50 different kinds of ice cream (I skipped the curry flavor), and much much more. Lots of wierd games to play. The whole place was high on the wierd Japanese o meter.

Shawna, Mandy, Humi, Cat of sorts, Brian, and Gordon.

Mandy and I cleaned up on the UFO catchers! Actually, I had to bring in Mandy to win mine for me... but I got it started at least! Mandy has taught me some of the skillz needed to win at these things. I can usually win some of the easy ones now. Anytime I see a Rilakkuma UFO catcher... it's on motherfucker!