Random Thoughts Set to Pictures...
On our days off, my husband and I usually explore sections of Tokyo, with our newest hobby being drinking beer in the park. After living in parts of the United States where cops will practically beat you for carrying a dreaded "open container," it's quite a novelty to be able to drink a beer outside.
My favorite beer/park moment was the time my husband and I went to see the cherry blossom trees in Ueno Park, only to be caught in the cold, pouring rain under the already fading blossoms.
Hooray beer for making a potentially disappointing experience memorable.
Thankfully, we've had better luck on most of our other outings. In our Tokyo explorations, my husband and I have stumbled across various temples, shrines and street markets, all of which make for that "Wow, we're in Japan!" type moments. Here are a few pictures we've taken...If it weren't for picture menus, I don't know how my husband and I would manage to eat out. Nearly all of the restaurants here in Japan have picture menus or some sort of wax food displays. Obviously this is a huge help. Generally we don't visit a restaurant unless we are sure they have picture menus or unless we have a Japanese friend to translate for us. I think this is a good policy. The one time we visited a place without picture menus we accidentally ate chicken liver and fried tendons, both disgusting.
Speaking of disgusting, check out this horrifying menu option. Severed fish head anyone?
Although I haven't sampled simmered fish head or raw horse meat, I now regularly eat things I refused to eat in the States. For example, large chunks of raw fish, plump, orange fish eggs, squid, seaweed and various other slimy, gooey or otherwise moist objects from the sea.
Here I am eating something green and slimy in this horribly unflattering photo.
As my husband and I are unable to read Kanji, we are often forced to invent business names. We've been to the restaurant pictured above and below at least three times, but have yet to learn its actual name. We refer to it as The Crab Place. Imaginative, I know. There's also The Karaoke Place, the Barrel Restaurant, the Indian Place in the Department Store, etc.
Fortunately, a lot of restaurants have English names, such as the one pictured below...
We have yet to visit the Beer Saurus Beer Restaurant, but with a name like that it's only a matter of time.
In my experience, 80-90% of English language school teachers are raving drunks. If we wanted to, my husband and I could go out drinking every night as there is always a group of teachers boozing it up somewhere. Most of the drinking takes place at various izakayas (bar/restaurants) up and down the local rail line, and it just wouldn't be proper to end the night without creating a drunken spectacle.
However, that's not to say that Japanese people don't get create their own drunken spectacles. You may remember this post.
My husband took a picture of this guy at a karaoke place. For some reason the place had a horse mask and Santa suit available. There was also a gold, sequined jumpsuit.
My students are surprisingly open about their drinking habits. Several students have responded to my "How was your weekend?" opening question by relating stories about their drunken karaoke nights and the resulting hangovers.
Thus, concludes my random picture blog entry. Dear readers, is there anything you're curious about or would like to see a picture of? If so, please ask.