Thursday, 3 December 2009

November Round Up

Once again we are long overdue for an update, and again a month will be condensed into 1 entry.

First significant event for November were the lights at the Tokyo Dome.
A free light display has been set up around Tokyo Dome where you can wander around in the freezing tranquility. We think it is to provide an incentive for people to head outside during the cold nights of November. Anyway because we have a couple of photos, here is one.

Very nautic theme.

Next up we had some visitors to Tokyo, Paul's school mate and previous flat mate Michael, his partner Ca and her sister Co. Without going into too much detail we did some touring of the nightlife of Tokyo, including karaoke, 3am bowling and various izakayas (Japanese pub) around Shibuya, Omori and Ebisu.

Out to dinner in Omori where you can place orders with a computerised touch screen menu at the table, although the one we had was dodgey! Introducing everyone left to right: Paul, Joss, Co, Ca, Michael.

Ramen in Ebisu.

At the entrance to a lane way leading into the Golden Gai or small bars area in Shinjuku.

Everyone in Bar Garden in the Golden Gai. There were seats for about 8 people in this bar.

Michael and Paul inside Bar Garden.

What would a Tokyo visit be without some figurines? The guy in the background did the late bar shift and was sleeping standing up. I think we might have bored him.
The only way to finish off a night. Karaoke in Shinjuku

The weekend after Michael, Ca and Co left, Paul's brother Andy was visiting Japan on a business trip during November and extended for a weekend so he could stay with us. Among the highlights:
-Darts bar and a few different izakayas around Omori, we think we were the first foreigners to have attended the darts bar!
-Another trip to the ramen museum, although after a rather long evening of eating and drinking this may have been a little optimistic - we had to get up quite early and none of us were feeling 100%.
-Between ramen and night time activities we made a quick visit to the Ghibli Museum, details are fuzzy as we were very rushed, we will have to return.
-A night out in Shibuya and Shinjuku, where we returned to a restaurant (Bora Bora) that was featured in a post on Andy's blog where raw chicken was consumed (no none was eaten this time). Though we intend on returning as there are more delicacies on offer including raw horse.

Inside Bora Bora.
A railway overpass, and doesn't everyone look fresh?

Tea cememony - Now in our previous post we mentioned that we ended October with a bang, helped out by Masakisan and Kazukisan in a local bar. Well Kazukisan kindly offered for us to go to his house and participate in a tea ceremony. Neither of ue really knew what a tea ceremony was, but basically you get served tea and a sweet in a structured ceremony. Because tea has and is used as a medicine, it is quite a ritual to have tea served traditionally. To our surprise, Kazukisan actually did part of the tea ceremony, his tea master was there guiding him through (it is extremely technical, no angles or positions are accidental). Unfortunately we did not have a camera but it was a real privilege to be invited and participate.

Next up for us was a Japanese Cooking class. It was organised by our local area friendship society and is held in a classroom, similar to the ones used for home ec at high school.
There were quite a few people there, both Japanese and foreigners. The chef presenting spoke in Japanese with a translator relaying instructions in English. We cooked up a Japanese style potato salad, clam miso soup, and tonkatsu (Pork battered in breadcrumbs and deep fried) with shredded cabbage. It was actually quite challenging as the pace was kept up, and seeing as our table had only 4 people instead of 6 we had to be extra quick.
(PM: It was nice to have a place to show off my chopping skills, and get a few comments. I don't think the Chef's son who also worked with him could understand how an IT worker could chop quite so quick)
Again no photos, but it was a great day.

Since then we have been relaxing and catching up on some much needed rest. Looking forward to this weekend with our new visitors Jess and Steve!


  1. As usual it all sounds great but lacking an update on Ari and Lloyd was a huge oversight. You know we need to progress reports on all our "grandchildren" How are they going? Good to see you have had lots of visitors. We are all looking forward to April 2010.The tea ceremony sounds really interesting, I wonder if we will get to experience one?

  2. Well the partying, etc is all very well, but what about Ari and Lloyd - we've heard nothing about these two for quite a while. Ws there a dish at the cooking class they you're not mentioning? Yes, i know they were small, but so a lot of Japanese dishes (and people.

    also, where are the train photos guys? Unless you've secretly invested in a car,lets see some rail action!!!

  3. Your Adventures look fantastic. I hope you both want to come home at the end of it all.
    by the way Neo is calling Dad/ Geoff "Pop Pop" now. Hilarious.
    Good idea with the name Paul.