Trip to Matsudai, Niigata (17th June)

Admittedly I wasn’t sure about coming on this trip at the very beginning of the planning stage. The cost was mostly unknown, where we were really going in Niigata was unknown, and what we would be doing was also unknown. But then I remembered something: I love the unknown! The unknown is inspiring, to jump into something and then work out the rest later is a skill in itself (to be used n moderation too), and something that life simply wouldn’t be the same without.

So the 10 of us found ourselves wandering out of the dormitory at roughly 9:15am on a Saturday. I was in good spirits – fuelled by half an hour’s sleep and on a desperate hunt to find a caffeine fix. Upon finding it my excitement exploded upon hearing the news – we were going to be riding the bullet train for free! It turns out that Nagisa had won the tickets from a JR lottery. I chuckled inside that so many people would be missing out, their loss.

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Now, I’ve ridden the bullet train several times over my trips to Japan, however this time around I hadn’t ridden it a single time because the cost is quite frankly ludicrous unless time is of the utmost essence. Without a doubt it is one of the fastest ways around though and probably beats the plane to most locations. By the time we sat down on our seats I was a great bubbling fountain of childish excitement – this was multiplied by the fact that there was definitely some casual flirting going on. On occasion I would get up and walk to the windows in the doors and stare avidly at the rolling fields, cities and mountains. Yeah, to say I was anywhere but on cloud nine would be a total lie!

(https://youtu.be/bt70-Oq971A for shinkansen love)

Before I knew it we had arrived at our transfer location, so it was with a weight in my heart that I bid the Shinkansen farewell. The next train took us past a mountain vista overlooking a city and paddy fields, we all stared in amazement at the beauty of it all. Then, as if it all had just begun, it was over, we stepped off of the train and into Matsudai station where we were greeted by a happy old man of about 75 by the name of Kazuo. From here our incredible, but sleep deprived day began.

We were first of all guided to the station’s eatery for lunch, where I chose a simple かつ丼, we didn’t have much time and the portion sizes were quite big – which proved to be a little bit of a challenge. During this time we did self-introductions to our newfound elderly members of our party; I introduced myself as a person who considers himself an adventurer to their amusement and bewilderment. I’ve done so many self-introductions it is hard to take them seriously these days. In that café the general age was about 65, this place wasn’t bubbling with youth, but there was joviality in the air!

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Then we were off, heading over the hills in a minivan that had been arranged by the town council’s head manager. We saw a place called 星峠の棚田 (Hoshitouge rice terrace) which was apparently incredibly famous, where the water of the cascading paddy fields reflected the sky above, giving the area a surreal look. It wasn’t as strong as pictures I’d seen, but you could still see the effect. Just from this the place had such an old feel to it, it were as if we had stepped back in time – perhaps they were magical portals!

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Our next location was a set of houses built by a german fellow named”Karl Bengs”. They looked almost as if they had come out of a fairytale, so perfectly placed, nestled in a secluded canopy on the side of the mountain. They would be cold in Winter. Apparently their creator actually received some kind of reward from Abe Shinzo because thanks to his architecture it helped to bring tourism and young people to the area. The area is also home to a once-every-three-years art event.

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After this we were guided around a building located roughly 4 metres above the ground that was yet another art museum of sorts, it had a particularly dynamic piece of artwork that made use of both the building and the mountainside to portray the relationship between the turn of the seasons and harvesting the rice. It was ingenious and amusing as storytelling goes. Here we sat down for a while to rest; a moment’s respite in a busy day!

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We then visited the seminar house to drop off our effects (I’ll explain this in greater detail later) and then proceeded to one of the most beautiful onsen I have ever bathed in! It was situated on the top of a mountainside, a strange place for an onsen or so I thought, but the view from the main bath was a true spectacle! From the water you can see insanely far, you can follow the peaks and troughs of the mountains, even the snow-capped ones far away. It was as if you were flying, or in a sky-high hotel with a swimming pool at the top. I sat there for a while and took it all in. Without a camera all you can do is burn the scene into memory and take it out often enough to remember! It was a breathtakingly beautiful place to relax in. After I got out I even had a double serving of thick, creamy milk!

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Relaxed and reeling from touching the sky in the nude we hopped back into the minibus and headed toward where we would stay the night: Waseda’s seminar house. I had lost a bit of respect for Waseda due to it being a big part of mental state being little to be desired of late. However looking at this well-upheld place several hundred miles away with its own baseball field and tennis courts I couldn’t help but admire the flamboyancy of the university. It was a lovely building that had a wooden smell to it, I wonder how many people had come here seeking inspiration in the past, or even began love lives here. That was the kind of atmosphere that this place exuded.

Dinner was ready upon our arrival which we set upon with abandon. There was one guy who didn’t wait and started eating straight away who I couldn’t help but feel disdain for honestly. This was a time where you should feel the mood and although only two of us were Japanese there are still cultural protocols that should be followed. The dinner was delicious, I even got an extra serving of hamberg steak, “mottainai” right? I needed a bit of a rest and managed a 20 minute nap before the next phase began. A nomikai of sorts.

This nomikai involved the members of the council who had helped to organise this trip, I daresay it was a little bit daunting at first. The chief manager barely cracked any sign of happiness in the early stages, his eyes were very dark and clouded at first, or perhaps he was simply well practiced at being unreadable; it set me a little bit on edge – what was his game-plan? What an unfathomable man. After yet another round of self-introductions we began drinking.

Conversations started slowly, but after a few drinks and time everybody began to warm up to one-another. It can’t be helped but there is both an age and cultural difference that can get in the way. After around forty minutes even the chief was laughing, his apparent mood reflected the ambiance of the room: friendliness. I chatted about umeshu, the difficulties of keigo and especially about the usage of it, I even helped one of the younger workers with her confidence in English, encouraging her to speak it enthusiastically. The most interesting conversation was with Kazuo, explaining why young people go to the city and then why people return to the countryside. It was almost like a circle of life thing.

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After it was over I had a rather tipsy lady thanking me profusely for helping her with English, and promises from another guy to give me a bottle of his home-made umeshu! I lucked out! For the record, the umeshu is extremely strong, but delicious! It was at this stage that the night took me in another wonderful direction. With nothing else for us to do we were finally left to our own devices. I took my camera outside and began taking photos. It was a clear night and we were quite frankly in the middle of nowhere – a true rarity, resulting in some wonderful photos. I messed up the ISO, however I captured a shooting star and also a picture of the milky way. It wasn’t as bright as in Bulgaria, but all the same it was still a true spectacle of nature!

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A lot of image noise, but I’ll use ISO 3200 next time

 

It was here, beneath the starry night sky that I somehow ended up getting close to and making out with someone on the cosy grass. We had been flirting all day, and it was most certainly welcome. I suppose the mood just fit quite nicely. I mean, sure it isn’t all the way, but it certainly is a memory that I’ll think back to for years to come. A brief flash of summer’s romance beneath the glittering heavens; it is something that most only dream of yet alone experience! After a while we returned indoors, had a few drinking games and went to bed, everybody was exhausted and the alcohol’s initial rush had ended.

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A lone shooting star

The incessant chiming of an alarm clock. Please somebody, make it stop! It isn’t stopping. Ok, I’m awake – were some of the first things that popped to mind at 7:36am. The next idea involved having a shower. I daresay this shower was reminiscent of Scotland two years prior – when the Glen Coe hut’s shower broke, resulting in bathing in a river of meltwater from the mountain peaks. The water here was cold too, so I showered using freezing water. It was really rather refreshing! We all slowly shuffled in for breakfast – a classic multi-piece Japanese breakfast.

We then prepared ourselves to leave. I had a brief chat with my romantic interest of the previous night, of which she seemed really quite embarrassed, also came close and cuddled, but also seemed very unsure of what to do. She kept a bit of an emotional distance in our conversations this day but also was probably quite tired. I’ll work this mystery out some other time. In the meanwhile we went to the nearby castle and dressed like samurai and ninja. I felt like a badass and had real issues putting my face into that angry-dejected look that reeks of “everything the light touches is my kingdom” kind of look. I’d make an awful warlord – I’m simply not angry enough.

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After this we ate lunch – it was delicious, the soba was a tinge of green and had a peculiar flavour to it. There was also chestnut, and an interesting type of tea which you would add to the dipping sauce at the end. The tempura also consisted of some strange local flowers; flowers which were battered, eaten and tasted fantastic?! How do people think of these things is anybody’s guess, did this kind of spectacular madness strike them during their dreams? My personal favourite was the mushroom, it was battered too, but this only served to enhance and contain the flavour within the fine coating, it isn’t something I could possibly replicate in the UK unfortunately!

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Our final location was a house that was 150 years old. It was built to last without a doubt and used to be where the leaders of Matsudai lived. Thick, polished wood gave off a slightly smoky smell – giving the building a faintly incense-like fragrance. There was an old cooking pit, pictures of various deities (do not fall asleep in front of them so we were told), and many old tools. Most of the tools were retained from its past occupants’ times. They were well equipped for everything – even the house with its second floor exit was ready for the 4 metres of snow that befell the area yearly. Human ingenuity truly is fantastic, as smart as I think I am, I would barely understand the bones of such a structure. Thank goodness for books if everything went bad.

We were given tea and some kind of mochi bun containing either seaweed or adzuki, relaxed, and then had to leave. I was glad – I was falling asleep on the spot! We bought souvenirs, purin (3/10 on the purin scale) and departed, beginning our trip home. Most of us slept on both trains, but I couldn’t help but stay awake for the Shinkansen; I will reiterate that I am a child. A child that regretted nothing. A child that was happily reminded that we are small, insignificant creatures in the turnings of the world. A child that at the strangest of times rediscovered the joys of rolling in the grass in another’s arms.

The niigata crew

Food “festival” with Niji (11th June)

I had sent my RSVP late as per usual, was running late too, and topped it all off by arriving at the designated meeting point (thanks to my haste and the heat) feeling as if I’d walked through a waterfight along the way. Not a big one, but enough to leave a few awkward marks nonetheless. It was busy in Omotesando, especially because it was a Sunday; the locals and foreigners all come out in full force, leaving you with no choice but to dance through the crowds, although dance implies elegance, which isn’t an easy act to follow here.

We went down to a room-for-hire which was pretty simple -similar to the Halloween party. However what lay upon the tables lining the walls were boxes of food; food which had been prepared by my friends and other members of Niji. This was the objective of today: to eat food from various locations, made by people from those locations. For instance Elisa was in the Italian squad, Nikita, the Indonesian squad, and Some other fellow called Daniel(?) in the Austrian squad.

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This was a bit of everything

So, I began my culinary rounds, carefully analysing the various foods. I was shocked to find that the rice in the Italian dish had saffron in it – that is some expensive stuff! I had a bit of fun explaining precisely how valuable it is to somebody else. The Indonesian food had a lovely spicy kick in it too, because of this I found it the most appealing on a taste level, the strange cheesy pastry was also rather delectable. As for the Austrian food – it was a little too heavy for my liking. I mean, I am British and appreciate heavy food, we have the phrase “meat and potatoes” after all, but this was too potato-heavy.

I also chatted, as you do at these types of events. First I caught up with Yoyo – who I feel bad for never speaking to very much but it can’t be helped sometimes, I’m not sure what to say sometimes, especially when my usual randomness can’t be fully followed. I also found myself with a crowd of 5 1st years around me at one stage, I tried to focus on two people instead though because I have learned that I really prefer quality over quantity. If the number of foreign students is too low we can get a little bit mobbed, I say mobbed because in my case I feel like too much attention is centred on me – which tires me out if I need to constantly drive the conversation.

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In fact it did tire me out eventually so I went upstairs briefly with Elisa to catch some air. Upon returning downstairs the judging of the dishes commenced. If it were my opinion the victors woul have been the Indonesian squad, then the Italian squad, and then finally the Austrian squad. The Austrians won to my disappointment. I suppose it was the most unique to the people there. Somebody even cried because they lost; I didn’t realise so much heart and soul had gone in, but being a cook myself perhaps I should understand. Or perhaps my standards are surprisingly obnoxious.

After the event I got a few peoples’ Lines and sat outside for a while. I didn’t want the night to end, however I’m not buddy-buddy with the inner squad enough to want to go with them drinking. There are a couple of people, but generally speaking there are some people I just don’t connect with. I don’t believe it was a wasted night in the end though, ah, definitely not a wasted night! I bummed around in Erin’s room playing Persona 5, chatting, laughing and being rather jovial! Therefore definitely a good end to the night!!!

Zushi beach (4th June)

Beach time. It had been decided at the BBQ that me, Maria, Akane and Fumi would go to the beach the following weekend. The beach had been chosen, the time too, and so I found myself at around 11pm at a train station by the name of Zushi. It was a beautiful day, the sun was out, as was a faint breeze that helped to keep you cool. After meeting everybody and buying food we headed down to the beach.

I don’t remember huge amounts of the conversation that day, but I had a good time – floating around, chatting, and searching for ice cream. Oh boy it was hot though! Oh, I do also remember the insane number of muscular-clad people on that beach. I’m surprised there was nobody pumping irons quite frankly.

There also wasn’t a huge number of shops in the vicinity, despite the beach being clearly rather popular.

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Out of the woods and onto the rocks – Miri (6th June)

I finally met Miri in Japan. I can’t believe it took us so long. If only I had done it when I came first to Japan. It is pretty ironic that the night before I met that I couldn’t sleep and just wrote my thoughts out onto Facebook of being optimistic and having a smaller list of regrets – I had been doing pretty well at keeping that list low on things, but I think meeting Miri added 2 more things to the list. I’ll start off by saying that we only met in the second half of my first year at uni, back when I was dating Rin, I thought she was cute back then with the way she looked up at you with pretty large eyes, however I’m not THAT type of person. Back then we wouldn’t see each other or talk too often, but would keep loosely in touch. This continued through second year and we actually wrote a couple of postcards back and forth – it was fun!

So she suggested that we meet a few weeks ago, and I was happy to oblige! We met at Yokohama at 10am and then took a train down to the final stop in Miura. We began by alternating a little bit between English and Japanese, but primarily English, and by the time we reached our destination it seemed to have been decided that English would set the tone for the day. The sun had come out, we could occasionally see the ocean and were surrounded by mostly farmland if we were to look beyond the road. So we walked up to the forest that was our initial destination and route.

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The forest itself came almost out of nowhere in part due to needing to descend into it. The whole forest walk was actually on a wooden elevated platform, meaning that you didn’t need to walk through the grasses and reeds which would no doubt been full of mud, bugs, and mosquitos. As for actual events we were accosted by an old man who was trying to rebuild the area that was previously damaged had done a good job. This was nice, but he was attempting to strong hand us into buying a book about it. Which to be perfectly honest was a bit of a mood-killer, especially for Miri. On the bright side though, in this section we were able to see crabs dancing. Actually dancing! Perhaps a Mexican wave may be a more appropriate, needless to say we watched with glee! We then settled down for a little bit of lunch – I’d brought some inari with me after all. She was pretty surprised that I was quite so prepared but I always bring enough food for two on days out like this.

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It is worth mentioning that by this stage we were almost out of the woods and were staring off into what appeared to be a harbour. I attempted to skip a few rocks, failing abysmally for the most part with almighty splashes! Then one succeeded, to the awe of an old person on the other side of the reeds (I heard his far-away exclamation of “Oaaarrghh”). Then we attempted to navigate past the dreaded gardeners once more. They had their backs turned, giving us the edge as we stealthily crept past, muffling our footsteps on the wooden planks. We made it past the first old man before he noticed – he noticed us far too late though, Miri giving me a sound to indicate we should walk faster. He failed to cut off our escape route, despite his positive run, ensuring our freedom! We said sorry to our backs as he asked in vain. I’m not so rich that I wouldn’t miss 1000 yen.

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Following the path led us to a peaceful and isolated shrine by the name of Shirohige Shrine. It had a bit of a hairy caterpillar ‘problem’. But had a lovely feel to it.

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We prayed and I attempted to pronounce the name of the deity which watches over that shrine to no avail. We then made the painstakingly difficult choice of which flavour of ice creams we should buy – adzuki and pineapple were eventually chosen despite Miri’s frantic flustering (and more flustering when I wanted to pay – I like treating friends if I’m having fun!) we then walked along a few roads, chatting about videogames and hobbies, where it turns out she is another one of those hyper-skilled people, capable of just about everything from every instrument under the sun to athletics.

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Eventually we stumbled across another footpath leading down to a Hawaiian styled beach party – with around 50 people, a BBQ, and a few vomiting people to boot. What is a party without a bit of puke? We sat down on the beach for a while, eating crisps and chocolate while rejuvenating somewhat, commenting on the fisherman on the rocks – waving absent mindedly in our direction and upon jet skis and banana-boats. It was so pleasant, to just sit there and chat. Too pleasant I realised. Brilliant. We got up and began to follow the cliff-path around the peninsula, finding plenty of cockroaches, three people camping, and one man who was both happily snoozing and had his arse + sack out for a tan too; what a multitalented fellow. After following this path we found another beach where we sat and chatted again, revealing some slightly embarrassing things about myself in the process. But well, whatever. We must have sat there chatting for around 35 minutes – getting sand in our shoes all over again!

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The next stop was a lovely restaurant with a great sea-view and the most delicious tuna I have tasted in Japan as of yet. Then it was a walk back to the station – needless to say we were both quite tired by this stage – roughly 7 hours of talking and moving around – mostly walking. So as it would have it, Miri fell asleep on the train on my shoulder. This broke my heart for reasons that I will fit into place momentarily. Once we arrived in Yokohama we parted ways, I suggested meeting in Tokyo next time to which she seemed to agree. After one last look back I headed to my platform.

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Some of the popular topics as of this day was what happened between me and Rin to break up, and about her own experiences. It was hard to write this without mingling feelings as I go, but I very quickly developed regret for not meeting her when I first arrived. I will go for the obvious reason first. If I had arrived and seen her, perhaps right now I could have been her boyfriend, I’ll never know – but she met her boyfriend pretty quick, In October. That is regret number one. My second regret Is not keeping in contact with her so well over the course of this year, I could have had so much fun with her nearby all this time. My third regret isn’t one that I can translate into words; perhaps it is regret about having regret itself, perhaps it is the feeling that no matter what I do this same scenario plays out, over and over again, that longing for closeness that is bridged by a chasm. Wasted opportunities, being too late while others dive blindly, being who I am – ever waiting for signs that either never come or I blindly miss.

I had a truly, truly wonderful day out in the sunshine, on the beach, in the forest, and sneaking past scheming gardeners! But who knew that laughter could heal and hurt the heart so. Where at the start of the year I wished to be bold in everything, at that shrine I wished to one day find somebody like her; I’d better upgrade those gold coins to silver coins.

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Meeting the vice chancellor

It isn’t every day that you get the opportunity to meet the vice chancellor of your university. Most people tend to only have this opportunity when they graduate, and even then, that isn’t a full meal with drinks. After rushing there I made it exactly on time. The other people present were Simon (who recognised me and my name), Mami (who also remembered me), Maria, and the vice chancellor – who tended to be called in his official title rather than name. I felt like something was meant of me due to familiar faces and so attempted small talk about the heat, but felt a little bit awkward internally.

After sitting down we ordered some drinks, and then the conversation began to flow a bit easier. I’ll first of all mention about the place – Pronto by name, not so prompt by service time. Although the interior itself felt very nice, riddled with brickwork, polished wood, a passably stocked bar and slightly dimmed lights. I ordered an umeshu and a grapefruit sours due to it being such a damn hot day while the others ordered lager and water.

The conversation began with questions about our particular universities, if we needed to study, how many classes we were taking, those typical get-to-know questions. But then it wasn’t long before we were talking of student accommodations, experiences had and a very enjoyable chat on shrines. I also had the pleasure of burning an image of Simon and the vice chancellor wearing green yukata at a ryokan into my head. They looked like they were having an absolutely brilliant time!

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Some topics that perked my interest was that Miho museum actually has a counterpart museum only an hour away via the shinkansen. Mami seemed especially interested by this, it is a point of conversation I’ll bring up with her again in the future; I really quite like Mami, she is always very supportive of going to find new experiences in particular. Simon too in that he is a fountain of energy once you get him on the right topic, you can see his eyes light up with a childish glimmer. I also showed them my experiences with the Ritsumeikan students to which they seemed overjoyed that something like that had come from the exchange.

Overall I had a really enjoyable time. They had to leave in order to meet the British ambassador – to which I mentally mused “oh, we’re as important as the ambassador… cool!” Afterwards me and Maria chatted while walking down towards Shibuya – mostly of summer plans. We eventually settled in a McDonalds and treated ourselves to some ice cream. Not a bad evening by half.

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Yokota Air Base and an insane pool party

The organisation that took place around this day could be considered minimal at best. I was invited to go to an air base by Sena – whom I hadn’t seen for many many months. However at the last moment she pulled out, therefore leaving me to wonder why I was going to an air base. By this stage I couldn’t pull out by this merit alone so I decided I would make the most of this mystery event!

the day began with me needing to divert my route due to my train being cancelled. Somebody had committed suicide on the tracks. There are many sad facets to these events; not only that somebody felt they couldn’t take any more and had no other options, but that for the train driver, for the people on the tracks and for the people tasked with cleaning up, it must be traumatic. I know firsthand that a corpse may not be the nicest thing, but this would be beyond a simple corpse. Sometimes thinking of this reminds you of your own frailty and how we must do everything that we can to live. Because one day we won’t be any longer.

Aside from this beginning, I made it to Fussa station without any other hicks. The sky was blue, the sun bearing down on me like an old friend patting me on the shoulders. I was ready for another adventure of a day! The 5 of us began to wander towards the air base. I mostly chatted to Alex (Sena’s boyfriend), trying to get to know him a little bit better. It was thanks to him we were even able to enter the base. Being ex-army has its benefits. However, when it came to getting our permits, one of our group was unable to enter because she was from Taiwan. The political issues regarding this are silly, and in my eyes are another damning thing about China – I would be tempted to write a paper based around this subject if I ever felt I had enough information. The rest of us entered without any issues. If a British person couldn’t enter I would be very shocked.

Inside was quite large, apparently there are enough facilities that a lot of the soldiers don’t ever leave the base. There are outlets for American food (I chose a sandwich vendor over a 3200 calorie pizza) where we stopped for lunch. Although when I ordered my food I couldn’t understand her due to her heavy accent, I know not where in America she came from, but she shifted to Japanese, ending all issues, Although I didn’t think the day would come when two native speakers of English would need to opt for their second languages in order to understand one-another. Comical really! While eating I observed the other clientele; they would either be very muscular, or quite clearly be far heavier than they should be. You would think that on an army base things would be a little bit different.

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Following this we checked out the supermarkets where I bought coconut butter, a litre of mulled wine, and a pack of actual bacon. I’m saving the bacon for a special event, I miss the delicious flavour of salty bacon. It was at this stage that my time was at an end here. It had been confirmed by Maria that I was allowed to go to a pool party/BBQ. While trundling back to the station I had some words of encouragement from Keiji comparing my current Japanese to how it was 9 months ago. It may still be a point of contention for myself for many years to come. As I hopped onto the train with Hiro I needed to cancel half-made plans with Sena, and felt bad for it, but I wanted to do my own thing for once, and this was where adventure was calling me.

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So, an hour and a half later, I arrived at the BBQ. I was shocked. You could have blown me over with a feather. Before me was a swimming pool, a massive swimming pool! After a few introductions I was in the pool and floating up and down via a giant blow up pretzel whilst wielding a cup of mulled wine. I was in complete heaven. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect that I would experience this kind of party in Japan; swimming, alcohol, newfound friends and bikinis. Everybody was floating along and laughing, shooting water at each other and enjoying the sunshine. A large quantity of the people there had done their masters and postgraduates, therefore I felt a little bit out of my depth in some ways (water related pun intended). But I don’t think I did badly by a long shot.

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After the swim I was recommended to Fumi and the others regarding my prowess in BBQs, to my great delight! I built a blazing inferno, it was getting so hot that the side of the BBQ itself seemed like it was trying to ignite. At this stage I decided it was time to eat. To say there was food is an understatement. It was akin to having somebody deliver an entire cow and say “cook this”. This was a well equipped BBQ. So I cooked and drank. Other people were near me too, so we chatted about varying topics, from Japan’s obsession with “cute” to touching momentarily on physics. I was even jokingly called “Jamie sama” at one stage due to my BBQing skills; which are riddled with showmanship and flames. I was also happy to get to know new people; it helped that half of them were rather cute.

As dusk transformed to night, I traversed indoors and was taught a basic tune on a piano – which was shockingly hard given I had consumed a litre of wine by this stage. For this attempt I was described as seeming very pure, to which Maria chimed in. I wasn’t sure how to take this; I’m not pure, but I’m not dark either. It was a positive thing though so I was happy! The rest of night was of socialising, eating leftovers and trying to help tidy up. I remember feeling gratitude to Maria and Akane for verifying it’d be fine for me to come and also to Fumi for making me feel so welcome too, after all, it was her goodbye party as such; and despite this she let somebody she’d never heard of come along as well. She seemed pretty happy that I cooked though. I’m looking forward to repaying her with an ice cream!

 

Sushi with Min Jae

This guy seemed to had taken a liking to me. He is a very interesting fellow who quite frankly has an absurd number of life-applicable skills. He wanted to go down and eat sushi with me, and with only eating sushi once before with Tomoko I thought why the hell not!

He proved to know pretty much everything there is to know about sushi culture. From the correct order to eat sushi (light meat to darker meats, finishing with eel), to the exact cooking method and/or part of the fish where it came from. So we feasted on kaitenzushi!

A short entry, but not much needs to be said, otherwise I’d just be blurting all of the poor guy’s hobbies to the world. I did enjoy this though. I’ll probably go to Tsukuji market with him at some stage soon before I leave.

Dreaming through life