Monday, March 10, 2008

Mid-year conference in Tokyo

Sorry for the long delay, we've actually been kind of busy!
So, Kendra here. Here is the story of the mid-year conference.

It starts with a 9 hours overnight bus trip.

Before we all went mad.
Look at that guy over there!
This is the first day in Tokyo. We went to the Ghibli Museum. The studio that makes Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and about 800 more movies.
This is on the roof. There is this giant metal guy. Pretty cool. The museum was set up like a giant fun house kind of. No real set path, just wander around this sweet house.
We went to the cafe and I got "spaghetti for people who like mischief." It was spaghetti with fried chicken on top, odd as it sounds it was good. This is Andrea's coffee, so pretty she didn't even want to drink it.
This is later that night. We all met up for dinner at Sensoji temple. We had some amazing Italian food and Andrea, Ben S. , and I all split a bottle of Black Cat Riesling. Very nice.
Then we went to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building. Why? Well way up on top there is a really sweet (and free) observation deck. But, it is really hard to take a picture because Tokyo goes on forever! No joke, it just kept going on and on, all around you. Kind of spooky.
Aaron went with Abel to play around in Akihabara (the electronics capitol of the world) while myself and the other Fulbrighters attended the conference and did the work. It was informal so it was actually a nice, relaxed talk with everyone about the months past and months to come. Afterward we went to this place for dinner called "Popeye's." The special thing about this place was...40 microbrews on tap! (pass out) Okay, so everyone who knows us well, knows we are beer snobs, spoiled on Kalamazoo microbrews. So, we were SO excited to get some real beer, not stuff from a can. At this place though, a pint was about 900-1500 yen, so about 8-13$ a pint. Expensive yah. But did that stop us? No. The variety was amazing. Here is Aaron with a heferwizen and Mana with a half beer half ginger ale concoction.
Wow, nice face Pat. This is me with my heferwizen and Pat with a silly face indeed.
On top of great beer the place had AMAZING food. Here is Abel trying some Emu sashimi. Yes, raw Emu, yes Emu like the bird. Aaron and I both had some. It was good but nothing to go crazy over.
Here is Andrea, Charles Z., and Katherine. Charles hides in the darkness.
'Okay, so in the bathroom was an advertisement for "happy tail ale" a non-alcoholic beer for dogs. What's the point? you ask. I have no idea.
Over all, I think about 22 people were there. WOW. It was tons of fun. We were there for a long, long time.
More of the Fulbright family.
Mana had the task of counting up all the money. The bill was...very very high. Think well past 500$ then double that and add some more.
So, since Aaron and I are trying to save money up, we decided to go home by way of the this type of ticket that lets you ride for an unlimited distance for only 2,300 yen a person. This was a warning sign in the bathroom. Oh Engrish. Also on the way home was a stop in Hamamatsu, the town where Langdon lives. So, we stopped there for a day. It's a really pretty city with lots of modernization and quite a large gaijin population. We went to a Brazilian place for dinner then an English pub for drinks, followed by a trip to a very quaint Japanese bar where there was only 9 seats. It was the mama-san's birthday so we got to sing to her and help her eat her birthday cake. It was a great time. We got to really interact with some amazingly friendly and open-minded Japanese people.
This is a cool fountain by the station in Hamamatsu. Very pretty station.

Well, I think Aaron is going to take over and update you all on our recent trip to Nara and our walk on the "Friendship Hike."
Spring is really starting to get into full swing here. It's so nice to sit in the house and not be freezing cold. Hope you all are well. Miss you all!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Engrish makes the extreme awesome. Humor is contained generously.