This will be a quick post, but I’ve now been in Tokyo for six weeks! Next week my daily Japanese classes (and their accompanying homework) will be over so I’ll hopefully have time to update this more often. Again, because my days consist mostly of class and work, I’m not doing a ton of interesting stuff.
I also went through about a week of stabbing face pain (I’m fine now), which I assume was some kind of sinus infection or something. The air in Tokyo right now is crazy dry so I chalk it up to that. (HUMIDIFIERS ARE YOUR FRIEND.) If you’re ever coming to Tokyo, I recommend bringing your own Tylenol/Advil/whatever because it’s expensive here. And if you take North American-style SUPER DUPER EXTRA STRENGTH anything, well, that doesn’t exist. From what I’ve seen, stuff like Tylenol isn’t any weaker here — it’s about the same dose as regular Tylenol in North America but that’s all there is. You also can’t buy medicine at a drugstore or convenience store — you have to go to a pharmacy (kusuriya) and ask for it.
But here’s some things I’ve done recently:
I ate omurice! I don’t really like omurice (basically an omelette filled with rice and topped with ketchup, or in this case, hayashi sauce) but Mike does. Why Japanese people have to put ketchup on it is a mystery to me.
I went for some fancy-ish tempura at Tsunahachi! This one was one of the appetizers. This location was one of the higher end Tsunahachi locations, but I’ve also since eaten at the main shop in Shinjuku. The main one is much cheaper and very foreigner friendly with an English menu. Both have very good tempura.
Tsunahachi gives you a bunch of different kinds of salt for your tempura. Tempura is delicious with just some simple sea salt.
Mmmmmmmm. My favourite is always the shrimp heads.
Another random food item.
I had highballs at a bar in Shimokitazawa! (Someday I will write an entire entry about Shimokitazawa.)
The bar had cool lights made out of wine bottles.
I went to Mother, another bar in Shimokitazawa that looks like some kind of underground Gaudi cave.
I had hot wine because it was samui desu (cold outside).
I went to karaoke! On the weekend, it’s about ¥2500 ($27) for two hours including nomihodai (all you can drink).
Obviously every karaoke box has a million AKB48 songs. The BEST part is that all of the AKB48 songs use the actual music videos, not the cheesy guy-walking-around generic type videos that are used for Western songs.
This is the only Japanese song that I know all the words to. And only because I learned it in my high school Japanese class.
Here’s a photo of Mike probably singing either The Beatles or Queen. This is how karaoke works: I pick songs and Mike sings them, and then I try to sing Japanese songs and totally fail because my kanji-reading and singing skills are almost nonexistent.
Well, that’s about it for now. I’m hoping to get my hair cut (and dyed?) in Harajuku this weekend, so that should make for an interesting future blog post. Japanese hair, here I come!