Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Take It From Behind

Another day, another Akihabara moment. I know this isn't really bad English. I just read innuendo into everything.

I know it wasn't all that long ago but coming here is like a pilgrimage to me.

There was a store I was determined to find that I missed last time. It's called "Friends", and wouldn't you know it, the name is written in Japanese, not English.

The easiest way to find it is from the station head towards the Club Sega (you can't miss it), cross to that side and walk right along the road to the next major intersection.

Cross the road and you'll see a red Segafreda cafe. To the left you'll see a blue sign with 260 yen clearly displayed. On the RIGHT of that there's a small door leading up a stairway.

Here you'll find a treasure trove of old Nintendo goodness. It's like a small version of Super Potato.

Strangely, an old woman was in charge here. One thing you'll notice in all these retro "Famicon" shops is the endless sounds of 8-bit bleeping game music (it's an easy way you'll know you're in the right place). How anyone could stay sane listening to that all day is beyond me.

From there I went to Retro Game Camp.

It's not a large shop, but they have plenty of Famicon (Nintendo/Super Nintendo) and other carts for Sega etc.

Notice Super Mario Bros from the NES on the TV screen?

It's running on a "Famulator", a small licensed NES clone.

There's also a "Famulator lite", to hook it up to a Nintendo DS, but according to this review it ain't that good.Moving right along, I made my way to the king-size building of Mandarake.

Here's the view from the top, looking down towards Akihabara station.

Eight floors of manga, toys and video games. The "Game & Watch" offerings here are surprisingly light.

What they did have, like all the other Akihabara shops were overpriced examples of a few classic titles.

While I'd like this place to be my favourite in Akiba, it lacks the character of the other places.

Maybe it's the over abundance of comic books and not enough retro games for me, but the elevator has a particularly nice shade of yellow.

Finally I just want to mention it was SO hot today. For the first time I went out without any kind of jacket. This is the kind of weather I like. Time to bring out the T's.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

I Am Here

When you see a sign like this, it is begging to be photographed.

At least it's in perfect English, if somewhat strange for a name of a shop.

I didn't have my Nikon on me and it was dark, so this is the best I could do.

Lately it seems like the best photo opportunities come up when I don't bring it out with me.

So where was I? I was in Shinjuku today.

The best thing about today is that it's the start of the Golden Week holidays. The not so good is that the airfares have taken a skyward rise, and any thoughts of going overseas for a short trip have quickly evaporated.

I have to say I was more than a little disappointed. A quick trip to Taipei or Hong Kong would've been fantastic.

You know how the saying goes, "He who waits, mastur.." Hmm, no that's the other one. Doesn't matter.

While I have resisted the catchers for a little bit of time, I caved and tried my chances for a Space Invaders Bottle.

It took longer than I hoped.

A bit embarrassing actually. At least it's metal not plastic. It would be good if it could keep my coffee warm, but it looks like it's just a bottle, not a thermos flask that I thought it was.

Before we went home we had some dinner at Cafe La Bohème in Shinjuku.

We had an Italian Salami & Paprika pizza (1200 yen), and a thick Carbonara creamy cheese and bacon pasta (1150 yen).

Both were really delicious. Highly recommended.

At the Marusho supermarket "Azuki Milk" Häagen-Dazs icecream was 198 yen each, so we picked up 18 ( yes, eighteen of them). This is seriously good stuff. Unfortunately azuki flavour is only available in Japan. So you guys outside of Japan will never know the goodness that this is.

All I have to do now, is decide what I'm going to do for the rest of this well-deserved week off.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

The Last Wonka

It's been a while since I've been in Shinjuku.

One of the things I've really missed is getting the great Don Simon mango nectar from YaMaYa. We wanted to check out a few other things so today's decision was easy.

We spent about 3000 yen on a lot of stuff. Cheap pasta, Nutella substitute, cashews, four cartons of juice and my favourite..


I was a little peeved when I saw it was missing and almost succumbed to some coconut Bounty chocolate. Then, in the corner of my eye I noticed one solitary block all on it's lonesome. It called me and said, "You want this, don't you?"

You do too. If you're in Japan, click the link above or click here.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Crunky Melon?

Just in case you were ever going to try Crunky, avoid the melon flavoured one.

Usually there is no decision-making involved. There's only one Crunky. The original is the best and slightly cheaper too.

Tonight I was craving some good ol' Crunky goodness. For a change I tried this one from the Family Mart in Shibuya. What a mistake..

Why is melon Crunky bad?

Well, it's really white chocolate DISGUISED as melon. It's a pale green colour and maybe there is a hint of melon taste, but I really think it's my mind WANTING to believe it is.

I just don't GET white chocolate. It's like a sweet that wants to be a chocolate, but just doesn't fit in.

This looks like a limited edition. The more limited the better.

While I was walking around Shibuya I found some more guitar shops! Cool.

In case you want to find these, head out the south exit and get yourself up on one of the elevated walkways. You should be able to see a few music store signs on one of the buildings. In that vicinity there are a few music stores. Enjoy.

To make amends tonight, I got a party pack of Ghana and Crunky from Hanamasa, A 24 hour supermarket that specializes in bulk foods and imports.

For dinner we ate at Paul in Yotsuya.

While primarily a bakery, we had a delicious chicken and mushroom quiche with salad. The clincher here, is that they give a basket of free bread that tastes fantastic. Not just any bread. There were cheese, nuts, and fig breads.

They ask if you want more. We had three.

A cheap feed is a good feed. Just avoid the green Crunky ok?

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Jerk Off Myself

Unusually for a day off, I was awake at 9am.


I decided it was time to try once more to go to the Immigration office near Shinagawa, and re-apply for my visa extension.

Only having two pieces of toast and coffee, and struggling to get ready, I was out of the apartment after an hour.

If you ever have to do this, I'd strongly advise doing visa applications in the morning. Unlike last time, the initial line was virtually non-existant and I only waited a little over half an hour to get my application looked at.

I filled out a postcard with my address so hopefully in a week or two I will get it, telling me my visa extension has been approved. I have been having a lot of trouble getting mail recently. For some reason my mail has been returned to sender on more than one occasion. Strangely, my mobile phone bill has come without any problems.

I'm still waiting on my following month's national health insurance bills to come through, and the next one is due the end of this month.

Damn you Japan Post!

From Shinagawa I made my way to Akihabara. The gf asked me to get a USB memory stick for her. It was also a good excuse for me to look for my retro 80's games.

Arriving at the station, "Together In Electric Dreams" played on my iPod. How appropriate.

Even though I've been here many times I still find new things here. I saw some nice watches in a hidden alleyway, where I had to go up stairs. One watch was see-through for 4000 yen, and another had a unique way of telling the time for 1500 yen. I didn't buy either of them. Two watches are plenty for now.

No such luck with finding Nazo No Pyramid. The games they have here are mostly overpriced. I managed to to get a 2GB Silicon Power Flash drive for 980 yen. The cheapest I could find.

For the first time since I've been in Japan, the police questioned me on the street. They asked if I spoke Japanese, checked my gaijin card, then said they wanted to search my bag and jacket.

I'm surprised they never asked before. I've actually been wondering if any police would ever interrogate me. Even though I was expecting it to happen, I felt a little uncomfortable and so did they when they said it was part of their job.

I'm sure I looked really suspicious to them.

On a lighter note, I couldn't help but notice this sign in front of Aso Bit City.

Look closely.

First it says, "Any Plans For The Weekend?"

Under that, it says, "Jerk Off Myself"!!

I keep trying to think how that could've be translated, but from my sources, the japanese translation is pretty much the same. Weird.

Aso Bit City has a lot of anime character goods. Today I found the coffee mug in the store that I lost a lot of money playing for, in Yokohama. I realised how much I did the catchers more for the challenge, than the actual item.

Having said that I still bought the mug. If you hover the mouse over the picture you can see both sides of it.

It features Miku Hatsune.

She is part of the Vocaloid singing PC software that allows you to create songs without singing any words yourself! Too easy huh?

Apparently she has quite a big following in Japan.

Can't get enough of cute Miku? Maybe you will after watching this video.

It's hard to believe that it's not a real person singing the melody. The simulation is really convincing.

Akiba is just one big toy shop to me. Maybe that's why I like it so much. Great lightsabers for 12,800 yen. An Alien figure for about 1100 yen.

What's not to like?

To finish off the night the gf wanted to eat out, so we had some nice okonomiyaki and ankomaki near her apartment in Yotsuya.


Monday, 21 April 2008

Just Passing Through Nakano Broadway

Today I couldn't help myself.

The Chuo line conveniently stops at Nakano, meaning that I couldn't fight my urge to NOT get off that train and have a look around Nakano Broadway.

The last time I was here, I knew, just like in Roma, that I'd be returning here soon once more. The only difference is there was no "Trevi Fountain" to waste my one yen coins.

I looked for some more Bandai games.

The only one they had was Mr Franken for about 7300 yen in the original box. I passed on it thinking I got a good deal with the ones I already got. There was a Nintendo Game & Watch for about $1000. That's just crazy.

I really like this place. It's one of those special places you don't find in guide books. It's only one express stop away from Shinjuku, so if you have nothing better to do and want an alternative to Akihabara, this is it.

Tachikawa has a whole lot less appeal.

It looks a little more lively than some other 'burbs in Tokyo (strangely Tomioka comes to mind vividly). But sadly this place feels more Fujisawa than anywhere else.

I walked around a little bit today, but apart from a few shopping centres it feels devoid of any kind of soul. Lucky then, that as usual I had heaps of classes today.

Let the weekend come quickly. Please.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Ginza Party!

Tonight was a going away party for one of the staff.

Before we all left, I had to go to Kimuraya and get some anpan (and a few free samples of course).

We all went down to the Hub in Ginza. It's just another faceless british pub with no redeeming features.

Still, it's as good a place as any to have a few beers.

I started with only a half pint and some mixed nuts.

Pretty soon after that I moved on to a one litre funnel of beer goodness. Everyone marveled at my impressive choice and took camera phone photos of me and my new "friend".

You have to be careful with these things, especially when eating nuts. A few times I actually put a whole pistachio nut in my mouth without removing the shell, and to save face, just crunched the damn thing.

Another time one nut went the wrong way and I had to skol a bit of beer to stop myself from choking on it.


All in all, I had a great night. I had another pint after the litre and went home in one piece probably more than a little tipsy. I met some really interesting people!

Tengoku to Jigoku/Akuryo no Yakata Review

As you can see from the picture, my Bandai Solarpower games collection is coming right along nicely.

As usual I was on the lookout for "Invaders Of The Mummy's Tomb" (Nazo No Pyramid) but unfortunately, no such luck.

I have a feeling that it will turn up sometime soon though.

Instead, before me in Shibuya was Tengoku to Jigoku ("Escape From The Devil's Doom"), and Akuryo no Yakata ("Terror House"). Both were 2625 yen each and still in the original boxes from 1982!

Not only that, but both games look brand new with the original instructions, inserts and wrappings. They look in much better condition than Kyofu No Mujintou I bought before.

So how is the game-play?

Great! As I remembered from my childhood, they give a nice little challenge.

In Akuryo no Yakata, the aim of the game is to attack bats in a graveyard, then go inside the haunted house fighting monsters to finally get to a coffin.

I remember when I got my original game, Tengoku to Jigoku was out at the same time.

You start off in a boiling pot in hell, go left and right to avoid demons and bats, then ascend a rope into heaven. Here, you have to catch falling feathers from an angel.

If you want to get an idea of what its like you can go here to download the PC simulations. Just click the download link on the left to get to the sims.

While the quality of the simulations are not up to the standard of MADrigal's simulators, it will give you a basic representation of the games.

If only my mother hadn't given my game to my baby brother to break all those years ago..

That's my excuse.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Station Beers

One absolutely super fantastic thing about Japan is that drinking outside in public is perfectly legal!

A good enough reason to come here if there ever was one.

Where it's a big no-no to smoke outside, but totally ok to smoke in a restaurant, things are seriously twisted in the land of the rising sun.

Like the title says, if it's wednesday it must be the night for STATION BEERS!

You know, Japan, or should I say Yokohama has a lot of open space, but you wouldn't know it when groups of people horde around us like flies to a stinking carcass.

As usual we bought our alcohol from a combini (yes, a convenience store!), and drank and talked outside Yokohama Station.

A old woman came up to us and said I was a "Good Man". I guess first impressions count so, can't argue with that!

A while later a salaryman was nearby and gave me his unopened packet of rice and peanut snacks. WTF?

I feel like god or something. Or at least Charisma Man.

With things like this, why would you ever want to leave?

Oh, and I have to say, there is a LOT of sweetness walking past at night. Hello Japan!

I didn't catch the train until after midnight from Yokohama so I was a little worried I wouldn't make it home. But, you know what? I didn't really care. If I had to walk from Shibuya or Yoyogi, or wherever, it would've given me some useful "thinking" time while I was walking.

Just one more thing before I go.

Mario Kart, Nik Kershaw and being just a little bit inebriated go surprisingly well together on a fun train ride home.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008


What is Kimuraya?

It's the best bakery for getting some delicious anpan bread, that's what!

Anpan is a small bread bun filled with azuki sweet bean paste and butter.

Well worth the 189 yen price that's for sure.

If you're in Tokyo it can be found easily by going out of the A9 subway exit in Ginza. It's next to the Wako department store on the right of it.

There were a few samples of the other delights they offer too. Sampleman was pleased. Ready to fight another day.

I'd love to open an azuki restaurant in Australia. It'd go off! Or if not that, then maybe a cool okonomiyaki one. Sweet!

Tonight I finally finished yet another 4 litre bottle of shochu. Looks like this has lasted a little bit longer. A month and sixteen days. A new record.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

JJ Classy Very

Maybe I left it a bit late, but I didn't get to Akihabara until about 5pm.

Even though it looked like it was going to rain, I decided to go anyway.

I had two things in mind.

First, I wanted to check out some stores that might have a few 80's handhelds I am interested in and secondly, I was after an EZflash 3-in-1 to use with my DS for extra RAM to run Quake 2, and a nice rumble feature to shake my DS for a nice force feedback effect.

On the way I couldn't help but notice this billboard on top of a building.

JJ (Jimmy In Japan) Classy Very! HA!

The first thing I wanted to do was check out all the places for handheld games. For that I checked this handy little map.

I was mostly disappointed with what I found.

There WAS a huge Yoshi dinosaur for 25,000 yen though. I SO want it, but trying to get that back to Australia seems impossible, but it's so cool. I WANT!!

The places brought back a lot of memories. There were a stack of Super Nintendo consoles (Famicon), and Sega Game Gears and every other one you could think of.

One interesting display that never really made it too far out of Japan is Virtual Boy.

It was Nintendo's attempt at 3D gaming. The screen's graphics are in luminous red. It wasn't too bad. The 3D effect was ok, but it didn't blow me away.

I saw a Bandai Solar game for about 2600 yen. It wasn't in good condition so I passed on it. If anyone in Japan has one in reasonable condition for a good price let me know. ok?

Moving on.

Before I forget, one new renewal (as the japanese would say for "renovations"), is the all new 8 floor Mandarake Complex.

Full of Manga, figurines and other junk you have to have. Interesting.

It started to rain a little which didn't make me too happy. Not only that but time was running short. On sunday most stores in Akiba are closed by 7 or 730pm.

I went to the shop I bought my 200 yen DS screen protectors from, but they had sold out. I shouldn't be surprised. It was a great price. If I hadn't tried to have a second go putting on that dang thing, trying to remove one tiny hair under the screen it would've been perfect.

Last of my mission was trying to find the expansion pack for my DS. I was trying to find the cheapest price. There are so many computer stores with less than memorable japanese names that I had trouble going back to the best place.

In the end I picked it up for 2480 yen at the same place I bought my "heavy duty" metal DS case. I'm happy with that. Everything works as it should.

The gf had a sweets attack so I picked up some azuki bread at the 99 yen shop along with some batteries so cow suit Rilakkuma can walk around the apartment. Sugoi!

She didn't feel like cooking so I made us some tasty spaghetti with heaps of pepper and onion. The way she smothered the pasta in parmesan cheese I could tell she was lovin' it.

Who wouldn't?

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Gambling For Kids

For a saturday and to be working, I am in a good mood.

Today I'm posted in Tama Plaza. It's situated about 20 minutes from Shibuya on the Tōkyū Den-en-toshi Line.

Is there anything worth seeing there? No, not really. Not even one single UFO catcher.

Speaking of..

After a small streak of bad luck, I've managed to score big tonight.

At Taito in Shibuya, I watched a young girl sink about 2000-3000 yen trying to win an limited edition walking Rilakkuma in a cow suit. She had to go twice or was it three times (?) to the cash machine.

The first time I didn't go near it, and respected her position. There were a few people hanging around it, so the last time I went closer to stop anyone else from taking it.

When she came back I motioned to her that she was free to keep trying, but the look she gave me showed that she had finally given up on it.

I had 500 yen and 100 yen in my wallet.

I could have gone to the cash machine and changed the 500 (it was 200 yen a go, or 500 yen for three tries), but I didn't think I'd get it first time.


When the girl saw me with it, she had her mouth open in disbelief that I'd won it first go. I had an attack of the guilts and almost gave it to her, but I thought I probably put in almost as much trying for this myself the last time, so I kept it.

Because I had two goes left, I opted wisely for a different machine.

I saw some Marimokkori, so I asked them to let me use my two remaining tries on this one. This one was only a 100 yen machine, but I thought I could get it easily. I got the green one first go!

I asked to move the other yellow/green one into position. It was done nicely, so much so that I could use the claw to actually tap the bulge of the plushie, inching it into an even better angle. Yay, he shoots, he scores!

All for 500 yen. Not bad at all.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Kyofu No Mujintou (Shark Island) Review

Before I went to buy the game yesterday, I was looking for some online reviews of it.

Unlike the more well-known Nintendo Game & Watch series, detailed Bandai reviews are little low on the ground, especially in english.

The few that I did find were quite low on comments about the game-play.

So, since that's the case, here's my rundown of the game!

Everyone I showed the game to, from young to old were piqued with curiosity about the new toy I held in my hands. First comment I got was, "That looks old!" Yes, it does. In fact, this game is circa 1982. Some people weren't even born yet!

I guess it gives away my age a little to admit I grew up with these things. It was an exciting time to be a kid. Those were the days. Having said that, even the young 'uns wanted to have a go at it.

Probably the one thing that stands out the most is the solar power. No Batteries! As far as I'm aware, Bandai were the only company releasing solar-powered games. These are all the others that were released at the time.

Another thing that stands out is that unlike the Nintendo releases, the single screen has two changing states of play instead of the usual one static screen of the first single screen of the first Game & Watch's.

The first screen shows your plane crashing into the sea. The aim of this part of the game is to simply dodge the sharks by moving left and right in the three positions available.

It sounds really easy, and to begin with it is, but I was surprised at how many times I made careless moves into their hungry jaws.

Once you reach about 100 points, the screen will display an island to which you hit left to go to the second part of the game.

The second part is a little more entertaining.

Once on the island you get to use a BIG STICK to bash the sharks coming up towards the island over the head repeatedly while avoiding the falling coconuts from the tree. Big fun!

Get caught by the sharks or concussed by the coconuts, then it's back to screen one.

What separates these games from the ones today, is that the graphics are basic LCD sprites, and sound is nothing more than blips and beeps (I prefer to have the sound off).

There aren't really "next levels". The whole aim of this era is to get points until you finally die of exhaustion.

There is definitely a Bandai feel to the games, like I think Nintendo has a certain quality. I don't think the quality of games is any worse than a Nintendo title. Still, I don't think they have a truly great classic game like Donkey Kong.

Just like Nintendo, the game-play between different game titles can be quite similar. It does bring back strong memories of my short-lived Invaders Of The Mummy's Tomb.

It doesn't really replace a Nintendo DS. Children today would probably get bored of it in 20 minutes, but "big kids" like me can't get enough of it.

While there isn't yet an official collection of Game & Watch titles on the Nintendo DS (apart from the Club Nintendo giveaway), Nintendo has slyly added four (Ball, Flagman, Manhole and Judge) of the classic games in their Rakubiki Jiten (japanese and english dictionary).

A great bonus as the dictionary is an excellent alternative to a standalone electronic dictionary.

A DS cookbook, Shaberu! DS Oryōri Navi has a hidden Game & Watch Chef game.

Finally, it's possible to run Gameboy Advance carts like Game & Watch Gallery 4 on the DS for some classic Nintendo old school gaming.

I have to say that getting the required stars to unlock the extra games is a BITCH.

Another great thing about the DS is that you can run old school games like Quake using homebrew.

This is also the method for using the great Project JDS kana practice program I mentioned in an earlier post.

So after all that, was Kyofu No Minjintou worth getting? Hell yes! I feel refreshingly more hip than the guys sporting their DS's when I'm on the train, and for the equivalent of $10, you can't go wrong.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

One's Junk Is Another's Treasure

With a bit of extra time on my hands, I decided to get that Bandai LCD solar powered game I saw in my secret shop.

Kyofu No Mujintou (Shark Island) was only 1050 yen and the gameplay is very similar to the one from my childhood. I figured I sometimes spend that much at the catchers, and leave with nothing, so why not?

I did see Nazono Pyramid on Yahoo Auctions Japan for 2000 yen last night. I was too late to try for it as I wasn't even registered to use it yet.

I may still keep one eye out for it. Anyway, it prompted me to finally get this one.

While I there I picked up a Hello Kitty® watch for 210 yen. I tried once for it at the catchers so I thought I should buy it. It's cheap.

It was a good way to kill a bit of time before work.

After work there was another session of "station beers" with just T and myself. We had a good D & M conversation. There was a bit of music from some buskers, and for some reason we seemed to be attracting some japanese kids to where we were standing outside the Diamond complex.

Sure was some nice eye candy walking around.

Look for a Bandai review coming to this blog real soon. Somehow I don't think it'll be my last.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Tokyo, Killer Of Umbrellas

Just a quick note to say if you have to go out of your house today in Tokyo, your umbrella will be useless.

The wind will laugh at you and say, "You call THAT an umbrella? Take This!"

The streets of Shinjuku are littered with broken skeletons of umbrella frames, and the japanese wrestle with their umbrellas like trying to tame wilde beasts, in vain.

I'm sure the news will show the typical file tape footage of a poor salaryman and what used to be his now, inside-out umbrella.

Even walking to and from the station is a major struggle.

Unfortunately I was just in Shinjuku for a meeting, and still have to make my way to Ginza in about half an hour.

Hopefully it won't be too busy. Fighting with my umbrella has taken the wind out of me.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Yoyogi Park Hanami

I had to bring two CDs back to the library but we didn't really plan to do anything today.

The first mistake was going into Shinjuku. There were so many people wandering around that I managed to lose the gf quite easily.

We thought to go to Krispy Kreme, but even from a distance we could see the line extend along the bridge to Takashimaya Square.

I thought it'd be good for us to go to Levain, the french bakery we went to before in December. We got some nice home style apple pie and pretzels to eat in Yoyogi Park.

The cherry blossoms are slowly fading but the enthusiasm for hanami parties are still going strong by the amount of people packed there.

Along with people drinking and playing various instruments, there were big sound systems pumping out headache-inducing techno.

In some places it gave me an impression of a little Roppongi. Skanky.

Sometime soon I'll bring my guitar to have a play near the lake here. It'd be fun I think. I'd really like to jam with someone who can sing harmonies like this.

If anyone in Tokyo can do this, get in touch with me. Let's rock!

When the sun was going down and it was getting a bit cold we made our way back home.

Okonomiyaki was on my mind but the restaurant we thought of was closed, so I suggested pizza instead.

We went to Pizza Salvatore.

Not exactly the cheapest pizza chain, but the pizzas taste pretty good. We bought two small pizzas, a gorgonzola and prosciutto, and an "Alla Diavola", chicken, salami and peppers for 2900 yen.

I like the later one better. The fiery peppers gave it a nice kick.

Gazing through the menu I couldn't help but notice some interesting english.
I don't know about you, but small or otherwise I don't consider sausages "cute".

"It's Tipical"? Maybe they wanted to say authentic?

We walked around a bit after eating and found some tennis courts that you can rent close to home. You can play two hours in the daytime for 3000 yen. I feel like trying it sometime. It's been years and it could be fun.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Yoko Da Hama

Today I found out that yet another teacher has decided to jump ship and I can't help but feel a sense of abandonment and question my own future.

Why did I choose Japan? With any average three or four year degree the process is relatively simple.

I have to say that my time here so far has been more than interesting, and I'm not bored yet. The thought of nine kids classes, plus class visits scares me, but I'm going to put on my brave face.

Tonight I had the first of "train beers", or that's what I think it was called. The pre-drinks before catching our trains back home. We, J, T and myself hung out at Vivre in Yokohama and drunk some spirits and beer while J and I had some noodles and sandwiches.

We had a good talk.

Some japanese girls were hanging out nearby. I have no idea why some young girls would hang out in a semi-dark alleyway around a closed shopping complex at this hour for.

Anyway. I caught the train at around 1130pm semi-intoxicated. Instead of listening to my iPod, I went for the Nintendo DS for some amusement on the way home.

Thankfully all the trains got me back home. I was still feeling hungry so I pigged out on corn chips and salsa.

Day off tomorrow. Good.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

The Paper Trail

One nice thing about my new schedule is that I can sleep in almost every day. Another sweet thing is that kids classes don't start for a while so I am safe for the time being.

Almost all of my schools have changed and today I am at Ginza. It only takes ten minutes to get from home to Ginza. I wish all my schools were this close.

I arrived in plenty of time so I walked around the school a bit to get my bearings. The Sony building is very close. I had a look at the new technology for a short time and then headed into work.

I got an SMS from the gf at work saying her friend was sick and she was going to stay with her tonight to look after her.

Coming home I found this note.

Luckily she left me instructions how to use the microwave in a strange language.

Best to leave no doubt at all on this one.

I like how she has also labeled a few things around the apartment to help me find things.

She's really thoughtful like that.