More Adventures with Friends
This week, some of my friends from America came to Tokyo. They stayed in Ikebukuro for about a week and then will be traveling to a few other places here in Japan. While they were here I tried to hang out with them as much as possible, and of course I still hung out with my regular friends too. This week was a time for adventuring around the Tokyo area and overall just having fun with friends. This week I played darts and other games and I went to karaoke, the Tokyo Sky Tree, and Koishikawa Korakuen.
On Wednesday we went to Tokyo Sky Tree and it was pretty cool. It has two different observatories and we decided to go to both of them. Honestly, I think the coolest part was knowing that the second observatory was on the 450th floor. The idea of a building with 450 floors was absolutely mind blowing, haha. The pictures were also pretty cool. We went in the late afternoon and stayed until sunset so I was able to get some pictures of the city in the regular daylight and after the city lights had come on.
To be honest though, I’m not entirely sure the view is worth the price. I think I liked the Umeda Sky Building in Osaka better. Sure, it’s a different city, but it was much cheaper to go to the top and they had an outdoor observatory so I didn’t have to take pictures through the glass. At the Tokyo Sky Tree, once the sun started to go down, I was constantly getting a glare off the glass. Still, I can at least say I went in it, and the view from the tower was pretty amazing, so I guess my recommendation is to only go here if you have the spare cash to do so.
After Tokyo Sky Tree, I went with a few people to Sushiro because my friend wanted to try 回転寿司 (kaitenzushi), which means “conveyor belt sushi.” Basically, you sit at your table and at the end of the table is a conveyor belt with different sushi dishes. You just take the dish you want from the conveyor belt and at the very end you pay for the number of plates that you have. If there is something in particular you want, you can order it from the computer that is at your table and then eventually it will come out on the conveyor belt. The computer will also alert you when it’s about to arrive at your table. Even if you don’t like sushi you can still come eat here because they have a few other foods like ramen or desserts.
After Sushi we went to karaoke with some other people from the dorm. It feels like forever since I’ve been to karaoke. Between traveling and studying for midterms, I just haven’t had time to go, so it felt nice to go and just relax at karaoke with some friends.
Today I at lunch with another one of my friends and his parents. Once again I found myself getting worried about meeting my friend’s parents. I was even more worried because we were going out to a restaurant and my friend’s parents offered to pay. I don’t eat much. Actually, I rarely finish the food given to me, and I know how insulting that can be in Japanese culture, but I can’t force myself to finish the food, because if I do, I’ll get sick. Thankfully though, dinner wasn’t too awkward, although I had to rely heavily on my friend to translate. For some reason, some people are easier to understand than others. Unfortunately my friend’s parents did not fall into the easy-to-understand category. Overall though, lunch was enjoyable.
After that we made our way to Koishikawa Korakuen, which is a decent sized garden in the Bunkyo area. It had some bridges that let you look out over the park, and one of the ponds was covered in lily pads. In the center of another pond was a pretty rock formation where a heron was walking around. I was surprised at how many fancy looking photographers were there taking pictures of the heron. Then in the evening we met up with my friends from America again and got dinner before going to play arcade games and darts.
It was nice being able to hang out with my friends from America. It’s unfortunate that they were only able to be in Tokyo for such a short time, but they still have a lot more left to do in Japan. Maybe I’ll get to see them again before they head home.
It’s so funny watching some of the Japanese playing Taiko no Tatsujin (Taiko Drum Masters) and then watching my American friends.