For the next few days, we were pretty relaxed and didn't do much or go out anywhere touristy, so I'm bunching all the posts into one... Most of the weekend was spent with Carey and her schoolmates at the Kaikan dorm. Also, I was having such a good time being lazy that I didn't want to spend time in front of the laptop.
We did a little grocery shopping at the nearby mall, which is a short walk away from Carey's dorm. The grocery store seemed a lot like the ones back home, only a lot of different vegetables, and much more prepared ready-made foods. We also stopped by the mall and looked at some cool displays for an upcoming holiday - March 3rd is the Girl's Day festival, where girls buy and display different old-timey dolls. Sugoi, ne?
On our way back, we got a true omurice lunch. It was tasty. Other than the raw octopus sushi, I really haven't eaten anything I didn't like... and I think even that octopus was off slightly, because the chopped wasabi-octopus was awesome.
One thing I really like about shopping/eating in Japan is the no tipping, and all listed prices are including tax. All the basic items that you buy are in multiples of 100 yen, and it makes shopping easy. And no tipping is great, less math at the end of the meal! It's weird there's no tipping, considering that the level of service you get is so much better than back home.
I also found out before coming that some of Carey's friends were of the nerdly sort and played Magic: The Gathering, a geeky card game.... so I had brought my cards and we played some Magic with them that night. Super fun! Haha, I got along with Carey's friends pretty well because I'm immature and they're all college age. Sometimes being an man-baby works in my favour!
Not much happened on Sunday. We went for a bike ride, and found a shrine on the top of a hill, right next to the ocean! These shrines seem to be everywhere... and there were people inside, so I just took a pic of a tunnel of gates that led to it.
Then we bought some groceries and Carey made an awesome Japanese curry for us in her dorm kitchen!
That night we had a night out with the Kaikaners. Karaoke, of course! Very fun, although they were all blank-faced with my classic 80's songs like "Summer of '69" and "Money for Nothing". Still, very fun... maybe a little toooo fun? I've done karaoke a couple times in college when I was at home, and I thought it was lame... but I actually had a ton of fun! Me and Carey kicked ass with some duets: "I Think We're Alone Now" by Tiffany, and "Love Shack" by the B-52's. Maybe the fact that its in Japan, its home country, it makes more fun.
On Monday, we went to a nearby entertainment mall. We had an okonomiyaki lunch, which is a very traditional Japanese dish.
Thankfully, Carey knew all the ins and outs of how to prepare and eat this dish. She's made it so easy for me to travel and see Japan! This is definitely a place that you need to at least speak the language a little bit in order to get by.
When you go in, you of course have to take your shoes off, and you're taken to your table, which has a built in hot-top.
You pick your okonomiyaki, so we did a cheese one, and a shrimp mix one.
You mix it up, and then dump it onto the hot-top and flatten it out like a pancake...
Then you flip it, and put this hoison-type sauce on top in stripies, and cut pieces off onto your plate and nom it!
One of the best meals I've had so far! Thanks Carey!
After the awesome meal, we noticed there was an arcade nearby. Oh noooooo, they have claw games! Ogh nooooooooossss! After a whirlwind of 2 floors of clawgame, we came back with a pretty good haul... she's getting to pro level, she got a couple of box prizes!
It was a great chillax weekend... just food and hanging out and drinking with her school chums. Next up we go to Beppu! Woooooooo! Bring on the onsen (hot spring bath)! Relaxationnaise at the traditonal Japanese Ryokan (inn)! Matte ne!