ben griffiths
an insight into the mind of a genius

Posts Tagged ‘toshi’

Weekend, right?

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

Yes, it’s the weekend but i’m sitting here, home at 1:30am - why you ask?

Well, I was supposed to be out with Seiko tonite (as well as last night) - but she now sleeping in the frontroom. She’s been doing manic sleeping recently, like just 3 or 4 hours a day, and is wondering why she’s tired?!?

Tonite I’m a bit annoyed though, she had work this morning from 4am-midday, then was supposed to come home and sleep so we could go out tonite, but instead went out with some friends, coming back at 5pm, which of course come 8, there was no way she was awake enough….

I think I need to make an effort to start hanging out with some new people, as I can’t rely on her for everything. Shortest case, I only have 14 weekends left, I don’t need to be wasting them like this.

To comfort myself, I went to the supermarket and bought a box of Coco Pops :) (£3 though for a tiny box!) - and instead of wasting all the night, I thought I should finish writing up the events of last week….

Then, I reckon, I’ll slip back into rant mode and start grumbling again…

Anyway, where was I - ah yes, part three - the last week of Nesa and up to now…. hmmm… we probably did a few things during the week, but alas I can’t remember - I do know about the weekend though - so let me begin.

Oh no wait, i wanted to post this picture up…. taken on a packed train :)

Anyway, back to the weekend! :D
Friday, Nesa had gone to Hakone for the day - which I suspected would tire her out, and indeed it did - this left just me and Seiko to go to Roppongi together (or at least meet her there).

In usual me fashion, I was also hideously late and in real danger of missing the train, which meant I had to run all the way to Sangenjaya, meaning by the time I got on the train, I was sweating quite badly …. YUK! I hadn’t forgotten however to fill a plastic bottle with vodka, so at Aoyama Ichome station, I bought an orange juice to top it up…. quality :D
Not wanting to break tradition, first stop was Hub (hooray for Hub) however we only stayed for a single drink as Seiko was quite hungry, so we soon left and made our way to Jonathans (wow it’s been a long time since I went there) where we stayed for an hour or so.

Walking back down the Roppongi strip, it suddenly dawned on us, how we just did the same things over and over (same places each week), however not really liking any of the other clubs caused a certain issue here… haha….

Instead of clubbing therefore, we decided to do a bit of shopping (yes, at 3am in the morning) and headed into the large Donkihote stop where we just browsed random bits and pieces until there was nothing left to see.

On the way out however, we spotted a sign for the newly opened top floor “Cosplay” department, so jumped in the lift to the 7th floor. Cosplay if you haven’t guessed is an abbreviation for “Costume Play”, and on stepping out the lift, we were greeted with the sight of hundreds of different costumes - schoolgirls, nurses, cheerleaders, policewomen - pretty much anything (including “Sexy Gymnast Costume” lol…) - oh to have a j-girlfriend … ;)
Not to be left out, they also had a section for men, though I think it served more as a comedy section rather than a serious “sexy” dept…

Finally, the clock struck 5am, which meant that “Maxim” was open, so we scuttled away over the road to our (my? ;)) favourite club, meaning i could finally get a good dance in… hurrah!

The night was not so much different from usual as far as the music went, except today we had the typical “extremely drunk ugly” man, trying his hand with everyone in the place. He started on Seiko at first, but after explaining she was my girlfriend (which he wouldnt believe until we had kissed…) - he finally left, only to start trying it on with our friend (who we don’t even know the name of :eek:) - by now i had used my “Boyfriend” card, so I was unable to help out too much here…

Luckily, he soon got tired of the constant rejection, so went off to try his luck with someone else. You know, I really don’t understand people like that - how they can possibly think they are going to get somewhere… and then to just ignore rejection… man, people like that give us guys a bad name… :p
We left around 7:30 or so and headed off to the local “Subway” to get some breakfast, before finally hitting the train home… and … sleeeeeep :) zzzzz

Saturday and first off was a meeting with Toshi and his friend for us all to eat in Shibuya. Things started off ok, we decided to go to the mexican place - though arriving there, there was a 30 minute wait - so it was off to find somewhere else.

45 minutes later, we still hadn’t found somewhere (doh!) - until finally we found an izakaya style place. Problem was, both Nesa and I were very hungry and we just knew the food would be small - which indeed it was, ah well, there’s always First Kitchen ;)
One thing that must be mentioned was what occured at the end of the meal. We all got up to leave, but the staff then informed us that we still had one dish to come (infact it had just arrived) - A YakiSobaOmelette (imagine yakisoba covered with an omelette) - by now everyone had got to the door (Except me, nesa and toshi) - but me and nesa decided it was a shame to waste it, toshi therefore went to tell the others what was going on.

We realised the implications of time here, so had to take drastic action. Splitting into two equal halves, we then devoured the whole thing in under 3 bites each :eek: I must say, I’m quite impressed with our achievement there, and indeed Toshi couldn’t believe it when he got back from telling the others (all of a minute or so at most) to find us all done…. haha….

(Dammit, I’ve just gone and made another bowl of Coco Pops, thats my third this evening, soon they will all be gone :eek:)


It was then that the split occured, everyone departed leaving just me and Nesa to do the night alone… first stop therefore, Sunkus (convenience store) to buy a 2 litre bottle of orange juice and a 785ml bottle of vodka. Finding an “out the way” seating area, we then proceded to mix up (and mix *very* well) a vodka and orange, before (ultimately) drinking all of it :)
That done, we were ready for our final (or so we thought) destination of the night, a very welcome return to “Atom” - hurrah! Nesa’s last night out clubbing in Tokyo had to go with a bang.

As we didn’t have a flyer, entry this time was 3000yen (with one drink), though at the payment counter, Nesa expertly negotiated an extra one each (go Nesa! yay!) - and finally, we were back in paradise.

It was exactly as before, just a massive club full of the most gorgeous girls you can ever imagine. I would have taken a photo, but cameras had already been removed at the door (what a stupid rule) - and although i had managed to keep mine on me, i was now scared to use it incase we got thrown out.

The music this time was better than before, with it actually getting quite hard at one point - and it was safe to say, Nesa and I had a f*&king awesome time…. so good, we didn’t want to leave - but the fact it was about 1000 degrees and my hair was starting to flop badly, meant it was time to go :) hehe… I’ll return again once my hair is cut, haha…

Last stop of the night (after returning to our drinking point from the night before to retrieve the not-quite-finished bottle of vodka - i know, really pikey , but I DON’T CARE… haha) was “Little Spoon” to grab a morning curry, with extra hamburger, cheese and croque potato… :D
Sunday, for me at least was long lie in day, though Nesa got up around 11 or so :eek: to go and meet her friend Brandon.

We therefore arranged to meet at about 7:30 at Shimokitazawa to go for the “Final Meal” - again back at Bochi Bochi. It also gave me a chance to meet up with Brandon, a cool guy, and a friend of Nesa’s who works for Nokia. Shimpei turned up as well, making the circle complete.


After “Bochi Bochi” - we then headed for “Dot”, Shimpei’s favourite bar (haha .. NOT! though I don;t know why) - where we stayed for an hour and a half or so, in which time Shimpei complained about pretty much everything on the planet. I think dad would get on well with him ;) :p
Finally, tiredness was too much for Nesa, so we made the treck home. Unfortunately this meant we didn’t have time for karaoke, nor did we remember to do the obligatory japanese Photo-Me booths…. doh!

(Jumping forward a night —>)

Come 7:30am or so and it was time for Nesa to go. She didn’t even say goodbye (pah! her excuse was something about letting me sleep) - but luckily I had not bothered to go to bed, so once I heard the door go I ran out after her :)
And then she was gone, my English speaking household sharing member had departed, oh how I cried…. :D
Thus brings us to the start of last week, during which was just pretty much work and not a lot else. I need to save a bit of cash ready for Kyoto on Thursday, so I guess it’s not such a bad thing.

Tomorrow is the “new work staff” party, which will probably be a quiet affair, so I might liven things up a bit, by getting wasted first …. :) lol… welcome indeed… haha…

So phew, there you have it, up to date - I appreciate it’s not the most exciting read, but I just needed to get everything down. Once again, I promise not to fall so far behind again - which I am sure I will break sooner or later, but hey, at least you got photos! :)
I have a few other bits and pieces to add, though I’ll do these another time, it’s now 3:30, which means I have been typing this (on and off) for 2 hours - I DON’T WANT TO WRITE ANYMORE !!! pah! :p

Helen Arrives

Monday, April 10th, 2006

Wow, now I *really* am behind… two weeks to catch up on. I was debating on whether or not to just let it all slip, but figured I’ll want to look back over this, so should get as much down as possible. I’ll admit though, I’m going to skip some bits as 1) it would take me too long to fill in everything and 2) I’ve started to forget it already anyhow :eek:
Ok, so we were off to the station to meet Helen. Usually such a simple task, you arrange to meet, you go there, you can’t find them - you call them. Well, this being Japan and all and with the “no import” phone situations, this wasn’t going to happen. (Indeed the lack of a cellphone cased a number of problems later on during the week). Luckily Helen called me from a payphone, and I was able to advise her to go to South Exit. Again, this wasn’t quite as simple as it seemed, however I trusted her judgement and was sure she would be able to make it there :)
I wandered around S. Exit a bit until finally we met up. Admittedly it’s usually harder to find her, but with her being the same height as the Japanese, it was still a bit of a chore. Infact, she found me, I was just aimlessly looking around … haha….

First stop was back to mine for a shower (not together, obviously) so we headed on the train back. On getting off at Setagaya Daita and facing the walk back, it quickly obvious her suitcase was made for… well someone her size :) To pull it on it’s wheels I litterally had to stoop - and with the weight it was, there was no way to carry the thing. Needless to say, getting home took a little while ….

So finally after getting back, the plan was for the quick shower and then to head out. However maybe things god delayed somewhat or so, as we actually finally managed to get out the house at about 3 :eek: - this didn’t really give me time to do much, so we went to Shibuya, got some lunch in the local Matsuya then hung out in Starbucks until I had to head off to work, leaving Helen to make her way to Shinagawa to meet her school trip chums.

Work turned into a nice day due to the cancellation of some of my lessons! This meant I was able to work on my “Realia Project” - so I sat in the reception happily cutting out magazine articles when suddenly, in walks Helen! It seemes that the flight had finally taken it’s toll on her and she couldn’t stay awake…. It was left to me then to tentativly ask my manager if she would be allowed to sleep in a hidden section of the sales area, to which he reluctantly agreed - so off she trotted to the seating area, slouched down over a table and promply fell asleep! :)
3 hours later, when my shift finished, it was time to get the stragler out of the building and head off to meet Seiko, Shiho and Toshi to go to “Bochi Bochi” for Helen’s first proper Japanese meal (a miso soup at matsuya doesn’t count!) We were then later joined by Shimpei, before heading off to “Trouble Peach” to have some after meal drinks :) Yumi then turned up too, so the circle of friends meeting was complete. Everything ended at about 3am or so, when it was agreed we would meet up with Shimpei the next day to go around Asakusa.

Wednesday morning and despite attemping to get up early to meet Shimpei, we didn’t quite make it and he left without us :eek: - all wasn’t too bad however, as it gave us a bit longer to get ready and head there by ourselves. Once there, we simply gave him a call and he came to meet us. We spent a nice couple of hours looking around and had a very nice lunch, before I had to head to work - but not before Seiko and Shiho had turned up, to whisk Helen away to Odaiba.

After work, I headed to Shibuya to meet up with the girls (by which time the heavens had opened) before we headed to Sangenjaya to get some food and a drink. Unfortunately, it seemed Helens Jetlag hadn’t been jetlag at all, but the start of a very nasty cold - which was now properly starting to rear it’s head. We therefore didn’t stay too late as she was feeling a bit poorly :( awww… :D
Thursday was the day we had to go to Shinjuku to buy our bus tickets for Kyoto, however first early morning impressions were not looking too good. Helen was in a terrible state, the cold was really starting to take over and we weren’t sure if going was really gonna be such a good idea. We therefore left off buying the tickets then, but leaving the bus details with Helen, so if she felt better - all she had to do was go to the station and get the tickets.

Mark from Nova was also leaving, so after work was a “get together” drinking session - I knew I had to be careful here as to not stay too late and miss the bus (if we were going) so tried not to get too comfy. At about 10pm or so (I think) I got a call from Helen to say it was on, and that the bus left at 11:20. It was decided I should leave at about 10:30, which I almost did (about 10:35) - however I had neglected to get any money out, so now had to run around Shimo looking for a cash machine (which I didn’t actually find) - I did however have enough money for a train ticket, so gave up and got the train to Shinjuku (arriving very late… :eek: ).

Due to my lateness, there was now no time either to find an ATM, so we headed directly to the bus station to find our carriage to freedom… (or something like that :)). Upon getting on, there was one thing that immediately stuck out (well for me anyway)… the height of the ceilings!! They must have been about 5′7″ at most :eek: this became even more amusing when it was time to go to the toilet, the thing was only small and it took a lot of manouvering just to be able to climb in the thing in the first place… haha…

What was cool though was that NO ONE else was on the buses ground floor (it was a double decker) - this meant we basically had the whole bus to ourselves :D In the end, this turned out to be a godsend as the seats weren’t so big and trying to have slept on just one would have been quite impossible.

So the journey started out and Helen had began to worry about where we would stay (bless) - I therefore decided to mail Haruka and see if she could suggest anywhere. After about two minutes a reply came - “No problem, you can stay in my room!”. Awesome! To confirm this, I decided to take the plunge and try calling her (all in Japanese…) - and by jove, I did it :) We arranged everything over the phone (in Jap) with her even suggesting she would come to the bus garage at 7am to collect us!!! Things were definately looking up!

That then just left me the task of trying to get to sleep, which was now going to be difficult as I was quite exciting and not really ready for bed… however, after an hour or two of playing Tetris, common sense prevailed and, stretching over 3 seats, I was finally able to nod off :D

The weekend has landed….

Thursday, March 16th, 2006

Wow! Next day sure takes a long time to arrive! :) Why haven’t I updated since last Wednesday, well, the easiest answer is that I haven’t yet actually been home!! Or at least, if I have been, not really been in a fit state of mind to type something insightful (though thinking about it, it would probably quite insightful into how I was feeling at the time… haha)

So let’s begin with the Wednesday night then and Vanessa’s leaving party.

After work, due to everyone finishing at different times, we all met up at the nearby Seigo Fraidos (or however you say it) before moving to the first main stop of the night - a local izakaya, whose manager is actually a Nova student! (though I didn’t know this at the time) Once there, it was basically the usual izakaya experience (order drinks, then snack food - usually fried potato, fried chicken etc) - though i remember the umeshuu was particularly good :D
That done, we had about an hour and a half until last trains - so it was decided to head out to karaoke, for “one last sing song” as it were. The place chosen was smack opposite the train station, making quick exits possible and, whilst looking pretty grim from the corridoors, had pretty ok rooms. One extra cool thing was the “song pick computer”, unlike the usual karaoke affair, this one had a full colour screen and even let you play space invaders on it!

As is usually the case when alcohol is involved, the plans were soon changed, as come last train - no one wanted to head back “just yet”. This however left the agonising question - “reluctantly finish the night off now” or “stay out until first train at 5am”. Admitedly, it wasn’t such a big deal for me due to my late starting times anyway - though for the others it was more of an issue. However, the “all nighter” was the chosen option, made even better by the arrival of Hisako (the new Yumi) - you only need to check the photo gallery to see how good a time was had by all ;) With the drinks flowing all night (and some hilarious poses shown off by Mark!!)


I got home by about 6am or so - then a wonderful sleep in until around 3pm, when it was time to get back into work. Hisako had to start at 10, and when I arrived at Nova - it was pretty plain to see she hadn’t had much sleep :) “Late night?” ….. lol.

Friday after work, once again it had been arranged to go to “Dot” in Shimo, so when I was able to finally clock off at 7:30, it was direct to the bar we went :) This time, we were joined by Toshi, Ryoko and Shimpei but also the return of Yumi!! Hurrah! It was decided that although we made pretty good use of the nomihodai last time, this time we should do better - so a 15 drink target was applied to the night. I’m also pleased to say that we made this target (and above) and come 11:40, we were well and truly merry. Seiko and Ryoko then wanted to go to a club, however I thought perhaps I should try and save some money, so instead went with the rest of the gang to another izakaya (the one i had gone with Shimpei to previously) - were, yup, more drinks ensued.

We also had a game of “Suishi Roulette” - where basically you order 5 of the same sushi dishes, however one of them is laced with loads of wasabi (hot). I think it’s pretty obvious from this picture who the “unfortunate” was ….


Finally, I think at about 3am or so, I couldn’t stay awake, so we all left, splitting up with Yumi half way as she went back to her house, and us to ours :)
Saturday had the obligitary lie in, followed by the obligatory do nothing for the rest of the day (though not much was actually left!) until Seiko got home in the evening, bringing with her a bottle of umeshu for me :) Go Seiko! This actually was nicely timed, as I had just started to do some mixing - and the added alcohol went down a treat. So well in fact, that an hour later when we were due to leave, I was quite drunk ;)
So first stop of the Saturday night was Sangenjaya where we went looking down the “cheap street” for somewhere to grab some food and a few extra drinks. We settled on a really traditional looking izakaya, which had the full “shoes off, tatami mat” experience, and also, had a large selection of drinks.

I ordered the Umeshu Sour (suprise, suprise) and a few minutes later, was greeted with the following sized tankard…! :eek:

Yup! That’s not a photoshop, it really was that massive! Seiko opted for the beer, and whilst although there was an equal sized glass available, she instead chose the “more wimpy” pint :D
3 glasses (or pitchers or whatever you call something that size) later, and finally it was time to head out to Roppongi - first stop “Hub” to get in a few drinks, before we really hit the town… lol… no actually, to get a few “cheap” drinks in, before we moved on to an old haunt “Hideout” - which had been recently closed for repairs.

It’s funny I guess, when writing a blog entry about going out clubbing, there really isn’t much you can say. I guess I can say where, and if anything exciting happened, but there’s not really much else one can add. So here, look at some photos of some fire breathing by the bar staff instead! :D

Shortly after all this went off, the amount of alcohol finally got too much for me, and i had to make my excuses and head to the toilets where I stayed for the next hour or so, until i was able to stand (using the word very loosely) and get back to the safe chair by Seiko. By now, trains had started and I really wanted to get back - however Seiko was now getting friendly with some new bloke, so I left them too it and headed off to the cloakroom.

Memory here still a little hazy, though I just remember someone tapping me on the shoulder and saying “come with me”, which seemed like a good idea at the time - so I followed (or rather was led) by a girl out of hideout and into a next bar where more alcohol was had, before then heading to ANOTHER bar!! By this time, I had managed to start on the water, so was feeling a bit better - though still not completely with it.

The girl (whose name was Chie) worked as a hostess in one of the clubs in roppongi and had just finished work when she popped down to the club (she explained) and had just noticed me toterring around by the door :) hehe … anyway, come 8am and i *really* needed to get home, so arranging to meet her on Monday, I made my excuses and left, so stagger home to a much needed sleep! :)
But! It doesn’t end there. Waking up at 5pm, I then had to rush to get ready for Mark’s birthday meal, which was going to be held at the French restaurant we had gone before. Even worse (or better, depending how you want to look at it) was it was another nomihodi :eek: I would have actually liked to have opted out, but due to the fact I had to pay 5000yen to go to it, this hardly seemed like a sensible option ;)
The food at this place is exceptional, I have never had such fancy stuff, but it was all amazing, including something was aparently some exploded liver or stomach or something of a force fed animal, erm, I forget it’s name - something like “Far Gwah”?, but it’s delicious, I don’t care where it came from :) Luckily, some of the others didn’t agree with this, so left there’s… perfect! Oh oh oh! Plus of course, the meal wouldn’t have been complete without the lamb, and let me tell you, it was just as delicious as before, though this time there was more…. MUCH more…


Mmmmmmmmmmm….. just thinking about it again is making me hungry :) So the food done and drinks newly topped up, we headed downstairs (the main room was upstairs) where the last task of the night was to give the cake….


At about 10:30, it was time for the poor chef to get some rest (he had opened just for us) - so we headed off to Asso to get some “goodbye” coffees, where the talk went on for an hour or so - after which, it was finally time to say our goodbyes :)
Whew, almost there :)
So Monday, with work being “normal” (I no longer think I need to really write about it anymore - everyday is the same now) - though after I had arranged to meet with Chie, so headed off to Shibuya and Hachiko at about 9:30. As neither of us had eaten, first stop was a restaurant of some sorts. Due to it being absolutely freezing outside and Chie only wearing a light jacket, anywhere close seemed like a good idea - so we settled on “Lockup” (readers of my previous blog will remember it as the place where you get handcuffed and led to your table, which is actually a prison cell). The cells were all full this time though, so we had to make do with the “cave bar” - which I guess needs no explaining (it was a cave). :)
They were running a current special promotion there, which involved a load of new cocktails and “potions” (you got them in test tubes and science beakers). One in particular looked quite interesting, so, despite the warnings from the staff that it was very strong - I decided to order it anyhow. When it arrived, it looked quite harmless. Just a simple clear liquid, however as soon as you smelt it, you realised it was going to bite a lot worse than it could bark :eek:
One sip was all that was required to know that things were going to now get very interesting, no sooner had it started to go down my throat, then it started to burn - and burn a lot! However (and perhaps looking back this was not such a wise decision) not wanting to waste any money, it was decided I should just down it to quickly get rid of it and then follow it up with an umeshu chaser! So I did……. and once the burning had subsided (and the umeshu had taken away all the nasty taste) - we grabbed the bill and headed off back into the night to the nearby “Gas Panic” nightclub to use up the last few hours before the train departed.

And…. here begineth a usual tale…. ;) Once in GP, a round of shots was ordered, followed by some cocktails and then a bottle of champagne (!?!? don’t ask….) and then of course, the drink of before kicked in….. come last train, i was past caring and indeed it was about 3:30 by the time I had regained enough sense to work out where I was :) (and take this photo of the cool tissue dispenser…)


I was also now pretty knackered and didn’t want to hang around at the club anymore, so we once again braved the cold and headed out into the (relatively empty) streets of Shibuya. And then froze. So very quickly ran into a nearby karaoke building, hired a room ……. and went to sleep :)
Believe it or not, Tuesday I actually DIDN’T go out ;) Instead, staying an hour or so after work to talk with Haruna about random Nova topics :)
The 14th of March in Japan is actually “White Day” or the woman’s valentines (not sure if I wrote before, but valentines is for men in Japan - they don’t get the woman a gift) - however in our household it was reversed, so when I got back, I had the following waiting for me :)

Oishiiiiii! :D Infact, I am just finishing it off now - and jolly nice it is too :)
So, rar, I think I’ve done it - once again up to date. I got paid today (luckily) so am safe in the knowledge that I didn’t overspend toooo much ;) Though I definately don’t have any “over” money, so will have to be very strict this month. I think I will lie low for the rest of the week (yes, all two days of it) - so don’t expect much (if anything) - and i then have just Friday night out, due to work on Sunday…… however, that should be my last Sunday working for a while (fingers crossed).

So all that’s left to say is well done for struggling through this entry, I hope you have enjoyed reading about my week as I did living it :)

I like living!

Wednesday, March 8th, 2006

So where are we up to, ah yes, the Thursday night. Due to Mark and Jimmy either starting late, or not working Friday at all, Thursday night seems to be “the weekend”. This time, after work, we managed to drag Kate along to a very cosy French restaurant just around the corner from work.

The purpose was pretty obvious, the work crew wanted once again to order a cheese platter. I however, had eaten a block of cheddar for lunch, so decided against it. Instead, I ordered the leg of lamb, which I must say, was absolutely delicious! It wasn’t cheap at £8 (but I am now living right) - but was a huge slab of pure meat, with a few potatoes added for good measure.

This was then all washed down with a few bottles of wine, which we all “swooshed” expertly, under the instruction of Josh.

Whilst it was a nice place and everything, the conversation once again turned to books and movies, of which i knew nothing, so was starting to feel a little left out and wondering if I should go. Decided against this in the end though as figured as the night went on, there must be one topic that will pop up that I knew about (where’s Helen when you need her!)

Before leaving, the guys all indulged in a glass of Port (which I really couldn’t afford, no matter how much I wanted to “live”) - which I had never had before and was actually very nice. I think next time, I might save up especially :)
Anyhow, after here, it was decided to go to ASSO to grab a coffee before the last train, however, horror! On arriving there, we found it closed. Not really wanting to end the night just yet, it was suggested we head to another coffee bar on the other side of the tracks - however, yup, this was closed to.

“Ah heck to it, let’s just go to another bar instead” was the suggestion, and seeing as it seemed like a pretty good one, was thus accepted. So a few minutes later, we found ourself in a “carribean” style bar, where a most fantastic drink was discovered!!! I think it was called Rum and Cow, which basically equated to: Dark rum, Milk, Sugar and Butter - all heated up. It was fantastic, though perhaps more a bed time drink :) I have been raving to Seiko about it, so I need to go and buy some rum to make it here.

By now, the conversation had turned more to something I was able to talk about, so was having a much better time - until about 2am, when the bar closed - not quite wanting to let anything finish, it was decided ANOTHER bar should be visited! lol…

First however, was the obligatory “man fight” outside the bar, with Jimmy setting onto Josh. All was going quite well, until I got a bit too close and a (badly?) aimed kick (at full force I might add) from Josh hit me square in the knackers :eek: - haha, it hurt quite a bit, but i couldn’t stop laughing, I really wish someone had filmed it - all I could picture was just You’ve Been Framed or something and how much I laugh at that, so it seemed only right to laugh at my self.

To his credit, Josh did offer to take a “retaliation kick”, but it really wasn’t so much of an issue :)
So finally, we headed on to the next bar (though minus Mark now, who had to depart) which was a small affair, full of the locals. After talking aimlessly for about 30 minutes, the young girl opposite and her friend (who later turned out to be her music teacher) started to strike up conversation. This was great for Josh, who understands quite a bit, however this left me kinda blank. To compensate for my seemingly stupidity, after every question I tried to look as clueless as possible, which always brought the girl out with a “kawaii!!” (cute) - well, better to get something out of the situation :)
I think it was about 4:30 when I finally left, though not before taking this incredibly gay looking photo of Josh, which I am sure he is very proud of ! lol…


Friday was just a usual work affair, I had decided not to go out and just stay home to conserve energy so I would be ready for Seiko’s birthday on Saturday……

Saturday comes!

Though not officially her birthday (it’s tomorrow) - she had chosen this weekend to hold her celebrations.

5:45 and first stop the newly opened Icebar in Roppongi, which was housed in a pretty impressive building…


So an Icebar? Let me explain… well it’s quite simple really…. just, everything is made of ice!!

Be it the glasses….


The tables….


And even the walls….


Even more amusing, due to the extreme temperatures inside (well obviously everything had to be kept below 0) - you had to wear a “cape” type thing along with a pair of mittens (this also allowed you to sit on the ice chairs without getting you bum wet!)…

Aren’t we all a happy bunch :)

The Icebar was £17 in total, which included one drink. I think good for a one time experience, but I doubt I would make it a regular. For a start, it was freezing (well duh!) and after about 30 minutes the gloves seemed to lose their effectiveness. It makes me wonder about the market they have though, as all of us felt the same - so I wonder how long it will actually last …. (there were about 10 people in there with us…)

The Icebar done, it was off up to our all time favourite “Hub” in Roppongi, where Seiko had booked the back section - very posh :) When we got there, to our delight, happy hour was running, which meant all drinks were half price for the next hour or so.

I think it’s safe to say me and Toshi certainly made the most of this, ordering in two at a time, drinking one at the bar and then ordering some more…. lol…. well, you need to make the most of a good offer right?

For veteran readers that saw my cake before, this was nothing compared to the ABSOLUTELY ENOURMOUS example that was produced for Seiko, I don’t think the photos do it justice, but this thing was massive. To carry it there in the first place required two people and I dread to think how much it had cost…. see for yourself…


I don’t think it was all eaten in the end, though Toshi did do his best… ;)

Come 10:30pm or so, it was once again time to move on, with Muse being the end target, though not before stopping off at a Hawaiian bar called “Be Sun” - where ever more alcohol was consumed (and judging by the colour of Seiko, it seemed she was nearing her limit ;))


I even picked up this rather fetching flower (though not as good as the christmas tree I had at christmas :D)


With the colour of Seiko now fast changing, it was figured now would be a good time to get her to Muse before she completely passed out …..


So onto Muse it was…. I could drag this story out, but really, there is no need. I will give the following key bits of information, and you can work the rest out for yourselves….

Arriving in Muse, Seiko ordered a white wine…. followed by a red wine….

Can you guess yet? ;)
Hehe… yup, you guessed it, 30 minutes later or so, it was the obligatory “carry Seiko home walk” - provided by your fine young gentlemen Ben and Shimpei!! hurrah!


Of course, before we actually took her home, we had to go for another meal (!) - so to the Ramen shop (where Seiko fell asleep in the bowl…. I wish I had taken a photo of that, classic) - after which, the taxi was called and we were all whisked home, arriving back at around 3am - one of our earliest nights out ever!!

Sunday was the usual uneventful “sleep in late” and do nothing all day, until the evening when Seiko returned so we watched “Totero” - another anime made by the same guy that did “Howl’s Castle”. Again, it was a great movie, though perhaps slightly bemusing as subtitles were coming up, even if the characters weren’t actually saying anything?!?! At first it seemed maybe this was to “catch up” - but it soon became apparent, that extra dialogue was just being added! (For example, it would a quiet scene, with no one saying anything, yet various words would spring up in the autotext). It also got a bit confusing when they starting talking about “Sprites” until about 20 minutes in, when obviously the translator realised his mistake and changed it to “Spirits”! haha…

After work on Monday, I was in quite a good mood, so gave Seiko a call to see if she had already eaten. Fortunately, she hadn’t, so we decided to go to Bochi Bochi (the okonomiaki place down the road), also meeting up with Shimpei (who would arrive later on). I’ll try and get some photos next time I go, but for now, peruse the website, it should help explain it a bit better.

About an hour after we had started eating, Shiho also arrived, so we ordered again (the exact same, Pork and Cabbage, followed by the BochiBochi Okonomiyaki) - which I think amused the waitress somewhat. So it’s safe to say, by the end of the night (2am), I was quite full and had drunk a substancial amount of Umeshu (that has got to be THE best drink in the world).

It’s so nice to be able to live :)
So anything else? Well, tonight Vanessa from work is leaving, so we are going out for her farewell party. I’ll take the camera along and hopefully get some good shots (you will also be able to see who I work with too), Yumi is also going to be back in Tokyo (woot!) so will be coming along too.

Better get to the post office to pay my health insurance now (only 4 months late :eek:) - then off to work early to study for my next training session…. will do my best to update this tomorrow and not let it get so far behind again in the future….

To you my friends, goodnight :)

So this is christmas, and what have you done….

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

What have we done indeed - well had a very nice meal out… though, not traditional in any sense of the word…


Hehe - yup, our christmas dinner was @ TGI Fridays, though very nice it was too :) We got a mish mash of things and quite a few cocktails, though the bill only came to a rather reasonable (well i thought, compared to UK prices) £100 - so that would be £20 each then…

Even better, I was looking at the rest of the menu, and a burger and chips is only £5! :eek: I think I will be visiting a bit more often!

Then what, well, in traditional japan style, we then of course went to another restaurant (don’t ask) - where more food was ordered! (though i couldn’t eat another thing) - including this fish thing, where they burnt off the skin using a blow torch…. crazy…


I actually quite liked it, it wasn’t so strong, but after all the food before, it just became a bit too much.

Also, I think a night out wouldn’t be complete without one casualty, and fair play to Seiko for it not being her. Once again, Yumi showed her grasp of the whole alcohol situation by falling asleep on the table! :D

However, it then got better. Deciding that the table wasn’t so comfy (obviously) - then slid off it and onto my lap - where she went into a deep sleep!!! (The second photo is taken under the table - but Seiko had the camera upside down, hence the weird angle….)


But a great time had :) Just wish it could have been a bit more festive… ah well, next year… (maybe, if I’ve cracked Japanese by then…!)

As for today, well it was the last day of work - and not so busy. Voice was interesting - it started off well, then we started talking about customer service - soon the Chinese were brought up, before a full on China Bashing session began :eek: - but erm, it kinda calmed by the end (lucky, as the next teacher was Chinese… lol)

So now I’m on holiday until the 4th of Jan. Loads of time to Jvise, finish Gowry’s website and, most importantly, sleep :)
Oh, I’ve also restyled my hair - which I’m quite happy about - though I fear another cut is soon needed, just to trim it a bit… nothing heavy….


Ahah! AND THANK YOU DAD :) For the hair gel, definately a life saver….

And finally, I’ve now had so many people who see current photos of me go “WOW you’ve lost weight” - it’s just not funny. Indeed, sitting here now typing in just a tshirt, if I squint it looks like a Tyrannosaurus is at my computer :eek: - I think my trip home in Jan will definately be an eat athon! :)
Ahhhh! No wait - there is a bit more - that talk of food just reminded me.

So you know Gusto is my fav place, well the same company just opened a Chinese style restaurant neat work. So think Gusto prices, but Chinese food :) I just went tonite with Yumi, ahhh… it was so nice, so I can also add this to my list of soon to be most visited restaurants… just think, a TGI’s a day, followed by chinese for dinner - that should help put the weight back on.

Tomorrow I think I will continue my quest to find a new language exchange parter, I’m going to amend my advert to say i want someone who wants to go to Atom each week - at least this way the person I learn with I can also hang out with :)
So, Happy Christmas y’all…. I best it just wasn’t the same without me :p