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02/21/2007: "Izakaya with Tokyo Josh and Ray"
First let me tell you about our ragtag team of Temple students. In my long '1st month impression' post (which most of you probably didn't read cause it didn't have shiny pictures) I explained how lonliness was a big problem for me in my first month here. Being a homestay student made it difficult to make friends at school since I pretty much lived in China. Well one night I was wandering the ever-popular Myspace and saw someone with a Skyline as their main picture on the friends list for RBmotoring, and without thinking, I added them. At the time I didn't really care, but the next day I got a message from this cat Tokyo Josh of whom I just requested the add. His message pretty much said, "hey I think I've seen you at school blah blah blah." Confused, I went to his page to find that he lived in Shibuya and was a student in Japan somewhere. Surprised, I went on to search through his myspace friends to find people I knew from Temple...nani!?!?(Nick).
So I messaged him back and found out that not only was he another student at Temple, he was also the only other student who was into cars like I was. The coincidence got even crazier when he tells me he's from Sacramento and tranferred from Sierra college (the opposite community college to ARC in sac, where I transferred from). I was stoked, a friend who would actually understands my nearly dangerous love for Japanese sports cars who was also from the same town as me. It didn't stop there though, this doppelganger also ran a website dedicated to a blog about his life and experience here in Japan, pretty much the brother to UrbanSlide. The only difference is he only makes video blogs as opposed to my usual text and pictures. Awesome, finally someone else to talk to.
I made this quick banner for him to use, and so I thought I'd also post it here. Please check out his site and videos, they're almost as interesting as mine.
So I started kicking it with him at school and met Ray, who was also a guy into cars who attended Temple. One night we decided to go wander around and go to some restaurants. We left from school and wandered around from Azabu, to Harajuku, to Roppongi. I didn't take too many pictures, but thought I'd share the highlights.
I found a subway near Azabu. All you cheap bastards like myself will be happy to know that the daily special is still alive and well in Tokyo. That 290yen price you see there converts to $2.38USD. Believe that we ate the bulk of our evenings meal there. It was chotally awesome.
Near Tokyo Tower there is a super famous university by the name of Keio. In Japan, there have some equivalents to our ivy league schools. They are Tokyo University, Keio University, and Kyoto University. Keio has a huge campus with a large number of gothic style architectured buildings. The size of the campus is also more so amazing because of it's location in one of the richest real estate areas in Japan. Normal people aren't really allowed to just walk through the campus and they have fulltime guards walking around at all hours. Being the rebel that I am though, I picked up a piece of paper from their information booth and made like I was a student with a backpack walking between classes. I'm clever I know. Josh, Ray, and I wandered through some of their more interesting buildings and gave ourselves a tour. This picture above is of one of the entrnaces to the campus.
I tried to grab a quick shot of a Toyota Soarer tearing through traffic.
Ray(left) and Tokyo Josh(right). We hit up several Izakayas throughout the night. Izakayas are pretty much the most popular hangouts for young people in Japan. How it works is you sit down and order lots of small orders of different kinds of food and share it all whilst drinking your fill of beer. It's popular cause it's cheap (for the most part) and gives you a place to sit and talk for awhile. There are thousands upon thousands of Izakayas throughout Tokyo. Some are themed, some are normal, all are fun. The one where I took pictures was a chicken themed Izakaya.
Beer, enough said.
This is the kind of normal stuff you order. I personally like to buy gyoza but they went for chicken wings and this weird fried vegtable dish. Those fry looking objects on the right taste just like fries but are actually a root vegtable that's been breaded and fried with seasoning.
After a couple Izakayas we left for Roppongi to meet Josh's friend. I'm not a super big fan of Roppongi which I'm sure they could tell cause I got kinda moody. As I probably mentioned before, Roppongi is the foreigner center of Japan where it's common to see more foreigners then Japanese on the strip. It's also more dangerous and several people will constantly try to approach you to go to "their bar" to see "naked women". In reality they're trying to get you to a hostess bar where they charge you exorbent amounts of money to talk to mildly attractive women. It's not a good plan so play like you don't speak English when they approach you. There was one guy who had this lame line of "come to my bar 'Angels', we have angels there, but they were naughty so they were kicked out of heaven and came here". I about sunk my mechanical pencil into his throat. I also had to battle off some transvestites who wanted us to go to their bar. They described my callous response as spunky. Anyway, I don't much like Roppongi.
In the Roppongi train station I scoped out this guy. I guess he was really tired since he couldn't wait to take a nap. That, or he was homeless. If I was homeless though, I'd pick a less active place to catch some Zs.
The last stop for us(or me) was an English pub. I didn't stay long though as I had to leave early to be able to get home before last train. I departed from the party and walked briskly to Azabu to hop a train home.
On the way to Azabu though I saw this FD3S RX-7. Oh my lord that is pure perfection on wheels. I looked around for the owner, and after seeing that the coast was clear, lightly caressed and stroked it. It felt good.
Izakayas are a good way to spend time with friends without spending alot of money. If/when you come to Japan, be sure to check a few out. Be careful though, don't go ordering the whole menu or you'll see how quick things can add up in Tokyo.
Replies: 1 Comment
Thursday, February 22nd
mmmmm beer ! check your admin email , i sent you a letter a while ago . thanks for all the awesome posts . i have creamed my pants many a time over the pics