Friday, April 24, 2009

Odaiba beach party

Some friends and I went to Odaiba the other day and hung out at the beach for a while. I'm in a skirt because I had to go to work directly after, lol. Check out that nice shirt I'm wearing, though ^.~
It may look like I'm about to actually hit the birdie in some of these shots, but it's probably a misleading impression. I swear I remember that I used to be okay at badminton, but I swung and missed the birdie probably 80 percent of the time, lol. It was fun anyway though, the wind was kind of strong that day so no one was exactly in top form.
As you can see, we didn't even have a net; we drew lines in the sand marking out quadrants for each of us (Naoto's not in these pictures because once again he was taking most of them. He did play with us quite a bit though).
Look at us all diving and probably all about to miss actually hitting the birdie! It was a really fun day, and I was sad that I had to leave early to go to work. I was also annoyed, because I didn't even have any classes and it wasn't even a regular shift - I was covering for an absent teacher - but even so they wouldn't let me out of it. I had to go in and do nothing from 5:30 to 10 because they're so anal about not letting anyone out of their scheduled shift for anything, even if there's nothing to do. At least my paycheck was a little bigger this time around... I really need something else to supplement it though.
But - I think I'll be able to get to Korea in June, barring unforeseen expenses. I was looking up flights earlier today at work, and I can get there for under $300 round trip. I can stay with my friend Jon who moved there this month, and the currency exchange is really favorable for yen right now and Korea is supposed to be super cheap anyway, so if I give up some shopping and eat cheaply and always do cheap nights out, I think I could make it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


We started off the day at Ueno by eating some massive crepes. These things were seriously gigantic; mine was strawberry and kiwi, and there was also custard and whipped cream and a little chocolate straw and a wafer and a piece of sponge cake. They gave you a little spoon to help you eat it because it was so big. None of us could even actually finish one, lol.
There's a little shrine at Ueno park with a balcony area with a nice view of the cherry blossoms below. This thing was a little statue that you poured water over for luck, then afterwards got a little cup of sweetened green tea.
Here we all are standing at the edge of the balcony area; you can see some of the cherry blossoms behind us and the lanterns strung along to light the park up for nighttime picnics.
Here we are at a table for lunch; there was an area set up with food vendors and picnic tables for people who hadn't managed to grab a space under the trees. I took this picture with my camera trying to get us all in the shot, which is why it's at an odd angle and our heads are cut off a little, lol. We had yakisoba and ikayaki for lunch (fried noodles and fried squid. festival food vendors are always very healthy here; other options were takoyaki (fried octopus balls) and okonomiyaki (sort of a japanese pancake fried and made with all sorts of stuff in it); 'yaki' basically means 'fried' and almost all the food was a variation on that theme, haha).
Anyway that's it for now; I still have some more pictures so I may do another post. I went to Chidorigafuchi and Nakameguro as well as Shinjuku Gyoen and Ueno park, but I haven't uploaded the Chidorigafuchi or Nakameguro pictures to my computer yet.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Hanami time

First batch of cherry blossom pictures! I have a ton more, but I haven't finished going through and sorting and resizing, so I'm going to do a couple different posts.
These first two pictures are from Ueno; I have a lot of pictures from Ueno since my friend who's a photographer was with us and took pictures of us all day, haha.

These last ones are all from Shinjuku Gyoen; my friend and I went and had lunch in the park last Thursday. It was a little windy and the cherry blossoms weren't in full bloom yet, but it was really nice anyway. The weather has finally been warming up, so it was great to be able to go outside and have lunch with blue skies and cherry blossoms.
Along with the Ueno photos, I also have some pictures from Chidorigafuchi and Yasukuni shrine, and also Nakameguro. Chidorigafuchi is probably the prettiest place in Tokyo for cherry blossoms; they line the moat surrounding the imperial palace and are just gorgeous. I'm going to try to go there again this week with another friend, since I heard you can rent boats during the day and ride under the blossoms out on the moat, which seems like it would be super fun, plus the view from the moat is probably even more fabulous than the view from the path along the moat : ) Anyway, I went there this evening with a friend to see the night view with the cherry trees all lit up, then we went down to Nakameguro to meet another friend and have dinner near the Meguro river, which is also a really nice cherry blossom spot with a good night view.