Once Upon a Tanbo

Long Weekend

Posted on: July 2, 2008

Last weekend Ryohei and I went to Tokyo/Chiba for 3 days to see some friends and for Ryohei take his last test. (Yes they are finally over! Well he has one left… but its not really a big one)

I took off both Friday of last week and Monday which was a nice break. We took the bus to Tokyo and back which was a bit of an adventure in itself. On Friday, our bus left from Osaka at 10am so we woke up at the usual time and headed up. We took an afternoon bus which while being cheap (about 6000 yen from Osaka to Tokyo) is still very clean and spacious. It’s a bus that is usually used for deluxe night trips but I guess they figure it can make money in the daytime as well. Anyways the trip is really beautiful. The highway goes through rural Gifu and Aichi and Shizuoka and you can see all these rice fields and trees and tea fields… just inaka as far as the eye can see. I do have to admit I really like the greenery. Maybe ever if we do end up living in rural Niigata I’ll be ok… as long as I have a Shinkansen nearby to escape to Tokyo every so often to see my buddies. ϑ Anyways, the bus ride takes about 8 hours including stops, and since we got into Tokyo at about 6pm on a Friday there was a ton of traffic and we ended up being about an hour late.

After that we went straight on the train to my best Japanese friend Ikuko’s house. (She lives with her parents and two brothers still, so I guess maybe I should say we went to her 実家) She lives very close to Nishi-Funabashi but not close enough that when we got off the train at her station the air just tasted different. It was clean country air. She met the two of us at the station and walked us to her house where her mom had prepared us a delicious sashimi and vegetable dinner. That family eats so much! Neither Ryohei or I could finish our whole serving. We were both pretty tired though and crashed early.

The next day, we decided to go to the Funabashi Lalaport. I have never been to one before but it was so huge and amazing. It reminded me of a mall back home, and was like nothing I have ever seen in Japan before! Ikko’s friend Micchan also joined us at the mall with her 10 month old son Kaira. He was such a cutie! Of course having a baby around Ryohei was in heaven. Micchan let him look after Kai-kun while she was trying some stuff on and they seemed to really take to each other. In fact when I tried to hold him he reached out for Ryohei instead… hmm… why do I have a feeling this is a foreshadowing of whats to come in the future (lol) Naw, I’m happy my husband loves kids, and they seem to love him back!

Anyways we were at the mall for a long time! Maybe 6 or 7 hours – it was crazy! I actually end up buying something too. A cute short sleeved flower print black top. I usually don’t buy a lot of “Japanese fashion” type clothes… esp. since with my curves the stuff that is less fitted just ends up looking like a lumpy potato sack on me.. but this one actually looked pretty good! Its also very light so I guess it will be nice for summer! After that we got YES COLD STONE ICE CREAM! There was a store at the Lalaport… I hadn’t had it for almost a year or so! It was so yummy!! I treated Ikko to one as well since she had never had it before! We were all so smiley afterwards.

After the mall, we said bye bye to Micchan and Kaira and headed off to meet Ikko’s parents at a funky Chinese restaurant. They treated us to a ton of yummy Chinese food in celebration of our marriage. I was so touched… to be honest no one, not even us, have really done anything to celebrating us getting married, so I was really surprised and happy to have at least a little bit of a celebration with my favorite Japanese family! We ate soo much (Again) I really don’t want to think about how much, but everything was so yummy!! At the end I ordered this purple imo pudding which was also delicious!! Ahh… I’m still drooling.

After that we went home, watched some TV with the family, and then went to bed. Ryohei had his test early in the morning so he wanted to make sure that he got a good nights sleep. I was also pretty exhausted from walking around all day so I passed out pretty quickly as well. The next morning when I woke up Ryohei was gone and I didn’t have plans until the afternoon, so I had girl talk with Ikko and her mom. Ikko recently came back from a two year job in Germany and is trying to find work in Japan as well as dealing with a long distance relationship with her German boyfriend who wants her to come back there. We had a long talk about all of it… I hope that some of the advice that I gave her helped! We talked a lot about being a foreign wife and how things have to be sacrificed. She’s definitely not ready to settle down yet, but I get the feeling she wouldn’t mind not living in Japan. It’s funny… since that’s pretty much exactly what I’m going to be doing. That’s ok though because right now I really can’t see myself living in America.. although if anyone offered me a house in Europe I would not be turning them down.

In the afternoon, I headed from Chiba down to Kanagawa to a BBQ party held by m friend Ritsuko and her boyfriend Dave. Of course, it was pouring rain all day, but the BBQ wasn’t cancelled, it was instead held under a bridge, which wasn’t too bad except the wind was so strong it kept blowing in at us and pretty much I was soaked the 5 hours I was there. (Thankfully I haven’t caught a cold …yet) The BBQ was ok… to be honest the only people I know were my friend and her boyfriend. It was a mix of foreigners and Japanese people but they were mostly 1st years in university or fledgling English teachers and while it was interesting to meet people, after a little bit the conversation just stopped. I’m the type of person where if I can find common ground with a new person I’m talking to – I can go forever but if its someone who I can’t really relate to I find it really hard to keep a conversation going. I really don’t interact with big groups of people, in particular young foreign guys, so it was a good time.. I felt really drained by the end.

Ryohei finished his test by that point and we met up in Shibuya to wait for our return bus. We spent about 2-3 hours just eating and hanging out at the Royal Host before heading to Tokyo to catch our 10:30pm bus. We arrived back in Kobe at about 8am. I also had taken Monday off so we pretty much spent the day around the house recuperating. I have gotten Ryohei into the tv series CSI: Miami recently so we rented some DVDs from Tsutaya and just vegged. And that was how my long weekend ended lol.
Anyways.. I still have more to write about, so that will come in a separate post.


1 Response to "Long Weekend"

sorry about the weekend! >< i was exhausted when i got back from chiba, managed to make it to the art event for the last hour and then had to practically drag myself home before i crashed. next time…definitely!!

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