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September 29, 2007

I am lazy. It's great.

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Well, we went back to the all-you-can-drink place at Tokyo Dome on Wednesday. It was OK...actually, there is a two-hour time limit, but when you are paying less than the cost of two drinks in Roppongi, it is still a fantastic deal.

When I say "we", I mean Max and two of his newly-arrived-in-Tokyo housemates. It is always interesting to get people's perspectives on Japan when everything is new and different. I have no idea what I told people when I got here, needless to say it probably didn't make much sense. This is a picture of Tokyo Dome from where I sat in the beer garden.


After our two hours were up, we headed over to the Hub in LaQua for a few more drinks. Max's housemates wandered off and I am still wondering what happened to them. It was a pretty lively atmosphere, helped in part by the Tokyo Giants having clinched a playoff spot. Actually, I am only guessing on that last part, but the Giants ARE in first place and there were lots of drunk people waving orange scarves, so I feel it is a safe assumption.

On Thursday, I went with a friend for a long walk through old Tokyo. We started by taking the river cruise from Hinode Pier to Asakusa, and in my organizational brilliance I had us at the pier an hour before the first boat. We had a coffee and watched all the old people get in line in front of us. Well, I love being on the water, even if it is a silly tourist boat, and we got the prime bench seats at the back, so it was that much better.

Once we arrived, we walked through Asakusa, Kappabashi, Ueno and eventually arrived in Yanaka. Unfortunately for you, I did not take any pictures. You will have to take my word for it when I say it was a really lovely day.

Yesterday, I went for a long ride around Tokyo. I went to one of my favourite places in Tokyo for a coffee. It is at the the entrance to Meiji Shrine. I am not sure why I like it so much as the coffee is ordinary and there are tons of mosquitoes flapping around. Then again, it is quiet and the people watching is pretty good. There is a mix of Japanese going to pray and tourists going to gawk and all of them stop at the entrance to take pictures, so you get a good look at them. Anyway, this is the front of the coffee shop.


After that, I spent some time in Yoyogi Park. This picture looks peaceful, but in reality it wasn't.


First of all, there were two pasty white sunbathers on the benches to my left. I say pasty, but I really mean they were painful to look at. On the other side there was an angry salaryman. Well, I assume he was angry because he looked like he wanted to throw his empty genki drink container at me. Maybe I woke him up. To fill things out, there was some kid who thought tap dancing on wooden planks with metal-soled shoes was really, really cool. Needless to say, I took my picture and left.

After that, I rode by a shop that I have been meaning to go to, so I stopped. The nicest woman in all of Tokyo helped me out while I looked at some furniture for the Zushi place. She was so eager for me to find exactly what I wanted. I felt bad that I left the shop without buying everything. I felt worse when she chased me down as I tried to get away, I mean ride away, to give me a catalog.

As for the title...there are three things I should be doing now: getting the Zushi place furnished, studying Japanese, and/or finding a job. Well, there is always next week.

Posted by Kirk at 01:47 PM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2007

OK, OK...here is an update

Well, it is probably safe to say that the worst of summer is over. It can get pretty warm during the day but it is always cooling down at night. So, no more air conditioning for this year, I hope.

Here is a picture of Zushi Beach taken from the rooftop of the building. Just because I can! It's nice, right?


I have not been up to anything much recently...kind of boring, but that is good. School is over (ya-y!) and I think I will be slowing down a bit next term: three days a week at most instead of every day. And that should give me some time to get things done. Like, getting the Zushi place in order, for example. I will be happy when that is all finished. I did get some furniture, however...


That is not the best picture, but the delivery guys came at the last possible moment and I really had to rush out of there because I was going to the baseball game with some of the students. I suppose I could have been late, but I was the one holding the tickets. Whoops.

Anyway, that was kind of a disaster in itself because we had 10 tickets but 11 people arrived. I gave one to everybody and went off to buy one more as close to them as possible. Unfortunately, it was standing room only. Instead, I went to the beer garden and watched the game on TV.


There is a 1,800 yen all-you-can-drink special, it lasts from 6pm until the game is finished. I did not notice last time, but we are all going back on Wednesday. There are even "beer girls"! Well, they do not carry 15kgs of beer on their back, but everything else is the same.

Well, I should make an effort to update this more as I was told today that a lot of people depend on reading this so that they know what I am doing without talking to me. Or something like that.

Posted by Kirk at 07:36 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2007

whoops...been awhile

Well, the apartment is finished. In fact, it has been such a long time since I wrote that in the interim, I have spent five nights there. Pretty cool, right? Unfortunately, I haven't done much in the way of furnishing it, although I do have some things being delivered over the next week.

Anyway, it has been a really busy three weeks. There was an end-of-summer beach get-together (no pics), two (2!) beach bar closing nights (Zushi and Hayama), and a typhoon. Since all of this has happened down in Shonan, that is usually when I am fired up to write about it...but I do not have an Internet connection down there. So, that is my lame excuse.

Anyway, here are some post-construction, pre-furnished pictures. If you look closely, you will notice that I have all the basics...pillows, iPod speakers and booze.

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I did order a rug, some tables, and a couch/day bed thingy and they will all be delievered over the next week. I am making progress...its slow, but steady.

Goodbye bars on the beach!
So, the beach houses on Zushi Beach closed on August 26th, which is a Sunday. My first two nights in the apartment were the Friday and Saturday and I had planned to head back to Tokyo in the morning. When I found out that Sunday was the last night, I stayed a bit longer. It was really nice...there were so many people out just enjoying the beach and having a good time. Me too.

On the following Friday, Hayama Isshiki Beach also closed. I really HAD TO GO. So, I did. And it was crowded! I was the last to order a beer at the Blue Moon (woo!), so that was good. I spent some time on the beach, leaning back, listening to the waves and drinking my beer. That was also good. On the bus to Zushi, I chatted a bit with these two women that had come down to see the musician that was playing at the bar. Supposedly, he is rather famous. It was kind of embarassing to admit that I had no idea there was a live show going on. Ooops.

Here are a few pictures of Zushi (left) and Hayama (right).

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So, a lot of people ask why the beach houses and bars do not stay open longer as summer lasts as good three-six weeks after the arbitrary August 31st closing. Locals will tell you it has to do with the jellyfish, which tend to hang around a lot in September, and typhoons. Well, we had a typhoon last week, and if the pictures are any indication...it is a good reason to close up. I imagine the bar owners who have been slow about taking their buildings down wish they had not procrastinated.

First, here is a look at Zushi Beach. The picture on the left was taken on 4 Sept...the one on the right on 7 Sept.

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The tide really surged on the back of the storm, taking a lot of the loose sand of the beach and undermining the foundation of some of the remaining buildings. I imagine 120kph hour winds did not help much.

I could not help but take the picture of the leaning bar and the fake roman statue. Very strange.

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I really like these pictures for some reason. On the left, you can see a trap and buoy that has been washed in to shore. That is OK, its the surfer in the background that makes it look cool, I think. I like the one on the right because of the lighting and the wind blowing the mist off the waves. It was much more surreal in real life.

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In summary, the bad news is that the beach is torn apart and the beach houses that had yet to be taken down were damaged. But, the wind and waves were good if you like surfing!


Posted by Kirk at 08:54 AM | Comments (0)