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September 28, 2008

Sumo!

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After eight years in Japan, I finally made it to a sumo tournament. It was really amazing!

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Actually, I have had a very busy weekend! I met Glenn on Friday night for what was supposed to be a glorious, two-hour, all-you-can-eat Brazilian Steak feast, but the restaurant was booked, so we settled for Tony Roma's (another first for me in Japan, by the way). Afterward, we had a few drinks at Legends in Roppongi before I rushed to make my last train.

Saturday morning I woke up early and was back on the train to go to Mito-san's barbecue in Izumi Tamagawa by 10am. If you time the journey right, it is about an hour and a half trip. At Fujisawa, If you accidently get on the local train instead of the express it is closer to two hours. Unfortunately, I wasn't exactly in the best condition for making judgement calls. In any case, I made it. I wish I could have stayed longer, but Max had invited me to the sumo tournament so after a short stay I was off to ride the rails some more.

The Tokyo-based sumo tournaments are held at the arena in Ryougoku. It is my first visit to the area and I would like to go back and explore some more. The Tokyo-Edo museum is also there and seems to be worth a visit. Anyway, we had amazing seats courtesy of Max's friend Takako. In the left-hand picture below, she is on the left and that is Max in the middle.

We were in row six, which is in the "sunakaburi" seats and basically means that you are in range of the salt that the wrestlers throw around to purify the ring. In practical terms, it means that you cannot eat anything there. On the other hand, we all got these giant bags of food when we left to make up for it. The right-hand side picture is advertising...they would circle the ring on an irregular basis.

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Sumo is very complicated so I am not even going to try and explain it. But, I will leave you one more picture of the sumo wrestlers lining up before the start of their matches.

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After it finished, Max and I went to Hub in Korakuen for a few drinks and once again I ended up on a late night train home. Today...I have nothing planned. Woo!

Posted by Kirk at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2008

Autumn Equinox Day

Today was a holiday in Japan, so everyone could take the day off from work. You know, like I do everyday! Anyway, Freda came down to Kamakura and we walked over to Enoshima. Summer ended on a high note: it was mostly sunny and almost 30 degrees! Ironically, I got my first sunburn of the year. I thought I was passed that.

I took a few pictures on the way. This is from the Sun&Shine 35 Cafe in Shichirigahama. That was the first time for me, and I really liked it. I ordered a hamburger and it was very tasty. Woo!

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Like I mentioned, we ended up at Enoshima and once we got there we went to another place that I have been meaning to go to. It is a coffee house on the hill above the shrine that has some pretty good views...here it is. I forgot the name, sorry. By the way, the coffee is good.

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I got home around sunset, so I went over to the beach and took a few pictures that absolutely didn't come out. It WAS a very nice sunset though...sorry that you missed it.

Keeping with the theme of things not working out as I hoped, I went over to the grocery store around 8:30pm and did a bit of shopping for breakfast. I was getting very excited about tomorrow morning until I got to the register and realised that I forgot to bring my wallet. I mean I never go anywhere without my wallet...but for some reason, tonight I did. It looks like I will be eating oatmeal tomorrow morning.

Posted by Kirk at 09:55 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2008

Machida DJ concert

Yesterday, I went to a show held at Ryoudenji in Machida. Everything was set up on the temple grounds, and it all looked pretty amazing. I am kicking myself for not taking my camera.

Anyway, there were food and drink booths in the open area at the main entrance and two stages, one inside the main temple and one in the garden out back. The temple is surrounded by trees so it feels very isolated, although they did have to lower the volume because the neighbours behind the trees complained!

We arrived around 3pm and stayed until 8pm or so, but I could have stayed longer. For the last part of the day we mostly hung out in the main temple, listening to the music. Because it was a DJ, I did not feel compelled to watch the stage and could check out all the other people instead. It was very relaxing and a big change from the usual day/night out in Japan (at least for me!)

Posted by Kirk at 09:46 AM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2008

It's still summer!

OH! The weather has been amazing this week. Blue skies, lovely sunsets...it really has been great. Yesterday, Laura came down and we spent the afternoon hanging out on the beach. We watched the sun set and headed off to Vahana's Bar for what is becoming our ritual after beach dinner and drinks. Laura was kind enough to buy me a beer to drink on the way home from the station, which I did. I am a derelict.

Anyway, here is the beach yesterday...

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And here is the sunset...

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Today is also looking great...I spent an hour on the beach this morning. Woo hoo!

Posted by Kirk at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)

September 02, 2008

One last hurrah!

Well, tragically, the beach bars closed on Sunday. I went over in the afternoon and stayed until 12:30am...so, it was a pretty long day. Freda, Haruko and Max also came down to enjoy the party...thanks!

Like I promised, I took my camera along and shot a few pictures on the beach. Once I started drinking, I forgot about the camera, so there are not any pictures from the evening.

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The bar closed at 11pm, but nobody seemed to be in a rush to go home and I was out pretty late. Not much else to say really...I had a bit of a hangover yesterday, which is one reason why I did not write anything until now! Hard to believe I have to wait 10 months to order a beer on the beach.

Of course, last week's daily rain has been replaced by sunny days. Now that the beach houses are gone. Arrgghh.

Posted by Kirk at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)