Friday, May 12, 2006

Japan Day 4: Off to Kyoto

Renee knows people everywhere. It looks like we'll be meeting old friends of hers every day we're in Japan. Last night we met with her old coworkers and friends in an Irish pub that was about as authentic as an Irish pub in the States.

We're checking out of the hotel now and after a trip to the largest temple in Tokyo we'll be taking the train to Kyoto and the next leg of our trip.

Here are Renee's recollections:

After a full day of Ginbura [Ginza walking] we met up with Akemi [former co-worker from Council on International Educational Exchange] at an Irish pub called Irish Times in Shimbashi. I figured she would be a good one to find Irish pubs as she is interested in Irish men ;-); and it would be a nice reward for Jon after a few days of new foods.

We were also very lucky to meet up with Emiko and Chikako who I last saw at the Humanist Center of Cultures events in NYC; Emiko just got back to Tokyo a few months ago and Chikako and I had 3 years of catching up to do. Emiko brought a new co-worker Yoshi to help round out the ratio and help him get into the English-swing of things before he goes to LA to work for 18 months.

We all had a real good time catching up, getting to know each other and sipping our Guinness and nibbling pub grub…Irish-Japanese style. I still cannot get over the cute little half-pint glasses popular among Japanese; it is true that most of my Japanese friends get a little pink after just one of the half pints, so I understand why the full pints do not go over well. Jon and I made sure to keep pace with the crowd.

We, however, got to observe quite a more sauced crowd on our walk home. The subway system closes down midnight – 5 am; so when we left the bar at 11:30pm, most others were emptying out too. We were only one stop away, so decided to walk back to our hotel in the Ginza…it was rather entertaining to see others try to stumble their way home. As we said good-bye to our friends we heard serenades and testimonies of how sober co-workers thought they were; all the while taxies began to line the streets to take these folks home. We were told that taxi fare was pretty expensive, but even more expensive after midnight!

Before we met up with everyone, we stopped by the Kabuki-za Theater for a quick photo-op. Kabuki is a rather tough commitment; the shows run 4 to 5 hours, so I was ok with just getting my photo taken in front.


Dave said...

You guys look like your having a ball. You're going to post all of these photos when you get back, right?

Keep up the posts, these are great.

Cromely said...

I love the "Sapporo Guinness Kilkenny" Sign. That's great.

Sounds like an amazing adventure.

Dammit. Now I have to plan a trip.

Brian Kunath said...

I'm still drooling over the kobe beef entry.

What an experience!

Ed Murray said...

My jealousy continues, J ...

Should I post pics of my window-less sub-basement office here or on my own blog?