Old Friends + Plenty of Food

These two days deserve their own posts.

1 November 2014, Saturday

Class in the morning, but let’s please ignore that. After that, Revolve practice, but lets ignore that, too, since I did nothing there.

BUT AFTER. I went to Shinjuku and met up with one of my friends who studied abroad at UNC, Eri!!! She came all the way from Nagoya to see everyone here in Tokyo! I was so excited for this day. We had time to kill, though, so we went shopping for her sister’s birthday present. Saw a ton of cute jewelry in the Lumine Est mall, including crown rings! I’ve always wanted one, but…they were all about ¥1500, which I was not willing to spend…the earrings were okay priced, though. There were a couple of them that really reminded me of Sailor Moon.

We took an early train to Musashi Saki to meet up with everyone, but we were too early, so we went to the grocery store outside the station first. It was really interesting – it was an international store, so they had some snacks I missed from back home, like Snyders and what-not. I ended up buying some discounted pumpkin and spinach rolls and a matcha white chocolate bagel. Then we sat outside, and, by coincidence, Sachi happened to be in the same building! So we all waited together. It was so funny so everyone was late! But…it actually turned out that there was an accident on the train line. Masa-san told me later that it was probably a suicide-by-train…kind of insensitive, but, I wonder if last time when I went to ICU, the reason the train was late was for the same reason?

In any case, we all met up past the ticket gate and then walked the ten minutes to Mar-de Napoli. It was a pretty fancy (not super high class, though) Italian restaurant. Sachi did most of the ordering, since she works part-time there, so we ended up getting a feast. Salad, a seafood dish, four pizzas, and two noodle dishes! We even got special drinks (I got the espresso)! It was a lot of food, but everything was so delicious!

The salad

The salad

Seafood Appetizer

Seafood Appetizer

Something that surprised me was that everyone (Keini, Makiho, Masa-san, Eri, Suzu, and Sachi – we’re all associated by everyone studying abroad at my home university) seemed to think that cheese pizza and honey is a good combination. Everyone was pouring the honey onto their pizza, which made me intrigued as to the flavor the combo would make….but when I tried it….I really didn’t like it. It was some weird flavor. I think they should be separated. Honey does not go with cheese.

But by itself, cheese pizza, oh how I have missed you!

But by itself, cheese pizza, oh how I have missed you!

Uni and ikura pasta! I might be able to safely say now that I don't like uni...

Uni and ikura pasta! I might be able to safely say now that I don’t like uni…

I apologize profusely for this next photo dump.

There’s more text to come at the bottom haha.

Eggplant and Meat Pasta

Eggplant and Meat Pasta

Oyster and Tomato Pizza

Oyster and Tomato Pizza

 

 

 

 

 

Various Toppings Pizza

Various Toppings Pizza

Cappucino

Cappucino

 

 

 

 

 

Milk Crepe

Milk Crepe

 

Annnnnd, here we are, done with the lovely food photos! We all had dessert in addition to our main dishes! I chose the milk crepe instead of the ichigo cake or the tarts which I also craved. I hadn’t seen it on a menu before, so I went with it. It had fruits in it, too, so it was okay not to get a tart! And it was really a slice of heaven omigosh. Highly recommended!!! And the staff at Mar-de Napoli even draw individualized pictures on your dessert plate for you! Everyone had something different. It was really a nice touch.

The total amount came to about ¥2000 per person, though, which wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but the food was great. I also got the nickname Kuu-chan by Makiho….which I really still have not gotten used to (one person told me…it was like a pet name, though >.<)

Since it was decided (on the fly) that I would sleep over with Eri at Masa-san’s place, Makiho and Eri went shopping with me for a toothbrush. Everyone else returned home. We followed soon after. Makiho went on her way at Shibuya, but we stayed on the train a while and had to switch to another one to get to Masa-san’s station. His wife picked us up at the station and drove us to the mansion (what they call apartments here) and served us tea there. We chatted a while, took a bath, then slept. They were even nice enough to lend me pajamas ლ(ಥ□ಥლ)I got to try a Japanese tub for the first time, too!

November 2014, Sunday

Woke up super early – but apparently not early enough, since everyone was already awake! Since I didn’t prepare beforehand, Eri lent me her makeup – so that was my first experience with mascara and eyelash curlers lol. Masa-san cooked us all a Japanese breakfast of tamagoyaki, sanma (a type of fish), stewed daikon, rice, miso soup, and ikura. It was extremely good. It made me glad I decided to sleepover.

Japanese-style breakfast. Ikura probably isn't normally on the menu, though.

Japanese-style breakfast. Ikura probably isn’t normally on the menu, though.

Masa-san’s kids were hilarious, though! One of them tried to avoid eating the rice and only eat ikura, and the other had this scandalized face on when he ate the daikon

(*ノ∀`)゚o。アヒャャ

Masa-san’s wife left afterwards, and we were left with the kids! Eri played shogi with Nobu (who, like any other little kid, would sometimes make rules in his favor) while Kei read maze-adventure books with me. Around 10am, we left for a nearby shrine, whose deity is for studies. Shichi-go-san celebrations were happening, so a lot of little kids in kimono and their parents were around. There was also a chrysanthemum festival, so flowers were decorating

The flower sculpture meant to look like Tokyo Skytree

The flower sculpture meant to look like Tokyo Skytree

Ema (絵馬)

Ema (絵馬)

areas around the shrine. We bought fortunes (I got small luck – which basically told me to try my best and study!) and Masa-san even bought ema for me (the wooden charms you write wishes on and hang on a special place near the shrine). We also went up to the shrine and prayed. I took a ton of pictures.

We then walked to Funabashi, which is famous for its kinako mochi, I believe. One of it’s mochis – I really can’t remember. Masa-san brought us there for anmitsu, though, which I had never had before. Their system of ordering was really…bad haha. We got these small trinkets with our orders on them at the front desk, which were then picked up by our waiter like 2 minutes later. There was no point in having them in the first place.

The wait was a bit long, but Eri’s oshiruko (red bean soup with mochi) came quickly! She had a hot bowl

Oshiruko!

Oshiruko!

with shiso on the side. My anmitsu came next, with fruits, mochi, red beans, and agar jelly. I’m not usually a fan of red bean paste, but it was good on this dessert.

DSC_0274

Shirotama Anmitsu

Basically immediately after dessert, we went out for dinner at a yakiniku place located on a thin alley. Masa-san even said it was a very Japanese street. But not the most savory of places. The yakiniku was so good, though! We ate normal stuff like calbi, but we also ate intestines, etc, which were so good. I don’t know the name in Japanese but for some reason it sounded like “hormone” to me lol. The kids couldn’t eat the meat, so they had stew and bread instead. The grownups had barley rice, meat, bean sprouts, and cucumbers. It was really filling and amazingly good. I missed meat.

Various meats and dishes

Various meats and dishes

After we had our fill, Eri and I were dropped off at the nearest station and took our trains back home. Eri went off to Tokyo Station and I returned to Hiyoshi. It was only like 2 pm by then, but I didn’t go anywhere or eat anything for the rest of the day. Honestly, Japanese breakfast + yakiniku was more than enough for all three essential meals of the day. I can’t believe how filling everything was. And, as Eri told me, it was a really rare experience, and not something that any regular study abroad student would do or be able to do. I was lucky, since I know people in Tokyo >.< I’m really grateful for that, and for them treating me and showing me around!

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