On Monday we took it a little easier than the days prior. I decided to do a little more shopping near the apartment, because I love buying clothes that fit well! It was also good to practice more Japanese on my own. Once Kelly woke up we went to a part of the city called Mizonokuchi, which was home to many shops, arcades, and restaurants. It’s interesting that in japan, video arcades attract both the young and old. As we walked through trying to win trinkets from the machines, we saw an old man doing the same thing – he was a little better at it than we were. Another interesting thing I learned from this are was that CD stores often time rent, instead of sell. We found a specific CD for a friend, but of course, we couldn’t rent it, and had to leave it behind.
For lunch we went to a rotating sushi restaurant. The sushi chef and his assistant do all of their work in the middle of a conveyor belt where you can grab a plate of sushi, or order a roll based on the pictured sushi on the conveyor belt. Each plate was about ¥163 (around $2), so you could eat what you wanted at a reasonable price. Being off the beaten path, my dark skin got some attention, and a man sitting next to me poured for me tea, grabbed me some ginger and wasabi, and even ordered for me his favorite sushi! Once I began to eat, the sushi chef said to me “おはしをすかうのわじょうずです“ (You use chopsticks well). Maybe this hospitality came because I was the first black person they’d seen in a while, or had ever seen for that matter, but I think it was due to the Japanese people being a friendlier, purer people.
After lunch, Kelly showed us the schools she works at, followed by souvenir shopping for all of our friends. The biggest thing I noticed in the shops we went into to buy fans, teacups, and other knick-knacks, was that the kimono is a clothing choice for many people on a regular day. We think of them as more of a costume or formal wear item, but many of the Japanese wear them on the regular – I was sure to buy one for myself.
Dinner was at Saizeria, which reminded me of a Japanese Shoney’s. I ate something called doriya, which was like an upper quality hamburger helper, with rice replacing the noodles.
My legs were basically dead at this point, but it was all worth it.