Today after morning training myself and one of the other teachers had quite a long wait before our observations so we decided to have lunch together. Yesterday, when we all went to lunch as a group, we completely ignored the rousing and rather brilliant speech given by the orientation guy that morning and went to a place called Royal Host that's pretty much as un-Japanese as it gets without just giving up completely and going to Burger King. Today, myself and Katie, another teacher, were determined to be brave and have some proper Japanese food.
We wandered Iidabashi for a while and eventually decided on a really old-fashioned looking place where the menu DID NOT have pictures and WAS NOT in English. It was, strangely enough, in French and as it turned out once we got inside, an English one was also available. But there were still no pictures and I did at least TRY to speak Japanese to the waitress, who understood me but didn't care about what I had to say because, why would she? Anyway the food was great, as you can see below.
After that I had to make quite a treck from Iidabashi to Shin-Shiraoka, a small surburby place waaay up north. Getting there required a train changeover, which is not unusual. However, this particular changeover involved me getting off in Akihabara. Akihabara; nerd mecca. The place I'd been dying to see since I was 13. I didn't have any time to sightsee, I couldn't even leave the train station, but as the train pulled up, I turned around, looked out the window and I saw it. I saw it with my own stupified Irish eyes in all it's geeky glory. It was beautiful. I am itching with anticipation to get back and get lost in it.
Once I arrived at Shin-Shiraoka I had to observe three lessons, an adult lesson and, more importantly, two childrens lessons. The adult lesson was pretty much what I'm used to, and the kids lessons, although drastically different, weren't quite as difficult to wrap my head round as I thought they'd be. At 6.30, I ventured back out to the train station to try find my way home.
Japanese train stations, the big ones anyway, are like fucking airports. They've got food courts and department stores and shit. It's nuts. I almost got lost in Omiya station just from admiring the different cakes and food options that surrounded me. Thankfully I didn't and it wasn't long before I was home at Mushashi-Urawa. I decided to take a picture, but it didn't come out very well. On my day off I think I'll go a bit snap happy but for those of you wondering where I am in the world, that top picture should do for now.Irresponsibly reductive fact of the day: Japanese crickets are the loudest thing on earth.