Christmas night we went out to a bar with our neighbor & friend Mark. Oyama’s pretty boring for the most part. The restaurants are nothing special, the people tend to be older & don’t speak English, and everything closes early (~10 p.m.), except for the laundry service headquarters directly across from our apartment. They operate vans 24/7 and true to Japanese style the vans play cute music whenever they’re, well, doing anything as far as we can tell. It gets very annoying.
The place we ended up in was about a 10 minute bike ride from the apartment and boy was it cold. Called Switch, it’s Japan’s take on a punk rock bar. The place was pretty interesting, and with about 15 people there Mark said it was packed compared to what he’s seen. I’m sorry we don’t have photos but I’m firmly against people having photo sessions in bars (though I guess if I ever caved and did it, what better place than Japan?). The night was a lot of fun. We didn’t even drink much, but there was a lot of good conversation and laughs and I had a great time.
We biked home before waking up at 10/11 the next morning to make our way to Odaiba. A new, happening section of Tokyo, Mark wanted to show us its three-story arcade complete with actual cars for driving games along with the classic coin-operated machines. Check back on Mike’s blog for more detail.
The three of us made some silly, girly, friendship photo compilation with complimentary fake lashes and I found Leonardo DiCaprio’s photo on the wall.
I didn’t bring the camera or iPhone with me that day, so check out a few short videos of some of what we saw below.
I also finally bought a Pasmo card (the Japanese equivalent of a MetroCard).
This is particularly important for someone as scatterbrained as me because for Japanese trains you purchase a small ticket per ride. You insert this small ticket before walking through a “turnstile,” but you must take your ticket out and save it because when you finally exit the train system you surrender your ticket to the turnstile. If you lose that ticket in the interim, they make you buy another one, and since a trip to Tokyo is ¥1480 (~$15) we don’t want to pay for that twice.
All in all, I had a great Christmas weekend.