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Tadaima

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So I’m back home in St. Louis now. I left the Keio Plaza on Japan time Monday at 11:50AM, and after a 25-hour series of bus, flight, layover, flight, and car ride, I was back at home. To be honest, I’m not really sure what everyone means by “jetlag” because I think some people mean different things. If jetlag means not being adjusted to the different time zone, then yes I have a serious case of jetlag since I slept yesterday from about 5PM to midnight. Stepping into the Wayback Machine for a moment, my last weekend in Japan was spent mainly hanging out with people, buying souvenirs, packing, and sleeping. I’ll go into a bit more detail, but I’m in a kind of lazy mood right now so this won’t be as painfully long as a lot of my blogs tend to be.

Spend the day Friday hanging out with Sayoko; went to LaLaPort but realized that there really isn’t anything to see or do there. Defaulted to lunch at Saize, which is awesome because I haven’t been there since last year. That night, met up with Yoko, Tomomi, and Shigeru. Went around Tsudanuma and I just barely made it to the very last train back to Shinjuku. I don’t think I’ve run that hard in a while. There’s a lot more effort to running when you realize the penalty to not making it is having to sleep in the streets for a night. Next day, Bryan made the long journey from Ibaraki. We went to Akihabara where Bryan tried to find a store shady enough to sell a modded PS2, but was unsuccessful. We also tried to go to a Maid Cafe, but there were so many otaku in line that it was totally not worth it. Also, we walked past one and saw inside but it was just pretty boring looking. Like the insides of a McDonalds, but the waitresses just happened to be wearing weird costumes. Akihabara has definitely gotten weird these past few years.

We went to Makuhari that night, saw some of the old sights, then went to Hana no Mae with Sato san. Shin san was supposed to hang out that night, but he didn’t pick up his phone all day, so I’m assuming something came up. Sunday, Bryan went back on his quest in Akihabara and I went to Takashimaya Times Square to finish purchasing souvenirs for people, etc. That night met up with Bryan again in Ikebukuro Sunshine City’s NAMJA TOWN, also known as the happiest place in the world. In addition to Gyoza Stadium and Ice Cream City, the place has grown impressively since last year. Good job Mr. Mayor. Cream Puff Town has been expanded into the Tokyo Dessert Republic, there is now the completed Relax Forest, and they even added Fortune Tellers Street. What an amazing town. Here are some pics:
NamjaTown
That night, I was able to do my laundry in the apartment complex coin laundry I found the other day. It was only about a 10 minute walk, and surprisingly the machines not only had hot water, but they actually got my clothes dry! Quite amazing for Japanese laundry equipment. I was almost positive I would have to hang-dry my clothes that night. Anyways, I packed up my suitcases and a 29 kilogram box of my clothes and stuff to ship off to the AEON school. Luckily, there was a takkyuubin delivery service within the hotel, and it cost me less than 2000 yen to ship the box next day to Ichihara. What a bargain.

There weren’t any real problems with getting to the US via air, thankfully. There was of course the “no liquids or gels” rule with carry on luggage, but otherwise things weren’t any different than normal. Lines at Narita were a little long to check in and then go through security, but that might have just been because it was Narita Airport, and not necessarily because of terrorists.

Glass Court Super Buffet

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Since it was raining pretty hard around noon today, I decided to finally try the hotel buffet for lunch. The place has a sweet name: Glass Court Super Buffet. It’s pretty pricey, about 3000 yen for lunch, but it was one of the classiest buffets I’ve ever eaten at, maybe just not as good as Vegas. They had so much gourmet/classy food there let me try and think of what they had: whole scallops, mussels, fruits de mare with uni sauce, crab, grilled lamb, and a variety of cheeses. Although it is pretty expensive, it was really good and I ate way too much than I should have. I’m going to probably go back at least once before I leave on Monday.

Next to the place where the guy grills the lamb meat for you yakiniku style (they called it Mongolian “Ghengis Khan” style), there was a RAMEN STATION. That’s right, all you can eat ramen. This is the best idea ever. Too bad it wasn’t that good for ramen. They should hire the Chinese renegade chefs from Bikkuri, and this buffet would be perfect.

I also got some dessert, and since it is a Japanese buffet they of course had an entire table devoted to different ice creams and cakes. Japanese girls love dessert. But they had some kind of special Hokkaido ice cream, and since it was such a unique flavor, I decided to give it a try. It was CORN FLAVORED ICE CREAM. Yeah, corn. It tasted like you would expect it to; a lot like the Japanese cream corn soup. If you’ve never had that, just think about taking American canned cream corn, blending that until its smooth, and then make ice cream out of it. It was actually a little sweet and not horrible tasting, but you can’t really enjoy it that much because you realize this is an ice cream freak of nature.

Nipple trip

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Finalized the schedule for my baby bottle business trip. Booked and company paid for flight and hotel this morning. Here’s the info:

Aug 1: arrive in Japan
Aug 14: go back to the US

Hotel: Keio Plaza in Shinjuku, Tokyo (link)

Hoo-ah!

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