Today, I tested out my commute. I got lost about 3 times, but I'll live. It's all one big learning experience here... This is a picture of my future dorm-ish thingy in Nerima.
I know what you're thinking, "She went AGAIN?" Well, the first time we went, our friend Atsuko drove us. This time, we took the train and really commuted. It took about an hour and 10 minutes in total including the walking time from the dorm to the station and then from the station to school. Not too bad-- I'm actually glad I get to experience a public transportation- based commute again instead of just driving and feeling like a lazy ass. Hopefully my commute doesn't coincide with rush hour...
This picture was taken when we were going the wrong way towards school, but either way, I get to see TONS of cherry blossoms on my commute~! Sophia University (上智大学) is a small school-- but I'm glad I'm going here. We went to the Ichigaya Campus only to find out that it's turning into the law school. All my classes, clubs and everything else will take place at the Yotsuya campus, 1 transfered stop away from Ichigaya. There are so many interesting places in Yotsuya. Our family friend actually worked as a waiter in this popular restaurant close by called Elise ^.^ It was raining today so I didn't really want to take pictures... but Sophia is in a really cool looking and centrally located place. It's like the Japanese equivalent of USF haha.
Anyway, after we visited and did a mini-walk about the campus, Mom, Yuko-sensei and I went to eat and shop in Shinjuku station... again. We were just there yesterday!! (Yuko-sensei was catching the Shinkansen to Kyoto from there, so I guess we had to go back) Anyhow, we went to this cool restaurant on the 12th floor called Sagami.
This was my awesome lunch: sashimi, tempura, tsukemono, miso soup and genmai rice. I think the stuff in the middle was a potato, fried tofu and a shumai sort of thing. The girls serving us were all wearing kimono. The place was weird in that they gave us these fancy cloths to cover up our purses and jackets that we had placed in the empty seats next to us. How fancy! (Or maybe they thought our stuff was ugly or something?)
Mom and Yuko-sensei had this: Anago, some fish assortment (that randomly included yama momo), yuba, some toro thing and then mochi.
After we finished eating, Mom made us walk around the same shops she and I went to yesterday that made my feet hurt. I know what you're thinking, "She went AGAIN?" That's exactly what I was thinking. My feet didn't hurt this time, but Yuko-sensei and I must have lost sight of mom about 5 times in 2 hours. It was amazing because we only went to stationary stores... I don't know how or why my mom finds stationary stores so interesting, but she must touch and examine every notebook, paperclip and post-it in every single one she visits. She and I are the similar in that we buy a bunch of fancy notebooks and only fill up 50-75% of the pages because we want to buy a different one. But I digress...
After I officially memorized the sizes and colors of all the different rubber bands, we saw Yuko-sensei off to Kyoto and went back to the hotel during the beginning of Tokyo rush hour. It wasn't that crowded on the JR Yamanote Line, but I'm seriously dreading the times that I'll have to endure THIS commute. Today, the old dude I was standing next to had some SERIOUS dandruff.
Today's dinner was at this yakitori/nabe place in Tokyo train station and we ate yakitori and chicken nabe... surprised? They gave us SO MUCH FOOD. I couldn't even take a picture of it. We had ordered a plate of 6 small skewers of yakitori and then mom saw this couple next to us eating nabe (hot pot) and decided she wanted to get that too. BAD IDEA.
The set she ordered included another plate of 6 skewers, a nabe full of cabbage, chicken, carrots, tofu, chicken, 2 types of mushrooms, and noodles and ended with a big bowl of rice and pork with two eggs that we were supposed to mix in with the leftover nabe water. HOLY SHITE it was too much food. I mean, it was off the chain, but it was WAAAY too much.
The ponzu sauce that they used with the nabemono was absolutely divine. When my mom makes nabe at home, she uses shoyu, daikon, lemon and green onions instead of ponzu. The restaurant we went to used REAL ponzu (which was better). Poor Mom... beat by the train station...
Added on to this morbidly obese meal was a mug of beer for me, a glass of wine for mom and a bottle of red wine we both shared after we decided that we needed more alcohol.
Here's a cool lesson you should learn before drinking in Japan: if you get a bottle, you must NEVER pour for yourself. I thought it was a status-based pouring system; i.e.: underlings must always pour for their superiors or women must always pour for men (as horrible as that sounds). Turns out that it doesn't matter who pours for you, as long as you don't do it yourself. GOOD TO KNOW~!
I'm moving my luggage into my room tomorrow, wish me luck!! Hopefully I won't be 二日酔い... because we really drank a lot.