I had a fantastic time in Japan. My bestie Serena came with me this time. I got to see a lot of my old friends, including a few I missed visiting last time. Of course, I can’t see everyone I want! I’m sad I lost touch with some people.
We left Vegas on Thursday and landed on Friday afternoon in Haneda airport, which is literally in Kawasaki, the city we were to stay in. We dragged our luggage to a “business hotel,” which means it was a tiny, cheap, hole in the wall without even the room for me to stretch out in a straddle without having to stick my feet under the bed! But it had a mini-fridge, sink, and coin laundry downstairs. It was also $45 a night.
We dumped our stuff and met my old training partner friend Goto-san at Keikyu-Kawasaki station. I love Goto-san… out of all my Japanese friends, we’ve kept in touch the most, via text and sometimes skype. It’s thanks to him that I haven’t forgotten all of my Japanese.
We were pushing closing time, but managed to visit Kawasaki Daishi shrine, AND my favorite Sembei (rice cracker) shop! I chat with the owner every time I go, and he gave us free tea and we chatted extensively this time as well. Thank you!!
I think Serena and I went food shopping in Lazona and then went to bed around 7 or 8 PM. The time in America was early morning, so our afternoon was basically us trying to stay up all night American time.
Saturday we woke up, I went for a walk and got super sweaty because it was ridiculously humid. I did great hot yoga in my room thanks to the weather. When Serena woke up, we went to this city gym we researched, but they wouldn’t let us in without indoor shoes. I had forgotten about that! Flat out refused and told us to get off the floor. I offered to go wash the bottoms of our shoes in the bathroom, and she said no. I offered socks, and obviously she said no. We went away and I was so pissed off, but I knew the second she mentioned the shoes that I wouldn’t be able to budge her. She was Japanese! GRRRRRRRRr stupid rules. It’s one thing I love and hate about the country. A rule is a rule and she’d rather die than break it, because then she’d be held responsible and be dishonored and get in trouble. -_- mendokusai na
Serena and I went to the city of Shinyurigaoka, the second of the three Berlitz English schools I’ve worked at, and met my former-student friends Meiko and Moe! Unfortunately, my co-worker Jack could only stop by for a few minutes since our lunch breaks at Berlitz are ridiculously short. Thanks, though, Jack! It was great to see you if only for a little bit. We’ll visit more next time. It was nice to see the ladies again!
After that, we went to Shinjuku and found the Godzilla statue, where he peers ominously over a building.
Man, my GPS can’t speak Japanese. The red dot was somewhere, but the blue path to follow was leading to a completely different place.
Finally, we met my former training partner friend Sakura in the Inoki Sakaba restaurant. They had moved and I had a hard time finding it. It was in a smaller location, but still fun. We enjoyed eating and chanting the pro wrestling chants with the staff. Then they held a rock-paper-scissors competition and Serena made it to the finals! She ended up with third place. hahaha
Sakura-chan also got me a big chocolate cake and got the staff to make the whole restaurant sing happy birthday to me. She said, “Make sure you announce that it’s Roxanne the UFC FIGHTER’s birthday!” lol How sweet, making a big deal out of the UFC thing… I would have thought I’d be shy about that, but since getting into the UFC has been a career goal of mine for 15 years, I was so happy! 😀 Arigato, Sakura-chan!! <3 <3
Sunday morning we went to Groundslam's MMA class. A LOT of people came and it was fun! I didn't really know anybody except Kimura-san, oh and former training partner Emi-chan surprised me by being there! However, I was impressed with everybody's control, effort, and skill level.
One, two, three, Kamehame-ha!!!!!
We bought lunch at a super market and ate there.
After class, we went to Isami Martial Arts merchandise shop. There I got knee pads and elbow pads, and met Sato-san. Then, we went to Shimo-kitazawa and met my friend Mizuho and her new month-old baby! She brought us to her home and, I must say, her husbands’s collection of figurines is impressive. Ultraman, Godzilla, etc amazing! Fellow anime fan. hah! I’m inspired to get a glass cabinet like him to show off all my stuff. :/
On the way back to the station, we RAN INTO a matsuri festival! They were carrying the mikkoshi (portable shrines) and chanting and everything! I LOVE THOSE SO MUCH! I can’t predict when they happen, and only during a certain season, so it was so cool Serena got to see one! 😀
I was doubly excited!
We got foot massages later on and just went shopping before bed.
to be continued….
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