Nagoya & Yakiniku

The next day, we’re all going to Nagoya and we’re waiting for yet ANOTHER Shinkansen to take us from Toyokawa to Nagoya station where we’re meeting our old T.A. for the class, Chiaki-sensei, who lives in Nagoya! The first hurdle is the trains. CIMG1579

Suzuki-sensei goes with one group to a far end of a very long platform and we get stuck with….Anna. And then she makes the best choice possible for a T.A. she gets on the first train and says: “Get on the next one.” and leaves us.

Okay.

So Katie, Oliver and I are stuck in the station waiting for a Shinkansen that we’re pretty sure will say “Nagoya” like the one that left before we could catch it… but the next one says “Shin-Osaka.” And we all think: “Wait, that’s not where we want to go. Let’s wait for the one going to Nagoya. We don’t know if that’s the one we want.”

Anna gets on the Shin-Osaka one because obviously the logical thought when reading a destination that is different than the intended one, is to get on that train and ASSUME it goes to the place you want. Katie, Oliver, and I immediately realize that Anna and her other group are no longer at the station. We call Sensei, Anna gets irrationally pissed at us. We, naturally, get equally as pissed at Anna.

We missed meeting Chiaki-sensei at a shopping center called Oasis 21. It’s also where, apparently, a Shounen Jump store is – the one store I wanted to find – but we can’t go because we’ve wasted all of our time waiting for the next train. It’s also where the Pokemon Center is located in Nagoya. The one place KATIE wanted to go. Suzuki-sensei could care less that we were late…Anna throws the most dramatic hissy fit I’ve ever seen in a 21-year-old. In more possitive events, while we were looking for the right subway, Suzuki-sensei asks this attractive dude how to get there and he LEGIT walks us to the station. On the way she insists he speak to us (Katie and I) in Japanese and we talk to him about why we’re interested in Japan.

When I told her later I thought he was attractive, she said: “You should’ve told me! I would’ve gotten his information!” Oh, Suzuki-sensei. Always setting people up! Gotta look for the high points!

We hit Nagoya (finally) with Suzuki-sensei (who waited for us at the station) and everyone (who got there on TIME) tells us how FUN Oasis 21 was and you should’ve seen it! It’s too bad you missed it! Katie, Oliver and I get 10x more pissed off.

We go to a tonkatsu place. This is breaded and fried pork, something Nagoya is famous for! I’m not a huge fan. If it’s not done right, the meat is dry and while Japan is probably the one place to try tonkatsu, I’d rather eat something else. But the food I had was beef and it was really good! I got put in a group with Alfonso and Sarah who both speak Japanese but Fonz is a level one student, and Sarah gets nervous about using the language so I get to tackle translating the waiter so everyone can order something they’ll eat! It went pretty well! CIMG1587

Next we go to ANOTHER shopping street that I can’t remember the name of…this place wasn’t that exciting but at the end when I was buying a gift the woman running the shop started talking to me about where I was from and who I was buying things for, what I was doing in Japan. It was nice, I really love talking to people in Japan.

It starts to rain like crazy (some more) and we go to Nagoya Castle! It’s REALLY cool if you haven’t seen any of the other Japanese castles…there’s a HUGE park around it with a tea house and beautiful gardens…and an old tower that you can walk through…the castle was destroyed by U.S. bombs, so it’s been restored into a museum about Nagoya Castle history, but the view from the top is VERY cool and worth a look. There are also Noh plays performed in the park, Noh plays are Japanese plays that are USUALLY about ghosts or old Japanese stories like Tale of Genji or something… I didn’t see one but I’m told they’re pretty boring… CIMG1620

Last, but CERTAINLY my favorite part of the day…we leave Chiaki-sensei and head back to Toyokawa for something Japanese people call “Genghis Khan” or “Yakiniku.” What it is, is a restaurant with giant tables with a grill in the middle (not like hibachi, but think like outdoor BBQ in the middle of a table…) and the waiters bring out plates and plates of meat that you grill to your liking, add the sauce you want and eat. It’s called “Genghis Khan” because of the “all you can eat” aspect of it. You can order other things too, of course, but all I wanted was the meat.

DE. LIC. IOUS. Yakiniku was by far my favorite thing we’d done in Japan up to that point. I ate with Suzuki-sensei’s nieces and her sister and it was fabulous…but be impressed, I tried tongue AND intestine. Tongue is good…intestine is disgusting. Very fun. Suzuki-sensei’s family is really cute and really nice!! I wish we could have spent more time with them! CIMG1636

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June 25, 2009. Uncategorized.

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