Saying Sayonara in Makuhari (Tokyo)

Thom, Raimu and Remon

Thom, Raimu and Remon

[24th in a series of posts about a recent trip to Japan.]

Time was short so we returned to the hotel, quickly changed, and headed to the train station to catch the Keiyō train line to the suburb of Makuhari, where Kanda University is located. Thom needed to return his Japanese cell phone and wanted to visit with Ishikawa-san, the IES Abroad staff member who had been so helpful during his stay.

Thom will miss Ishikawa-san

Thom will miss Ishikawa-san

With time to kill after the IES Abroad office closed, we walked to Kanda University where Thom showed Todd around (where a group of girls were practicing flamenco in the heat – ugh), and then to the New Otani Hotel, where we were to meet Thom’s host mom and siblings for dinner. After receiving our initial drink order in the rooftop hotel, we were ignored for an hour (very unusual for Japan) and the service was equally bad at dinner in their Italian restaurant. It’s at times like this that you wish that Japan didn’t automatically include service in bills; we had no way to send the message that the service was terrible. The point, however, was not the food, but a chance to thank Etsuko, and say goodbye to Raimu and Remon. It was bittersweet.

Dinner bill finally paid, we walked to a favorite hangout for Kanda U students, The Hub, a British style pub, where Thom’s friend Takuma awaited for us. An “innocent,” according to Thom, Takuma said he wasn’t sure what to order when it came to alcohol, but he liked whiskey. He ended up having a single and two doubles; I hope he felt okay the next day! (Strangely, whiskey always costs less than a beer.)

To our right, a drunk woman put on quite a floor show. In her ever-increasing state of inebriation, she hung on one guy after another, sometimes jumping up on them or sitting on their laps. Eventually, one of the guys, a friend or brother, convinced her to go home. The English speaking guys who had been humoring her toasted one another after she left and one said, “Here’s to not getting my ass kicked.”

Unfortunately, there were no “rapid” trains running after 11 p.m., so we made it back to the hotel about 12:30.

Next: Reflections

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