Japan 2000: Day 4

So, slowly it seems we get into the right timezone … and so today’s program means CULTURAL AFFAIRS … and what other than the Himeji-Castle and Karaoke can that be ???

Early in the morning (around 10 AM) Hisako’s mom explains some fruit to a sleepy Don.

Notice the yummy breakfast we are about to eat? Fried squid, fish filled rice balls, Misu Soup … I know that some people do not like the idea of fish in the morning … but I could eat that kind of breakfast all the time! (although I am not a big breakfast person).
Hisako’s mom even found Diet Coke for me (i have a slight substance abuse issue with it, I showed first signs of withdrawl). Interestingly, though you find all kinds of softdrinks in those many many vending machines … but I have yet to spot diet coke !

HIMEJI-JO

According to the brochure it is the “grandest” of the remaining feudal castles in Japan … whatever they mean with “grand” (biggest? tallest? most visited?). It looks really pretty and is quite extansive. For 600Yen we toured around 2 hours and explored every nook and cranny. If you want to see the castle in action, pick up “Ran”, that 1980something Samurai movie. Below a collection of nice shots


Now we are getting to the weird evening pics, fun filled with drinks, laughter and song.

These are Reiko and Hisako. Reiko is a crazy friend of Hisako and drives her car accordingly. They were laughing constantly about things that I have of course NO idea what it was .. but fun was had by all. This place we went to “Ichirin” had a huge selection of “sodas” … all kinds of bubblies with artificial fruit flavors (like those gummy-candy you can find in asia shops) and legend has it that the drinks actually contain alcohol .. but I did not notice any, so I switched to beer.

Although we had a nice dinner at Hisako’s house, we had some “snacks” with the drinks .. and actually that was another whole meal in itself: Fried Squid again, sashimi, some beef-tongue something, some other meat, chicken wings with a huge pile of mayo …

I think this is the best proof that these drinks are harmless .. as you can see Don hugging his 6 empty glasses at the end. I think he worked his way through 5 different flavors.

Afterwards we went to a Karaoke place. This was a first for me, to have your own little room with all the equipment, 4 remote controls (yes, one was actually for ordering drinks). From New York I just know those places where you have to sing for the whole bar. The music selection was impressive, too.

The girl with the crazy laughter turned out to be actually a quite good singer .. and I keep being amazed by how quickly people can read Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji … I tried to read a long .. but .. ah well ..

I think on this (embaressing) picture Don and I give a wicked version of “Doo wha dee dee, dee dee dun dee dee dooo” (whatever the real title may be) .. Other songs this evening: Disney’s “under the sea” (Don), Sinatra’s “My Way” (moi), Ricky Martin’s “La Vida Loca” (this is where Don and I lost our vocal chords) and also Pizzicato Five’s “The night is still young” (Don knew the lyrics .. while I completly failed)

The next update may take 3 days, since we are going to Osaka and I will not bring my computer with me… so, come back again soon !!! And thanks for all the email feedback we have gotten so far !

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