Monday, July 31, 2006

i'm SOOOOOO confused

Ok Motoko just called me voice. I was expecting it to be the "you are nice but bye" thing.

but instead she was wanting to know when she can call and we can video chat to talk about the relationship. and she even mentioned coming to see my hometown..

i am so completely confused. women completely mystify me. after being a bit depressed all day i'm now as giddy as a school girl.

Friday, July 21, 2006

ka-boom!!

wow work has been fun the last two days. storms wracked saint louis and we have been without commercial power for most of that time. that and temperatures in excess of 30°C make for hot and stuffy office buildings. and short and hot tempers.... bleh

oh well f-that it is the weekend now and tonight is D&D night.

Party on dudes!!

Monday, July 17, 2006

holy shit!

Well i have been eating better and exercising regularly and all that shit for a while now and i noticed a couple weeks before i went to Japan that my i could actually wear my pants on my waist instead of below it. You may laugh but for as long as i can remember i haven't been able to do that without them jsut sliding right back down.

Well someone at the office told me there was a health scale up in the kitchenette on the 4th floor, and i figured well the doctor said i had lost 24 pounds since the year before, and it had been another month, so well let's check it out.

263 pounds. I didn't believe it. So i asked someone else if that thing was acurate. They said itmatches what their doctor tells them.... umm wow.. that's 17 pounds less than the doctor visit a month before. I guess all the exercise i got in Japan really drove that down. Well just to keep things on the up and up i broke down and bought my own scale. One of those electronic self zeroing jobs. and it said the same thing. Holy shit!!

Well that is right at 40-45 pounds lost since September of 2005. And i know at my absolute worst, back in 2002 i was at 350 . so damn i'm down ~100 since 2002. I'm too scared to go buy new clothes. so i just wear the belt tighter.

But at the rate i am going i will hit my target of 250 in a month or two. That means i need a new goal. I wonder if 200 is too far out of line, i think it might be. I do not have the small body frame to be sub 200. I will not "diet" just for weight loss. What i have done so far is jsut a result of healthier eating habits and more exercise.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Social Sciences

Well the first full class of Social Sciences was tonight.. It was an interesting class. It seems that a number of people in my class are very naive about the history of how the americas came to be. Not their fault really. they had never been exposed to anything outside the bible belt. who here will tell you Christopher columbus and the Virginia settlers and the pilgims all waged a war of Genocide.

Well it is a fact they did. Of course if things had been different what are the odds of a United States now? Not likely. There are ups and downs to this kind of arguement.

I got home from class and fired an email off to Motoko telling her about the class and stuff. As soon as i hit send, and my gmail pops back to the inbox i see an email sitting there brand new from her dated the exact same time.

That made my day. I'm off to shave and shower then bed.

oyasumi nasai (good night)

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Back to Reality

I've been home a full week now. I'm ready to go back.

The good thing is Motoko and I are still talking. Via email, but at least talking. a 14 hour time difference makes it hard to make phone calls, and Motoko has already told said she doesn't like speaking in english onthe telephone. I could not get her to explain that one to me, but it is how she feels and i respect that.

That is just one more reason to learn japanese. Not like i needed another reason.

Work is work. things have been a bit slow gettin going, but i think it was just becauseit was a holiday week. Things are already starting to look busy again next week. Along the work front. I ask Motoko to speak with Naoko again when she had a chance to. If you don't remember Naoko was the friend of Motoko's friend Aki who said it should be easy for me to get a job in Japan. Well I asked Motoko to find out what kind of jobs she was talking about, and the answer was very encouraging. Apparently, Naoko has a number of western friends in Japan and a few of them work in IT jobs. According to her there are a number of IT jobs that require english. This is good news for me since i'm currently back to school to get my BA in IT, and it is a large part of my current job.

Nothing else really going on. just back to my normal life.

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Thursday in Japan

Well we are finally here. My last day in Japan. At least for this trip. It will not be the last time i visit Japan that is certain.

Originally i had figured i would just be leaving my luggage with the hotel and hop the Yamanote line for some random shopping for a few hours alone. I hadn't planned on Motoko around since my flight was leavin that day. But talking wednesday about my schedule for thursday, my flight was not until 6:30pm, and that i didn't have to find my way to Shinigawa eki to catch the NEX until 3pm, Motoko snuck in some email time on her phone, and later that evening offered to come see me thursday too. Needless to say that made for one happy me.

We met again at the hotel at 10. Motoko beat me to the Cafe Merry Coco this morning, by only a couple minutes she said when i asked if she had been waiting. I ordered a quick breakfast and we talked about where to go while i ate. Since stores really don't get open until 11 we took our time talking and Motoko suggested Shinjuku when i said i was originally just going to go somewhere at random. So we headed for the eki and hopped the Yamanote to Shinjuku.

I honestly forgot the names of the places she took me. I should have snagged some floor maps from each store so i would remember. In the first place i mentioned that it would be nice if i could find a shogi set for a friend, and that became our mission. Motoko foind the information counter for the store and asked the ladies working it. They made some phone calls and directed us to um the 6th floor or so. Once there we located their wide selection of 2 sets among a bunch of other board games. After purchasing that we wandered the other floors of the place for a while. Then noticed a Tokyu Hands store was located on one side of the building. We tore up every floor of Tokyu Hands. That place is just amazing. they have just about everything you could possibly imagine, and some things that you couldn't. I didn't learn until i got home that the one in Shibuya is actually the original and best one to visit.

After that we headed a couple blocks down and over to another place. The basement floor of this place had a what i can only describe as a food market. It was the size a Dierbergs or Schnucks except with 50 times more variety, and most of it fresh. All i could say was sugoi (wow great awesome, you get the idea)...

After that the rest of the store kind of paled in comparison, but was still very nice. As we started to walk around Motoko got a bit reserved and said she jsut realized that there wasn't anything i would like int he store as it was pretty much exclusively catering to women. Well i disagreed with her and tried yet again to convince her that actually i LIKE shopping. and that while i might not like to shop in this kind of store for as long as she would, that i do have opinions and a decent talent for picking out items. I am not sure is she believed me or didn't want to argue with me, but we walked around the place some more after that. eventualyl striking on the idea of one of her favorite (but not the favorite) shoe shops was here and we located that. I made some comments about shoes, and the similarity in her styles, she said that yeah, that is pretty much the only kind she wears. I mentioned that she had wore a green pair only once, and the brown pair every other day, and she seemed surprised and said "You noticed?" Are Japanese men so self centered as to not notice what the person they are with is wearing and comment on it? I know i had been commenting the entire week on her clothing choices and color choices. Motoko has a set style that she likes and while there is a lot of variety in that style, that is all she prefers to where. I can't argue with that. I only where collared button down shirts, and jeans, dockers, or shorts. So i don't have any room to talk.

This did lead me to mention Dwarf to her. As I had sent her a group picture of all of us over at Show-Me's once weekend she at least had a visual. Hert mental tag for him is "the guy with the beard" which does pretty well sum up dwarf. I mention this because we were discussing style and lack there of. and i said .. no. no style is dwarf. He has like 20 blue shirts all the same and that is the only thing he ever wears. That is no style. Motoko replied. no. maybe that is HIS style. I laughed and agreed. No one tell dwarf! (haha)

After we left that shop it was right about noon so we went to get something to eat. I was thinking maybe a fast noodle place or something as i didn't want a big meal before the flight, but Motoko suggested this Indian place that was close by. I had never tried Indian food in Japan so i agreed with her on that, but at the same time she said ok noodles. It took a few minutes but i convinced her that Indian would be good, and i had only picked noodles just to pick something. I was much happier going to a place she liked.

Well am i ever glad she suggested it. If you are ever goin to be in Shinjuku, let me know and i will ask her for the name of the place again. It was great and CHEAP. Apparently for lunch they have this Curry buffet. They have a full menu too, but i didn't see anyone order off of it. Basically we sat down ordered drinks and then went up and got a plate and little metal bowls for the curry. they had umm 4 flavors i think. maybe 3. Anyway put either rice or flat bread (forget the proper name of it) on your plate, then fill the little bowls up with your choice of the curry. go back to your table and munch. I opted for the chicken and spicy curries. The chicken curry was pretty bland. but SUGOI the spicy curry was great. it was not very hot or maybe i'm too used to Show-Me's wings, but the flavor was absolutely superb. I had to control myself to not get more or i would be overful for my flight, and that is just a bad combination. Stuffed tummy and turbulence do not mix. Did i mention it was cheap? i believe the bill was less than 300 yen EACH... that is less than $3. omg.. and it was a buffet. eat as much as you want... I have to go there hungry some day. That was a way better choice than noodles.

After lunch we hit another shop and i found the exact same set of measuring cups as the ones i own except these had metric readings on them next to the standard 1/4 1/2 3/4 etc.. exact same brand. it was funny.

Anyway after walking around a bit more we decided that while i had a little time to spare, there wasn't enough time to go do anything, so i decided it was time to go. We walked back to the Shinjukui eki, and i tried to say goodbye to Motoko but she offered to go back tothe hotel with me. So we went back to Shibuya and to the hotel so i could collect my suitcases. Then she offered to pull my carry-on along. I told her i could get it, i had got there by myself after all but she insisted. And well honestly i didn't argue hard. It let me stay with her that much longer. We got in the station and headed to Shinigawa eki where i could catch the NEX. She said she would see me all the way to the NEX and that she didn't have to be at work quite yet. Fine with me, because honestly i really did not want to go home. Maybe i should talk to Naoko (Aki's friend) about what kind of jobs she was thinking of when she said she thought it would be easy for me to get a job...

Anyway We got to Shinigawa and i began looking for the NEX ticket booth, i thought i had remembered seeing it when i arrived and that meant it was inside the gates, because i never left hte gates to get to Shibuya. We couldn't see it so Motoko suggested we leave but i insisted it was inside. Right then we wlaked by the information booth (nice timing eh?) and she asked them and they poined us down a hallway inside the gates. Motoko was amazed at me again but i had to admit that i didn't remember exactly. It was a lucky guess that time. We bought my ticket and had 30 minutes until the next NEX.

We talked, without really saying anything intelligent, except to repeat what we talked about all day. Honestly my brain was in denial that i had to leave. Finally the music sounded that hte train was on approach i hugged and kissed (cheeck) her repeatedly. Then the train was there and the doors opened. I lugged my suitcase on and turned to get the carry on, and she was already there with it. That got another hug and kiss and then the music played that the doors were closing. quick hug and farewells and she stepped off. The doors closed and i turned and put my stuff in the luggage rack. I didn't cry but i would be not be truthful if i said my eyes were not all watery.

After that, it was off tot he airport and security and lots of waiting jsut like any other flight... 30 hours after i woke up i landed in Saint Louis.

I do not know if this was one of the best things i could have done with my life. I most certainly hope it turns into one of the best things i ever decided to do, but i refuse to regret one minute of it, even if Motoko turns around and tells me to get lost, i am extremely happy i signed up with Kaiwa when i did and that i got to know and meet Motoko..

Motoko, if you ever read this, no matter what happens between us in the future, domo goshinsetsu ni, domo arigatou gozaimashita.

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Wednesday in Japan

Wednesday morning Motoko met me at the hotel at 10 once again. Upon discussing things to do, i said i was pretty tappe dout for ideas of things to do. I half wanted to go to Tokyo Disney, but when we talked about that early in the week Motoko really didn't seem to want to go. So Motoko said Odaiba, the artifical island in Tokyo Bay that Rainbow Bridge goes to. I said sure and we finished our coffee and tea and headed out.

There are a number of ways to get to Odaiba. Motoko decided that a boat tour would be the best way, and that started in Asakusa. So we walked to the Shibuya eki and hopped on the Tokyo Metro Ginza subway line for ¥240 and rode it end to end. It just happens to start in Shibuya and end in Asakusa. The interesting thing about it being a subway is that in Shibuya, the platform is on the 3rd freaking floor of the station. As soon as it leaves the station the tracks start diving for the underground, and it is underground the rest of the way to Asakusa. I did learn something on that trip. Motoko does not like the subway. Not that there is anything with the trains, she jsut doesn't like to be on a train underground. This explains why we always walked to the JR lines so much those are all surface trains. That and she had a company paid commuter rail card for JR lines. Can't blame her for that. How many years did our GenCon crowd stay in hotels in Gurney Mills just because it was on Bob's company's tab?

Anyway we get to Asakusa and purchase our tickets for the boat tour. Motoko heads to the restroom and i go wandering over to a map of the area. I knew i had been to the Asakusa temple last year and i was wondering jsut how close this was to it. I couldn't see any of the compound and i didn't remeber water being by it last year. Well a single glance at the map showed it was only a block and a half away but the buildings were jsut blocking the view of the 5 story pagoda. Amazing. Anyway we hop on the boat and it is a 50 minute cruise down the river to the bay and Odaiba.

A large part of the banks of the river are lined with sakura(cherry) trees. Motoko says that during Hanami(cherry blossom viewing) this cruise is absolutely beautiful. I took bunch of pictures of the scenery and a self portrait of Motoko and I. 50 minutes later we pull in to the dock and disembark. It is a little after noon by this point so we head in to one of the malls and wander around the sony style store and a few other stores before deciding it was time to get some food. Discussing it neither of us are want a large meal as we had breakfast so we decide on an dessert to hold us over until dinner. We ended up in a nice little place where we both got similar items. it was a paper thin layer of something that tasted like a waffle cone but it was soft, with fruit and icecream on top of it. Mine was oranges and pineapple. Motoko ordered one with strawberry's and i think chocolate. They were oishii (delicious).

After that we perused the rest of that mall and then took the free local bus to another one of the malls. Shopping around this one was a lot of fun and it even had a car museum (with a delorean!) in it. Motoko found a cute silvery(but not silver because she is alergic to it) toe ring at a kiosk, i never found any earrings i liked ;( But i did learn a bit more about her taste. she likes things with skull patterns. That just rocked right into my gamer senses. Then we found a jeans shop and Motoko was going to pass it by, I need to ad some background info here. Motoko had repeatedly told me over the week that she loved jeans, and that was all she wore unless she was at work, and then at work she wore pants that looked like jeans but were not denim. the rule was she couldn't wear denim to work. So i flat stopped and pulled her (not truely resisting) into the shop. She fell in love with a number of pairs but OMG the price tag on some of them was quite high. I go no idea why they were so high, i think Motoko mentioned something about all being special imports. But she did find a really wicked pair that had been custom stitched with a wicked skull pattern. she almost bought them but finally decided against it. After the little deal the previous day offering to buy her the iPod case, i stayed silent.

After shopping around the place, I ask Motoko if we can go on the ferris wheel i had seen rearing up behind the building when we arrived. So we worked our way around to it. It was HUGE. It takes 16 minutes to complete a rotation. You get on while it is slowly moving, the speed never changes, and it does not stop. I took a bunch of pictures from it, and as fate would have it right after i put my camera away after we crossedthe zenith, we say a 747 at pretty much EYE LEVEL. It was on approach to an some airport or another, but my god it seemed close. It was comming in staight towards us and slowly turned for it's final approach. it was wickedly cool. It was probably never closer than a mile or two but it seemed pretty damn close to me.

After that we headed for the eki right near the base of the ferris wheel. This traind is noting like any other train in Tokyo. Motoko called it a monorail, and i expected something like Disney's. Instead they were normal looking traind cars, but here was no tracks. it was on tires and there was a single rail in the center and it moved it by magnetics. so same principle as Disney just less expensive most likely. This train went two ways off the island, and we were smack in the middle. We took it back towards downtown Tokyo, which was basically 4 or 5 stops on Odaiba and then across Rainbow bridge, where we got off and migrated to the Yamanote line.

We rode back to Shibuya and by this time we were definately ready for dinner so we headed to JoJoen, a restaraunt Motoko had picked out. She said it was a Japanses/Korean barbecue. Well it was. but you had to cook your food yourself. After glancing at the menu i couldn't decide so i picked a class of meat and asked Motoko to order the specific type. She ordered a salad and 2 meat plates. First, the salad was probably the second best salad i've every had. I do not know what their dressing is but it was absolutley oishiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. It was simple, just greens and dressing and sesame seeds, but wow. it was good. At the same time as he brought the salad out, the waiting opened the middle of the table revealing a grill and turned on the gas. A moment later he was back with the first plate. thin sliced cow tongue. and a dish with three sauces in it for each of us. A lemon sauce (Motoko's favorite), a soy sauce (average), and some kind of spicy sauce My personal pick). It was not very spicy hot, but had a good spice snap that really gave the meat a flavor. Then the second tray came out and it was some thin sliced strips of sirloin if i remember correctly. Anyway, this works by taking the meat and slapping it on the grill until it is cooked to your preference then you whip it off and dip it in the sauce of your choice and eat it. It was a very good meal. After the main course there was your choice of ice cream. Just a little couple bite thing, but it was included. I asked for green tea flavor.

Motoko and i talked for probably an hour after we were done eating since this was our last night. Once we decided to leave we were going to go wander around Shibuya a bit again. We asked for the check and Motko wandered to the restroom. There was a funny culture clash at this point. You see in Japan you pretty much NEVER pay at your table. They leave the bill and you take it to the front and pay at th eregister onthe way outhte door. Well we asked for ours but when the waitress came with our check, Motoko was not around and the waitress must have assumed i had no idea what i was doing in japan. She handed me the check which i glanced at and set down on the table to await Motoko since we had been paying for our own almost all of the time. Well the waitress proceeded to squat down next to the table obviously awaiting the bill back, i was in shock. i hurriedly snagge dout my wallet and tossed some cash on the bill which she took up to the register and then brought me the change. By the time Motoko came back it was all done. I explained it to Motoko and she thought it was funny and paid me her part. As we exited there were other customers lined up at the register paying their bill. My Gaijin Aura showed itself at last. I could only laugh.

We wandered around Shibuya for a bit then i suggested we go to a dessert shop Motoko had wanted to hit the day before but had closed by the time we got to it. Man am i glad we did.. that was probably the best sundae i've ever had. Bananna, pineapple, raspberry & strawberry with vanilla ice cream. oi! it was good. We ate and talked some more then i walked her back to the station.

Next: thursday

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Tuesday in Japan

Tuesday morning Motoko met me at the hotel at 10am, and we discussed what to do for the day over coffee & tea. I had researched a bunch of self guided walking tours and suggested a couple of those and a baseball game. Motoko suggested a movie, and wanted to walk to the Meiji Garden. She wanted to walk because her favorite bakery was in that area, and she had never actually been to it before, only ordered delivery to the office.

So we head out and sine it is before 11 most shops are not open yet, but we do enjoy a bit of window shopping along the way. Eventually we find the side street that he bakery is supposed to be down and wander our way into the side streets. Not too much later we find it, door open and the nicest smell coming out from it. It is still well before 11, so they are not technically open, but Motoko asks the lady who was sweeping the entrance something i can't follow, i think if they would have any apple pies, and after a glance at the large American standing behind her she invites us in to purchase two. Thanking them we leave with Motoko simply glowing in pleasure of actually seeing her favorite cake/baking shop. We decide to save the applie pies to eat at the theater later, and continue our walk.

Back out on Aoyama-dori (Aoyama street) we continue toward the Meiji Garden. While walking past a shop whose name i never did look at, I spotted a couple leather iPod Nano cases, and called Motoko's attention to them. She immediately fell in love with them, but since it was not 11 yet the shop was not open. I suggested we could walk back by here on the way to the baseball game later that night since it is in the same area.We continued on then and came to the area that the Meiji Garden was supposed to be, but we never did find it. We wandered around the area for a good 30 minutes before deciding that enough was enough and I suggested that we just go to the Meiji Jingu Shrine, which was one of the other things we had discussed. Motoko agreed and looking around i asked her if she felt like walking or if we should take a densha. The Meiji Jingu Shrine sits just outside the Yamanote line eki in Harajuku. Harajuku is the next eki north of Shibuya, and we had walked northeast from Shibuya trying to find this Meiji Garden. I figured that it could not be all that far from where we were and thought i could find it no problem. By this time Motoko was becoming used to my confidence that i could not get lost very easily, and if i said i could find something that i probably could, so she said sure let's walk.

After about 10 or 15 minutes we came to a break inthe surrounding buildings that let her see the Shinjuku tower building ahead and to our right. Shinjuku for reference is the next eki north after Harajuku. When she pointed this out to me i smiled and said, "well that means i'm going in the right direction, if that," i pointed at it, "is Shinjuku and Shibuya is that way," and i waved left then ponted straight ahead, "then that way must be Harajuku." She shook her head in amazement, laughed and agreed.
A few minutes later were were passing a small shop and Motoko exclaims, "kawaii(cute)!!" and stops walking to look in a store. I stop along with her and she asks if we can go in. I agree, and hold her parasol as she begins to look at those half circle almost horseshoe shaped headband hair things(that is fancy guy terminology). She ends up purchasing two of them, although she only wore the off white one the next two days. Leaving the store we continue in the assumed direction of Harajuku. 10 minutes later i spot a Yamanote densha (all JR lines have different color stripes on the cars to visually let you know which line it is), so i know we are close. Moments later the intersection we come two has a street sign saying Meiji-dori. We go under the rail line, and there is the entrance to the Meiji Jingu Shrine. Motoko just shakes her head.

The Meiji Jingu is one of the largest shrines in Tokyo, and as a bonus for Motok and I there was a wedding that day. As we were passing through the bride and groom were getting their pictures taken. The brides kimiono was very nice looking and was a many layered affair that took 3 women almost 5 minutes to fold up appropriately so she could walk. The shrine itself is very large with a lot of detail around the entire complex. Exiting the shrine from the opposide we enetered, put us right at the Harajuku eki where we got on and rode the Yamanote around to the Ginza area to go watch Inside Man.

We arrived and got seated right as the last of the previews was ending. The movie itself was pretty good, and the ending was interesting. I don't know if all Japanese theaters are like this or not, but it is not general admission, we had assigned seats on our tickets. As the movie was starting Motoko broke out the apple pies she had bought that morning. They were every bit as good as she said they were. I will add the bakery is a 100rganic place, so i wasn't sure what to expect. But it was GOOD.

After the movie we took the densha back to Harajuku and walked to Aoyama-dori so we could go by that shop with the leather iPod case. It turns out they had 3 different colors. Motoko really liked them but wasn't sure about the price. I tried to buy it for her but she refused.

We arrived at the Jingu stadium right as the players were taking the field. so it was good timing once again. I would like to note that general admission seats in the outfield were only �1500($12). Reserved seats in the outfield were only �1900 if i was reading the signs correctly. It was the Tokyo Yakult Swallows vs Chunichi Dragons. Beers cost �700($6) some things are the same the world over. The score when we left at the top of the 9th was 3 to 1 Swallows. We left because we had not had dinner yet and it was after 20:30.

We walked back to Shibuya and settled on just getting a dessert instead of a full meal. We talked and I walked Motoko back to the eki so she could go home. I walked back to the hotel and after taking a shower, i filled the tub for a hot soak and promtly fell asleep in it. I woke up an hour later severely pruned, but my muscles had relaxed.

Next time: wednesday

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Monday in Japan

Monday morning we met up at Ikebukuro eki(station) at 10 and walked to Sunshine City to see the aquarium. The aquarium had a lot of neat creatures in it, and i took some pictures, but about half of them are blurred because they were taken with no flash. Once through the aquarium, there was a seal show going on, and then a small zoo. It was really fun.

After the Sunshine City Aquarium, we headed took the Yamanote to Tokyo eki. Because we wanted to go to the imperial gardens. We walked up to the gate of the imperial palace and I took a few pictures, then we headed towards the gardens. Unfortunately the imperial garderns are not open on Mondays. This was not as bad as it could have been because what i had planned for the area included a national garden also, which was open. We walked half way around the imperial complex instead of through the gardens and arrived at the Kitanomaru National Garden. I took a bunch of pictures here too. A few of them i think are very nice close ups of some of the plants.
When we exited the garden we still had some time to kill before we were to meet Motoko's friend Aki for dinner so Motoko led us over to a large shrine that was at the next street. It turns out this was Yasukuni Shrine, where World War Two leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal are honoured along with the nation's war dead. Personally i think that China and Korea are overreacting to the various Japanese PM's visting this shrine. Then again Japan in WWII did not occupy US territory like they did China & Korea, so maybe that allows me to take a longer view. Either way, while we were at the shrine, you could see the preperations for the summer fesitvals. They were puttin up poles and stringing lights all along the main paths into the shrine. I wish that my school break at Lindenwood had been 2 weeks later than it was, it would be so neat to see the country decked out for summer festivals. Of course i want to see the country in spring and fall and winter too.

Leaving the shrine Motoko wanted to catch a JR densha(train) so we had a pleasant walk through Tokyo to the next JR eki. We hoppped that back to Shibuya. While on the way, Motoko got a text message from Aki asking if it was ok for a friend of hers, Naoko, to come along because aparently they had something to do in Shibuya. I said sure and we arranged to meet up with them at one of the (billions of) Starbucks in Shibuya. We all met up and sat in Starbucks talking for about an hour. They asked me to show the pictures i had on the laptop, and they were all so happy over my nieces, just as Kimi was. Apparently this meeting was all i would get to see of Aki, because Naoko and her were going shopping. There was some kind of sale goin on. I could tell Motoko wanted to go, but she started to blush furiously when i told her that we should go along. At this point my interest was up. I finally got them to admit what they were shopping for. they were going shopping for bras and panties. There was some big sale at one of there favorite stores or something. At this point i should mention that Naoko spoke english almost as good as Motoko does, and she was backfiring anything said in english to Aki. I looked at Motoko and said "you want to go don't you? Fine let's go" but she turned so red it was cute. Naoko fired that statement to Aki and they all laughed. In the end i couldn't convince Motoko to go, but i thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Motoko's friends, and getting to see another side of her.

We all left Starbucks with Aki & Naoko heading shopping and Motoko & I headed off to dinner. We had done a lot of walking and we were hungry. We decided to try the okinomiyaki place from the day before and they were not busy, so we went in. It was good, though not as good as the okinomiyaki i had last year in Osaka, which is well known for it. After dinner i walked Motoko to the eki and that was pretty much the end of the day. I went back to the hotel and watched some random TV before passing out.

I'll continue the week later right now i've got to go meet Dwarf and company at Show-Me's.