Here, because I'll lose all of this otherwise:
The last Saturday we spent in Tokyo we went shopping. We believed this day to be John's birthday. It wasn't but we believed that it was and so we acted accordingly. Meaning, of course that we ate sushi four times that day. At different places. And drank. No matter what. Actually, I only went twice because then Steph and I got into a cab and gave the driver the address of the church I wanted to go to. Yes, even in Japan I was able to find a Catholic mass in English! Meanwhile the guys and Casey explored more of the city's sushi and sake population.
Catholic Mass outside of the the Northeastern part of the US is very different. I hadn't been expecting the sermon to be so conservative. It was hard to sit through, and made me question a lot of my faith. It made me wonder if I am really Catholic anymore or if I shouldn't really take those steps towards a Christian religion that is more in line with my beliefs. Those of you who know me best will say, "same old story, Misch." And the age old arguments I have against leaving are all the same. Steph actually walked out during the sermon, it was that bad. Afterwards I found solace in a long talk with John about organized religion versus Faith.
And although it was uncomfortable I am glad I went because in a week so full of moving and acting, I had done little in the way of meditating or praying and I needed the discipline of a full hour just for that.
When we all joined up again we traveled to Roppongi. Now, Gavin, our Australian friend whom we met on Friday had told us we had to go to Roppongi Hills. He showed us amazing photos he took from there of the whole city. Naively, I led the rest of my friends to busiest night club district of Tokyo. A place where Dave instructed us firmly to not talk to any men outside doorways and above all to NOT GET INTO ANY ELEVATORS. This was because all of the establishments on the first floor were legitimate, but just one look at any sign post could tell that decadent sketchy places dominated every other floor.
Nevertheless we imagined that Roppongi Hill must be a magical sacred mountain somewhere tucked behind the buildings and lights where we would meet some monks and sip on green tea and play tag with monkeys.
So we sent Casey to talk to one of the men in a doorway with whom one should never speak lest one find oneself on an elevator. She returned unharmed and laughing told us she would lead us to the Hill. We followed her across a busy street, around many corners, through some oncoming traffic, and ended up at a huge building with the words Roppongi Hill on it.
Yep. It's a skyscraper with an observation deck 52 floors up. Unfortunately the outdoor sky deck was closed so we all paid $15 to go to the top floor and look around. It was well worth it and we took some really great photos.
In our usual fashion we got lost on the way home, bought some sake in the Family Mart and had an epic pillow fight. The photos from which will never see the light of day. What happens in Sunshine City stays in Sunshine City.