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Friday, November 14, 2008

But, Miche, what is a Yakatabune?

A Yakatabune is a houseboat. But these ones are souped up and are used for evening time cruises along the Japanese waterfront.

The photos from this night tell the story best. I have many anecdotes to tell you that begin, "so there I was on the yakatabune.." All the tables had a cooking surface in the center. And we were given raw ingredients, and we cooked manjaki and okonomiyaki. And other things I can't pronounce or spell. Everything was delicious.

Some highlights:
"The Foreigner," and Aya had another drinking contest. Final score: 5 to 5

Oh, and it's all you can eat and drink. So we ate and drank A LOT. Except Steph doesn't drink so I had to drink for her.

The Japanese have a small Statue of Liberty, which we could see from the boat.

Another boat pulled up to ours and I am pretty sure someone sold a beer to a fisherman out the window.

Jun gave me a workbook to further my studies in Hiragana. It has step by step instructions, including stroke order which he was trying to teach me at Panda the night before. I am so excited, and even started to work on my lessons on the boat until the food came and things got too crazy!

Squatting to use Japanese toilets is EVEN HARDER while drinking and on a boat that is roughly the size of Codzilla and traveling at about the same speed.

After we were back on land our group took the train back towards the heart of the city, but stopped to do some traditional style karaoke.
Watch out, Asgard, Casey and I have come up with some killer duets that we've test driven in Tokyo.

The most fun was hearing our friends sing Japanese ballads and cartoon theme songs. Then Dave sang "Johnny B Good." We danced and they danced with us, and cars went by outside and it felt like a deleted scene from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The most touching thing was when the entire room, at Steph's brilliant recommendation, sang "That's What Friends Are For." The video of us all, Impro Japan and Improv Boston, sitting around a room overlooking the city, arm in arm singing about ever lasting friendship still makes my heart tug at my chest.

Our hosts then presented us with gifts, trinkets for our cell phones. This was the last time we'd see them on this trip, as they were leaving for a retreat the next day. Tearful goodbyes were exchanged, along with promises to visit soon in America.

The Americans had a typical walk back to the hotel, all songs and laughing. And then drank sake in our matching robes and had a pillow fight. You know, normal stuff.

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