The End of Training… and, My First Izakaya

Dear Friends,

The first week of orientation has been successfully completed. My fifteen classmates and I went to training (grammar, presentation, teaching skills, etc.) everyday from 9-5:30p.m. I think Dolly Parton would agree that working 9 to 5:30 is just way too much. There were practice tests and practice demos, training skits, talks from Human Resources about sexual harassment and earthquakes, and a few videos; and by yesterday, we were ecstatic that not only did we finish, but that we survived to enjoy the long weekend (Monday is a holiday– Health and Fitness Day I believe).

Fourteen of us decided that the best way to celebrate a successful, though tiring week, was to go to an izakaya (a Japanese bar/restaurant) in Shibuya, followed, by karaoke. I’ve never been to an authentic karaoke place before, and it really was fantastic. We paid 1500 yen each for a private room and were served unlimited drinks for an hour (or was it two hours?).

* Shibuya– Imagine the NY Times Square crowd times twenty. It’s wall to wall people, pubs, restaurants, karaoke spots, stores… did I say people?

A few of us continued the party a little later into the night with beer, whiskey and wine, so some details of the night are unclear.

I should tell you that the trains in Tokyo stop running a little bit after midnight (some earlier depending on the line), so the night scene starts much earlier than in NY and goes harder. You can well understand the pressure of getting one’s drinks in in a four or five hour block. It is possible to go to a “Love Hotel” after a late night out, but that wasn’t in any of our budgets.

Now that training’s over, we take a final test next Tuesday, and hopefully begin teaching on Wednesday or Thursday.



*Drinking some Makkoli (Korean rice wine)… and I’ll say that it was the Makkoli that was responsible for my later actions.


* E still going hard… dipped into a Lawsons for an Asahi for the walk to karaoke.

* This photo doesn’t even need a caption; it pretty much says it all.

* This guy wasn’t even in our group. He wound up in our room, after someone met him by the bathroom.

* All the pictures were taken from the floor…. not in a fell out drunk kind of way, but in an artistic way.* C rocked it out, and never took his tie off… not after dancing, spinning, and singing “Hotel California.”

Friends, that’s where we’ll leave it. That was the first bit of partying in Tokyo, and judging by the scene, there’re many more great nights to come (I hear C is looking for the hip hop spot). Well done. Please repeat, “Well done.”