Happy New Year (obviously). Well, sorry I didn’t post yesterday, but being New Year’s Eve and all, there was more important things to do. Like eat. And eat. And drink. And eat. And watch crazy Japanese TV. And eat. And… well, I’m sure you get the picture by now.
So let’s go back to the start of yesterday when I said goodbye to Taka at Guesthosue Shinagawa for the time being and hopped on the Shinkansen to Nagoya, where according to plan I was met by Ayako, Glen and Masato.
One of my absolute favourite things in the world is meeting up with friends in other countries. It really does remind you how small the world really is. And is just awesome fun to boot.
Before we headed to Ayako’s folks place we went to the top of the Nagoya Observation deck to check out Nagoya from high above. What a sprawling city Nagoya is (3rd biggest in Japan so no surprise I guess). From there though we jumped on a train to just out of Nagoya, to Jokoji, which is where Ayako is actually from. A nice spot in the hills which will be a pleasant way to spend a few days before being a tourist again.
So this is where the family experience really begins. I was greeted completely warm heartedly by Ayako’s folks, Fujiko and Yoshi. And it was awesome.
Neither speak English, but that didn’t stop them both talking up a storm to me. From my end it was just big smiles and speaking back, with quite a lot of aragato’s thrown in since I tend to be being treated non-stop.
And this is where what will no doubt be my lingering memory of my time in Nagoya… food. And more food. And even more food. You are no doubt seeing a theme in this post.
After about 10 minutes of being settled in to Fujiko and Yoshi’s house, the food began. Some great Japanese indoor barbeque. Mmmmm. So this is where my belly got filled and has continue to be kept full until right now as I type.
To walk off the food (and get ready for the next round) we did a quick walk up the big hill close by to a nice park and lake. A really steep walk, but was nice to stretch the legs and work off the food.
We were greeted with this sign, which I found funny, but is warning against being in the park alone and to watch out for sex offenders. Not so funny really anymore!
What was more creepy was this crazy statue we found. Not even Ayako could explain the significance of the eyeball. Really odd, but cool at the same time.
So then it was back down the hill to home and for round 2 of food. Or more like Round 2a, then 2b. This kept going through our New Year’s Eve as we just kicked back and ate and drank and watched crazy Japanese TV.
You know the stereotypical nutso Japanese shows? Well, it was that. First of all we watched a traditional variety singing show that Ayako was quite excited to see again.
Glen and I basically had laughs at each act, as each act got a little more outlandish. So much fun. But the best fun came when we switched to some insane comedy show. We were greeted with this…
Yes, it is what you think it is. Canned air was being inserted up the you know where in order to elicit farting to make the contestants laugh. Yep. And even though Glen and I couldn’t understand a thing were were in hysterics. Food, beers, and laughs… a good recipe for New Years.
So the pumpkin hour arrived and we started with the traditions… more food. Soba noodles to be precise. Yep… eating more food at midnight. Holy moly, I was bursting at the seams. But so great.
I was hitting the wall, so it was bed time. And I slept like a log with full belly dreams.
Up this morning about 8:30am and I was greeted with this…
Yes, it is what you think it is. More food. While it is always a lot of eating, this food in particular was tradtional New Year fare. Really odd having prawns, fish, and vegies for breakfast, but who am I to break tradition. And there was morning sake to go with it. That was a first. But again, when in Rome (or Nagoya for New Years)…
The morning was spent having a soak in the tub and getting freshened up when Ayako’s sister and brother-in-law Erina, Yasu, and little Arisa arrived for more tradition. Lunch. But didn’t I just eat? Well, yep. But it was time for more eating.
The pic at the top of the post was part of the awesome lunch. The same as for breakfast but with heaps of sushi to go with it. Mmmmm. So very full, but couldn’t… Stop… Eating.
We all needed to walk it off, so headed back up the hill to visit Jokoji Temple to celebrate the New Year.
A nice but strenuous walk took us to the temple to make some wishes for 2012.
I have had a stellar last year or two and I reckon 2012 will be up there as well. Life is pretty awesome.
In the trees were messages of good will and it really is a nice way to start the year.
Oh, and Kit Kats. That’s a pretty sweet way to start the year too 🙂