Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The 4th birthday celebrated in Japan.

surfing_1280x1024 Where has the time gone between my first birthday in Japan and the most recent one that passed by last Saturday? I still vividly remember my first birthday in Japan just as if it happened yesterday. I had my 21st birthday during my first trip to Japan with my good friends Lorenzo, Heinrich, and Monica. It was at that point in time that I decided its where I wanted to spend a few more years of my adult life in and I eventually made it back for an exchange student program and my most current employment venture. I am a little surprised how fast seven years went by between visits. Hopefully my life will continue to benefit from my experiences in Japan.
DSC00003 Last year I really didn’t do much for my 27th birthday. I think I went out for a simple dinner with Yuko and that was it. This year we planned things out a little better and we got a reservation at a cool Ninja themed restaurant near one of my schools I currently teach at. We’ve driven past the place quite a few times over the couple of years I’ve lived here, but we never tried eating there.
DSC00022 The restaurant, Izakaya Ninja was a pretty cool themed restaurant. You walk into a dark room with one door that opens from another room. A ninja jumps in and asks if we’d like to be seated immediately or if we’d like to take the ninja path. Of course I picked the ninja’s path since I wanted my money’s worth. We were then led through a very dark and narrow passageway to the dining area. The interior of the restaurant was very dark and well decorated with period era items and architecture. Well at least as far as a restaurant can go since it isn’t a museum after all.
DSC00020 The place where we were seated was in the “Tokugawa House” booth. A pretty important feudal house in Japanese history, which seemed to please Yuko a lot. The booth/table where we were seated was lit by a single hanging light and was secluded from other tables. Our table was waited by a couple of female ninjas, dressed in authentic ninja dress. The waitresses even spoke in a certain dialect/style used in the feudal time period.
DSC00010 The food was pretty decent but a little on the pricy side. I’d definitely go there again just for the heck of it. It isn’t like you can go to a ninja themed restaurant in the US.
As for birthday presents, I got a package from my mom containing a karaoke game for the XBOX 360 called LIPS, and a few bars of deodorant just in time for the humid summer. And from Yuko I got a cool digital photo frame and a free dinner at the ninja restaurant. Over all it was a pretty good 28th birthday. Hopefully next year I can celebrate my birthday with more friends or something. I am really starting to miss my friends in San Diego among other things.
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As we slowly roll in to June, I am getting closer to getting something new accomplished. I will take my 2nd level Japanese exam during the first weekend of July which is in just about a month from now. Hopefully the studying I’ve been doing over the past month will help me just enough to pass the test even if it is barely passing. I think I am satisfied with the time I’ve spent as an English teacher and I’m getting the feeling its time to move on and find a career that will lead me back to San Diego/California eventually. My real goal is to return to San Diego before my 30th birthday if possible. If I do end up staying in Japan I will have a good enough job to travel to America without worrying about airline costs.
Well, that’s it for now. Enjoy the pictures.

-edit: As of 2009, Izakaya Ninja closed their business in Yamanashi. You will be missed. Dearly...

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