Sooooooooo... Last night I had my welcome enkai (party)!!!
The Japanese LOVE enkais... and now I can see why... they work sooooo hard and such long hours that its only natural they need an outlet to allow themselves to let loose and party hard! The main enkais at school are: welcome enkais - when you start the job, farewell enkais - when you leave, end of semester enkais and end of the year enkais.
For my welcome enkai they booked a really cute little mom and pop traditional Japanese style restaurant which served "Kaiseki" style Japanese food.
With Kaiseki - presentation is KEY. Everything looked gorgeous!!!!! Even all of the plates, mugs, bowls and glasses were hand crafted. Some of the dishes looked like artwork and you didn't want to touch it!!!
Our night began with an artistic array of colorful fish patties, then came sushi, and then some sort of delicious soup which looked like a piece of modern art... and then this beautiful plate of sashimi which is pictured here. When I asked what the creature was on the bottom of the plate- they told me it was an alien fish with lots of scary legs who lives on the bottom of the ocean. hrmmm... um... ok! eat up!
The food didn't stop there... after the sashimi came loads more such as a baked crossoint over a bowl of onion/miso/some kind of soup... and this amazingly delicious baked apple with some sort of cheese/apple center filling. MMMMmmm.....
I also ate my first UNI!!! (sea urchin) The teachers were sooooo excited they were able to witness my first bite of uni. They couldn't believe I had never had it before. It was surprisingly good!! but maybe because it was actually cooked into this egg stew soup baked kinda dish. :)
I think the teachers were shocked at how willing I was to try everything. I did come across one dish I wasn't too excited to try....
ewww... I took a picture of it here in this soup... it looked like a weird distorted white brain. The teachers were laughing hysterically when they saw the look of utter disgust and fear on my face when they told me what it was. But hell - I ate goat head and intestines in Kenya - so what harm can a little fish sperm do me?!?!? I took a bite and it melted in my mouth. soooooo bizarre...... I left it after 2 bites. Was edible but definitely not my favorite dish I've had in Japan! ;)
After we finished the meal we headed out for the nijikai (after party!). One of the teachers took us to this awesome piano/record bar hidden away in Susukino. The owner of the joint was so cool and knew heaps and heaps about music. We listened to the Police, the Rasberries, Michael Jackson, John Lennon, and a bunch of obscure tunes while munching on tofu topped with wasabi, and sweet Japanese style popcorn, almond chocolates, fried rice cakes, and these disgusting wasabi flavored crunchy balls.
Before we went home I dragged the remaining teachers into a purikura booth!!!! hahahaahha... It was late in the night and the purikura area was jam packed with heaps of trendy young girls... and then us! hahah.... One of the teachers was trying to interpret for me the purikura menu and accidentally selected the "romantic" theme. hahaha... Unfortunately I had to take remove the photos due to 'privacy' issues. Sorry!
I can't wait for the next enkai!!!