My Trip to Japan: Day 2 Car Club

So Saturday Shun and I had to wake up early and go to a somewhat small town just outside of Tokyo so that Shun could practice for his last car club race that was on Sunday.  Traffic was pretty good, but it was still kind of a shock to look up every once and a while and see that we were on the left side of the road.  We didn’t really have time to get a nice breakfast, so we stopped at a 7-11 and got some onigiri.  I had Shun pick me out some since I didn’t want to accidentally get some with umeboshi heh heh.  I ate a sausage one, tuna, and also a salmon (I think) one, my favorite was the sausage.  Also something I want to note here, the rice in Japan is so much more flavorful than it is here.  Of course that may be because I get the bottom of the barrel Kroger brand too… but I didn’t really pay attention to that until I came back here and made some rice and realized how horribly wrong I was…

Then we went to his club house, which was kind of on a small hill.  I was still kind of tired from the flight, so I slept for awhile in the car after making some introductions.  After I woke up, Shun came over and got me something warm for me to drink, and then I watched them practice.  I got to talk to his coach some, but he didn’t really speak English, and my Japanese isn’t that good either so it was a bit challenging at times.  Around noonish we went to a supermarket and got some bento  to eat for lunch.  I don’t remember what all was in it, because Shun picked it out for me, but it was really good!!  I also got to try Calpis Soda for the first time, which was amazing!!  About the closest I can get to describing the flavor is a sort of weaker tasting sprite, but creamy.  It really is a lot better than it sounds.

After that I did some studying while Shun practiced some more.  They did let me ride with him through a practice run though, which was fun.  They asked if I wanted to try, but I decided not to since it was a Japanese car (with the steering wheel on the right and such) and also since the sort of race thing they were doing was complicated… I talked some more with his coach, who kept trying to get me to yell ganbatte ne and faito while shun was practicing, and then yelling them for me in a high pitched voice when I wouldn’t.  I also got to see pictures of his little boy, who was adorable!

As it was about to get dark, I decided I should take some pictures of the area, since it was a really pretty.  This is why some of the pictures are a bit off, because the light was fading a little faster than I had anticipated.  When we couldn’t see anything anymore, Shun and I left to take me back to his condo and he also went out of his way to show me some Christmas lights in Japan.  The pictures don’t really do them justice, they were gorgeous!  We went to a department store/mall and found a restaurant which served Japanese style pizza.  I don’t really know what was on it, but it was really good.  Very different from American pizza though.  The crust was super thin and it didn’t really have a lot of tomato sauce on it.

When we got back to his place, he stayed for a little bit and made sure that I would be okay, because he had to go to his competition on Sunday so he had to sleep at his club house.  I don’t think he wanted me to go because he knew it would be cold at the clubhouse that night and didn’t want me to sleep there, but I kind of wish I could have gone with him and watched him compete.  I think I watched a little bit of tv before I decided to go to sleep, but I don’t recall what I watched… so that was Saturday!

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  1. Doug Bolden said,

    December 16, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Why the hate on umeboshi? In the spectrum of Japanese pickles…they are not so bad (god…whatever that helldeath pickled eggplant crap I ate was….guh).

    Also, yes, rice comes in all sorts of varieties and consistencies and flavors and pre-prep (including semi-fermented and semi-gestated or malted or whatever they call that…which takes time and care to do…and far too lazy to keep rice heated to 100F for 1-2 days). Like any kind of vegetable plant, the cheaper varietals (what you basically eat as a Kroger brand) is a utility blend designed to be just that: cheap and useful. Everything else impacts taste: place grown, time harvested, length in storage, and so forth. There is even at least one American rice farm that I want to try if I can ever remember it since not only would it be a lot fresher but the soil differences should make it kind of unique.

    You should find out what sort of rice it was that you liked, since you can sometimes track down higher quality ones over here. For the most part, I’m kind of find with the cheaper rice, but some of the better Indian and Far East rices are nice to have from time to time. Or even the Jasmine rice, which is awesome.

    This sentence seems a little broken…like maybe it started as something else and got twisted around in an edit: “but I didn’t really pay attention to that until I came back here and made some rice and realized how horribly wrong I was…”

  2. Doug Bolden said,

    December 16, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Oh, and is that dude in the red mask playing the whatchamadiglit from Kamen Rider Den-O….the goofy thing with the movements and the hand waving. Hell…what was that thing called?

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