Monday, April 03, 2006

Hot Springs and Cold Weather

An update on recent misadventures...

Sunday afternoon, I picked up Miller (ALT for the competition) and we headed over to Tenkatsu, the tempura rice bowl shop I posted a picture from in an earlier article. While I was feeling pretty good, Miller was in bad shape. GEOS party the night before...bad news. After munching down more tempura shrimp (Hey Dad, it's still on the list of places to visit when you get over here), we piled back in the new car (I'm wavering between calling it Wasabi-kun v2.0 and Hello-go) and headed up to Noboribetsu Hot Springs.

A hot spring visit is great for sore muscles, stress, and hangovers, one of which I had and one of which Miller was suffering from. While Noboribetsu Hot Springs apparently has 11 different kinds of springs, we hit the sulfur one. It's good for the skin, not so good for the body odor. Basically, you come out of there smelling like a rotten egg. Which isn't a bad thing if the person you're with visited the same hot spring as well.

So anyway, we hit the hot water for a while and relaxed. The trip back home was long, and while I had done little or nothing that morning (this is after sleeping in), for some reason I was wiped out. I dropped Miller off at his place and then cruised home. I'm glad I made it back to Chateau Kidd safely, because I was feeling sleepy at the wheel.

After getting back home, I climbed up into my loft and went to bed. And that's all. I didn't wake up (really wake up...I tossed and turned a few times) until 6:30 the next morning. I slept for half a day! Wow...

After going to work (which mostly consisted of watching play practice and meeting the three new Starfish High teachers), I cruised out to Date. Over to Seamus's apartment to pick up him and Risa. This was to make good on a couple of promises I had made during play practice: hit a hot spring and hit karaoke together. So for starters, we made the trip out to Lake Toya Hot Springs.

FORCED SEGUE ALERT! I can't believe how lucky I am. A huge hot springs resort about forty minutes east of me (Noboribetsu), a huge hot springs resort about forty minutes west of me (Lake Toya). This doesn't include the three hot springs in town. I am a lucky man.

END FORCED SEGUE. Anyway, Risa, Seamus and I went out to Daiwa Ryokan, a Japanese inn that has a bath that draws its source directly from the hot spring and doesn't water it down at all. 100% pure, baby! The bath itself was a little bit on the run-down side, but it wasn't bad. It was relaxing. After I finished up and headed upstairs (following after Seamus, who finished before I did), I bought some ice cream and was complimented on my Japanese ability, after which I was asked (completely seriously), "Are you Japanese?" How am I supposed to respond to that? I played it simple, and laughed it off. I guess with my head shaved and a hat on, my facial features look close enough to a Japanese person's to cause some doubt. Or something. After Risa finished up, we set off in search of ramen.

The first two shops we tried to go to (one in the Lake Toya area, one in Usu) were both closed, so we went on into Date and went to Risa'a favorite ramen shop, "Totsugeki Ramen" (translation: CHARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGE! Ramen.) Decent stuff, pretty tasty, not as good as other ramen I've had, but no complaints. Then it was over to karaoke for a couple of hours.

Ahhh, the good life.

Now I just have to make sure my budget lasts me until next payday. I'm coming up on the limit I've set for myself.

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Sunday, May 07, 2006 8:48:00 AM  

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