Thursday, July 22, 2010

THE TOP FIVE: #5 Drinking in the Street

For most of my second year here, I have had an ongoing list loosely rolling around my head. It was a list of my favorite things in Japan. The things that would be hardest to replace, and I would be missing the most. I am inside of my last ten days here. Time really does have a knack for moving fast. There are many unique things that I have experienced. Some well known, some less so. (As a side note: There are no people on the list. I have met some wonderful folks here. I just don't want to place people on the same list as things.) So here it is, straight from the east, we're going live, far from the least, its the Japan Top Five.

#5 Drinking in the Street.

I must admit some reluctance to having this on the list. Being able to have some alcohol out in public is not a cause I fight for, or something to write home about. But it is something that I will certainly miss. It is done well here. People go for a picnic and bring some rice wine. They have a beer at a parade or festival. Movie theatres have beer vending machines. It doesn't cause a scene. Its one more excuse not to sit in some overpriced smokey bar.

My second night in Japan, I was in Tokyo for orientation and we went out to dinner for a prefectural welcoming party, then to karaoke, then one of the ringleaders, a British guy, said "I know a place." So we followed him to a convenience store. He bought everything he needed to mix up some drinks, and a group of us proceeded to sit on the curb and chat until we realized the sun was up and we had to get back to our workshops.

That's something I am going to miss.

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