Tokyo Rainbow Pride Parade!

It was already a while ago now (wow, time flies) but I attended Tokyo Rainbow Pride. It was really fun and definitely exemplified the shift that’s happening with Japanese culture relating to their LGBT community. It was exciting. The parade itself was a lot smaller than an American Pride Parade is typically but It’s still very new here and a lot of people, even within the community, seem to still not be aware of it. Even still, the feeling was very much the same. Truthfully, There were a lot of foreigners, but the Japanese native population was still very prominent. There were plenty of Japanese couples there and it made me feel good to see a country I’ve spent so long studying going through similar changes my home country went through not too much earlier.

The first day I went there were a lot of booths advertising different Japanese LBGT organizations, or companies that support LGBT rights. There was also a ton of food stands and even an outdoor stage featuring artists from the Japanese Community.

 

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Later that night I went clubbing for the first time in the gay district of Tokyo. There weren’t a lot of lesbian bars but we found one we really liked, call Gold Finger. Great name I know. It was very small but the music was great and we danced until 3 am. Boy, was I tired the next day. I recorded almost the entire Pride Parade, however, this site doesn’t allow me to upload videos without a membership so I will make a video on my channel about it, featuring that footage and when I do, I will, of course, post it here as well. I definitely don’t regret going, it was well worth the long recovery time. Man, my legs never hurt so much. I did get a lot of steps on my pedometer though.

During that weekend I stayed in a Hostel which was Capsule Hotel Style. It was really great. I will publish a blog about that experience as well, very soon. Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. As always, if you liked this blog you can go ahead and leave a like to let me know or even better you can leave a comment! I always love to hear from you guys. If you have any questions, you can leave it in the comments or go to my contact page and I will do my best to answer. If you like what you see here and think you might want to receive a notification for when I post, consider subscribing to my blog. If you are not a WordPress user you can now sign up with email!

Thank you again! Happy belated Pride,

Aja

 

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Okonomiyaki!

The other night I went out with some friends to Okonomiyaki. It was my first time eating the Japanese savory pancake. I believe only native in our group knew what they were doing but we had a great time learning the ropes for grilling our own food. The table we were sat at was a traditional short table with cushions around it. Typically you sit on your knees or crisscross but my legs quickly started falling asleep so I was the weird foreigner all sprawled out but they were very understanding as my legs are stupid long.

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Unfortunately, Mihi didn’t send me any pictures she was in, but she was taking this one so that’s something. The other two are Swan and Jihyung (AKA Kelly) 

 

Mihi, the native in the group convinced us to get the courses so we could try a bunch of different things. We got a few different kinds of okonomiyaki, something else I don’t know the name off and some yakisoba. It was all very delicious but I got full almost half way through. So much food. In America, we often stereotype the Japanese as eating less and it is true that their portion sized tend to be smaller but don’t be fooled, Japanese people can eat. There were two Japanese girls across from us and they put away almost as much food as the four of us did. I don’t know where they put it all. The first okonomiyaki was my favorite. Not a clue what was in it but it was so good. I always have so much fun going out with my friends. That was a really fun night. Lots of good conversation. We stayed there for almost 5 hours I think. We got there around 5 and didn’t leave until after 9. Time flew.

I look forward to going out with them again. I will, of course, write about it when I do. Thank you for reading. As always, I love to hear from you guys so please leave a comment. If you enjoyed, give this post a like and consider sharing it. I’ll write again tomorrow.

Aja

Birthday Dinner and Japan’s Italian Food

This was more than a week ago now, but I met a girl in one of my classes that introduced me to her friends and they ended up inviting me out to dinner. They said there were getting pizza so I said yes, naturally. They didn’t tell me until we got there that it was a surprise party for one of the girls, so I was even more flattered they brought me along.

P_20170411_171551First, they brought out some gnocchi that had some parmesan on top. I’m pretty sure they were basil flavored. They were great. Then we looked at the menus and there were some odd combination pizzas. Ones with fish eggs and mayo, and stuff like that. There were some normal ones too. I chose a simple pesto pizza and they chose a variety of other things. As Japanese people often do, we all shared so I got to try the P_20170411_174936assortment of Japanified pizzas. First came the margarita pizza another girl asked for. It was good. Though, I immediately noticed the very small amount of cheese that was on the pizza. This continued to be the case with all the pizzas, but this makes sense since cheese is very expensive here. Next came out the pesto pizza. It was great. I love P_20170411_172839pesto, and even without a lot of cheese, the pesto carried the pizza for me. Off to a strong start. So far everything is tasty and is fairly standard despite the distinct lack of cheese. The next pizza to arrive is this nicely displayed pizza. It has a bunch of some meat laid out with an egg in the middle. The meat was some form of pork. Back in America, I’m a half vegetarian, meaning I don’t eat mammal, but here it wouldP_20170411_174940 be difficult for me to be strict about it and I would have to miss out on a lot of classic Japanese dishes so I decided while I was here I’d let it go and eat whatever. I have to say the pork on this pizza didn’t totally make me regret being a half vegetarian. I figure I just haven’t developed a taste for it. I’m not much of a meat person anyway. The next one was a pizza similar to the margarita pizza except it had anchovies on it. I know

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Sorry for the blurry photo, not sure why that happened.

this is a classic in America too, so I tried it. It’s a margarita pizza with the flavor of fish. Not my forte, but I get why some people like it. Then we got something that looked nothing like pizza but it was actually pretty good. Gotta be honest, I’m not totally sure what was on P_20170411_173620it, but it was pretty and tasted good, so I didn’t really care. I think the most surprising thing of all was the pasta we had that night. At some point, we had spicy penne pasta which all of us agreed was very spicy. And a white pasta which had sounded good to me. What was in the white pasta was startling, to say the least. I had been eating it and it actually tasted pretty good. I was pleased with it until I realized the sauce was made out of tiny fish. I started seeing all the little eyes and thought about the tiny colorful fish I had as a kid and was a bit disturbed. I finished it though I felt a little weird after. P_20170411_180251

 

I felt bad that I was so surprised by all the food. I don’t know why but I was expecting something like Olive Garden or Cheesecake factory and it was not like that. Foreigners must come to Japan a lot and find themselves eating an unfamiliar version of Itailian food. The experience made me wonder though, how is American Italian food different from actual Italian food. I bet we’ve Americanized it, much like with have with every type of food we’ve appropriated. I wonder how Japanese people like the Americanized Italian food when they visit. Or better yet Italian food in Italy. Eating Italian food in Italy is one of my bucket list goals for sure. Japanese food is better in Japan so I can only imagine Italian food would work the same way.

P_20170411_181401After we had all eaten, the birthday girl got her surprised. The restaurant had put together a beautifully decorated plate with a little ice cream and cake on it. She was very surprised but I think she felt good that her friends had thought about her like that. That night was great. I had new food experiences and had great conversations with new friends. I definitely want to go out with them again. I really appreciated them taking me into their friend group. I’ve been very lucky in friendship here.

As always, I’d love to hear from you. Consider leaving a comment below. If you enjoyed this post leave a like and if you really enjoyed, consider sharing it. Thank you for reading!

Aja