Birthdays, Kimonos, and Goodbyes
Yesterday Katie and I headed to Asakusa in Tokyo, which is a sort of old town district, a place where you can buy kimonos and the accessories that accompany them. We needed to pick up a few accessories because earlier this week, Katie's and my private students, Akiko and Masako and Hiroko, who we take turns teaching English on Wednesdays and then eat Masako's homecooking for dinner afterwards, took us to a kimono shop for Katie's birthday and my going away present. They dressed us up in kimonos and took pictures. I don't actually have any on my computer, only in print, so will post some later after I get Katie's pictures from her. Anyway, the kimono sensei was so nice, she gave me the kimono I wore. It was a men's casual kimono, but casual kimono to me still looks amazing, and she gave Katie a kimono too, not the one she wore, which I think was a bit expensive, but one that is really fancifully designed that she can hang as a decoration when she gets back home. The things we still needed to complete our kimonos, though, were proper shoes and belts to tie them with, and I still need an undershirt/collar for mine. Anyways, we went to Asakusa to shop for these things and other souvenir, as Katie's going home next Sunday and won't have a chance to go back and buy the stuff next weekend.
On the way back to the train station in Asakusa, we ran into a festival of some kind at Sensoji Temple and then took the train to Kashiwa, a city halfway home, and stopped there to meet the others for Andrea's birthday party. Which was also sort of mine and Katie's and Mona's going away party, as Beth had put together photo scrapbooks for all of us and everyone took turns signing the pages by the pictures with messages and then also message boards were passed around for everyone to take turns signing a message onto as well. After not eating much at all most of the day and one long island ice tea too many later I felt awful stayed at Kevin and Beth's apartment to pass out while the others went to karaoke. I never miss karaoke, so I was Not Well. Not fair. Anyway, I'll be back in town to stay with Kevin and Beth for a few days before I leave to come home on April 24th, so we will just have to karaoke my last time together with them here then.
Some pics of the day/night: