Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ie? IE!

Ladies and gentlemen, we have progress on the house! It's the first day of the rest of our lives.

We visited the townhouse this afternoon for a final walkthrough, and we liked what we saw. There are four bedrooms (!), two tatami and two with wood floors. The back yard is a really pretty garden with little trees, and there is a courtyard in the middle of the downstairs with dark stones for ground covering. The kitchen is decent sized for Japan, with room for an American oven (!!) and good-size refrigerator.

The agents are doing some final cleaning and gardening, and we've signed the first paperwork, hooray!!! We should be able to move in within ten days. Whee hoo!

By the way, ie (ee-eh) means house in Japanese. Iie (eeee-eh) means no. This was a discouraging fact until recently. :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sarah Palin

There is a lot to be said about McCain's VP pick, and a lot yet to be revealed about this relative unknown.

But I ask you: do we really want our second-in-line for the Presidency to be a person who has named their children Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper, and, I kid you not, Trig Paxson Van Palin. This is taken from the official campaign website, by the way.

I have a problem with the decision making abilities of the mother of Track and Trig. Who's with me?

Friday, August 29, 2008


would be welcome, don't you think?

Yep, gotcha! We've been delayed yet again. Now the story goes that we will meet the realtor this Sunday at a specified time (we insisted on an appointment this time) to tour the house one last time. We're headed out to eat some sushi and do a little shopping tonight, so that I don't go stir-crazy. UGH, this is frustrating!

As pennance for my boldfaced lie of a title, here are two otters holding hands. (Who's excited about the ability to embed videos? I am!)

She's choppin' broccolay

Choppin' broccolah-hah! Sheeeeee's....choppin.

You know, if Dana Carvey lived in Japan, he would never have written this song. Not in its current form, anyway - it's funny because chopping broccoli is so mundane that no one would ever put it in a song. Here broccoli is a major investment!

I made an awesome dinner last night, by the way. Since we're talking about food.

GOD, I love a captive audience.

Anyhoozle, I reconstitued some premade polenta and jazzed it up with a little hot sauce, garlic, oregano and basil, and stirred in some grated mozzerella cheese. Then I added sauteed onions, garlic and mushrooms to a jar of premade pasta sauce and added oregano and basil. (My cooking options are limited here, people. Did I mention I have only two small burners and no counter space?)

So I sauteed slices of eggplant in a pan, and we had the yummy polenta and sauce on top of that. It turned out great! And with the new knife from Ikea, I didn't have to use a breadknife to chop vegetables, for the first time in a month.

There isn't much to report from here, though I'm hoping to have house news very soon. Here's the Carvey clip to entertain the people.

P.S. The eggplant in our dinner? For two people? Cost six dollars.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Eye Key Uh

OMG, I love Ikea. Love Ikea. Looooovvvve Ikeeeeeeeea. Love it.

Mary Poppins (remember her?) met me at Starbucks this morning and drove us to Ikea in Yokohama, and we had a blast. I managed to spend almost 5,000 yen (about 50 bucks) on little things to have in our stupid Lodge room - a non-serrated chef's knife, for example, and a ladle. It was so much fun?

And did you know they have real food at Ikea? I had poached salmon over chopped potatoes and onions, with bernaise sauce on top, plus bread and bottled water (bad Emily!) for less than eight bucks. Amazing.

So a good day today, one more day down with no word on the house. Counting the hours until Friday!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Eating: Coconut curry soup. Thanks, for the recipe, Mel!

Drinking: Homemade hot chocolate made from Nestle mini-morsels and skim milk in the microwave

Reading: Nothing at the moment

Watching: Season three of The West Wing, on loan from the library

Knitting: Everlasting Bagstopper from

Monday, August 25, 2008

No noose is good noose!

NEWS, on the other hand, would be welcome.

The good news is that the renovations on the house we want have been completed. The bad news is that there are about a week's worth of inspections yet required before we can take a final tour and decide whether to rent the place. So we are still in a holding pattern, at least until Friday.

In order to stay sane, I've decided to read a LOT. I've just started Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen. Anybody read it? I've seen the movie, years ago.

Oh and hey, Happy Birthday, bro! I wish I could be there to toast many happy returns.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

5,000 words, and then some

1. Josh likes "Mean Girls".

2. Seriously? Seriously.

3. He's still a manly man! Even with a headband.

4. If you want to eat grilled chicken skin on a stick, come to Japan.

5. They make orchid blossoms as big as my hand now. (This one's for you, Grammy Atwood!)

6. Engrish is fun. Click the pic to read the intro to a ramen house menu.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Yo-ko-skah Navy Rodge*

Ugh, y'all. Ugh.

I am so tired of being in this place! We got new neighbors sometime last week - they're in the room which shares an interior door with ours. Of course it's bolted on both sides, but there's a little space below the door so sound carries through. I should mention that we never had trouble with noise before this family moved in. Ugh.

I haven't met them, but there are at least a couple small children and a woman in there. I know about the kids because of the persistent, percussive screaming between 4 and 8am daily, and I know about the woman because of the occasional "YOU MEAN YES, MA'AM! NOT YES! YES MAAAAAAAA'AAAAAAAAMMM!"

So I didn't sleep at all between 3:00 am and 8:30 this morning, and I have felt like warmed up doof all day. I finally ate a piece of bread about an hour ago (2:30 pm) and napped for an hour, but I really, really hope the Smonses next door can keep quiet tonight.

We heard from the realtor today - heard from him, that is, when Josh rode his bike over there and demanded an update. We should know either way about the house we want on Monday afternoon! Holy crap, we might actually get to live in a place of our own sometime this fall!

Maybe I'll pray about it tonight, at 3, with a chorus of shreiks for background.

*The "su" syllable is not prounounced; it's kind of swallowed up in the rest of the word. Also they don't distinguish between R and L sounds in Japanese, so 'L' words end up sounding like 'R's. Tee hee!

Friday, August 22, 2008

God Bless...Television

I spend a lot of time watching it these days. As great as the Olympics and the four-year-old episodes of Bones and The Practice are, I'm missing Netflix something awful.

What are you watching?

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Let me just get it out of the way – no, there is no news on the house. We know what we want, it’s just sitting there waiting for us, but the realtor hasn’t come through with a price. Please keep your fingers crossed.

That said, I went out today and bought this

which came in this.

I usually decline plastic bags and use nylon bags of my own, but the yarn shop owner wasn’t taking no for an answer. The bag is hilarious - it’s a disposable piece of plastic which will probably end up in the ocean, it has a picture of a teddy bear, and it’s covered in slogans like “Life is graceful when you sit in time ticking slowly,” and “Calm your mind. Don’t forget. Small nature is next to you,” and my personal favorite “It comforts you when you are down and gently untangles your tense feelings.”

Next stop was the food market. I got all of this

because I wanted to make homemade ramen. Did I have a recipe? Noooooo. Could I find one on the internet? See for yourself. There are a billion recipes for crappy food made from instant ramen, but everybody (except me) knows better than to make the real thing for yourself. Still, I came up with this:

Looks like the other ramen, doesn’t it?

But did it taste like it?


It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great. Next time I’m going out for the stuff.

Now, remember those tiny peppers from the picture? The two dozen of them that I bought? Here they are again.

Allow me to present to you a photo essay entitled “How Hot Art Thine Peppers”:

Yeah, how hot am I? HOT.

Sooo…I could only use two of them in the whole pot of ramen. Anybody need some hot peppers?


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A member of the lei-lo tribe

I haven't left the base in a couple days. Not by design - it's just been really hot and humid, and Josh has been working full time this week, so I've been hanging around the lodge, the gym, and unfortunately having to shop for groceries almost every day.

Ever tried to feed two people out of a mini-fridge? Sucks.

Speaking of food, I have to recommend "Best Brussels Sprouts" from the seemingly defunct blog Shmooed Food. The title is truth in advertising - I'd never liked brussels sprouts until I tried this recipe, and it ROCKED my WORLD. I can't get fresh ones here right now, so I've been parcooking frozen ones in the microwave before sauteeing them according to the Shmooed recipe. It is wicked good. If you're not vegan, you can substitute honey for the sugar, and the sprouts themselves have a lot of folate, vitamin C, and fiber. Bon appetit!

Josh and I had them for dinner tonight, along with veggie burgers, and now we are playing on our computers and watching a DVD. We are so cosmopolitan.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Forever and ever, Ramen

I. Have had. Ramen.

I mention this because you have not. Unless you've been to Asia, gone to a ramen house, and ordered yourself a piping hot bowl of heaven, you have not had ramen. Speak not of your college dorm, your $0.45 microwave dinner special, your packet of shrimpish MSG. You have not had ramen.

I'd been hearing about the stuff since we arrived here August first - a big bowl of miso, soy, or pork broth with a treasure trove of noodles at the bottom, flavored with hot chilis and covered in bean sprouts.

My new friend Mary Poppins (I haven't asked permission to use her real name) took me to her favorite ramen house and I ordered the spicy green onion soy ramen. As I had feared, it came with a big hunk of pork on the top, but they took it off for me. Let me tell you, though, that stuff is HOT. Not too spicy - they gave me the gaijin level of heat - but the broth was nearly boiling. Add to that the 95 degree heat and the lack of A/C, and it was a doozy. Mary Poppins and I took turns fanning her baby and each other while we ate, and it was worth every minute. Here I am, at the beginning of ramen bliss:

See how big that bowl was? I ate the whole thing. The whoooole thing. Can't wait to go back!

In other food news, here's a picture of Josh making me comfort food, at the end of that really hard day I had a while back.

He is such a great husband. He made real comfort food - sundried tomato polenta with extra-sharp cheese, and salsa for drizzlin'. It was better than a burrito.

Monday, August 18, 2008

If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough

It's so true! Last night we had dinner at a friend's house, a really great couple from the band. They live in a Japanese style home out in town, and they even picked us up and dropped us off back at the Navy Lodge. We had delicious salmon and then Nutella crepes for dessert - what a treat!

Unfortunately, I am an idiot and am not used to the Japanese toi-re (toilet) setup. The toilet gets its own little room, which is set in a couple inches below the rest of the house.

Also? Have you ever had to flush a toilet with a remote control? How about one that is written in Japanese, a language whose written form includes three alphabets, one of which has 4,000 characters.

Did I mention the toilet also has a bidet? Yeah.

So after I used the toi-re, I was confronted with a problem. I could randomly press buttons and risk getting showered in all kinds of interesting places, or I could admit defeat and ask for help. I opted for #2 (heh heh) and turned to leave the bathroom. With purpose, people - I had a mission.

Naturally, instead of stepping carefully up the step, I slammed the bejeezus out of my second toe on my left foot. Our lovely hostess got me a bandaid and a large amount of French wine, and I'm sitting on the bed now, elevating my poor toe. I don't think it's broken, but it is an excellent excuse to avoid the gym today.

I have more to share - I've eaten ramen for the first time, and we should hear tomorrow about our house. I'll plan to write once the throbbing in my toe subsides.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I can breathe! I can breathe!

The temperature has dropped by about twenty degrees since yesterday - it's officially the first cool day since our arrival. I'm going to make the most of it and stay outside, despite the drizzle. Hooray for 73!

Friday, August 15, 2008

They call me akabo unten-shu!*

Josh and I got our Japanese driver licenses today! The road test guy was really funny - every 30 seconds or so he would say "Don't hit! Don't hit!" and point to the curb, a tree, a pedestrian...even if it was ten meters or more away. I think I don't yet understand Japanese humor, because when I pointed to a stop sign and said "Should I hit?" (ba dum bum), he didn't crack a smile.

Somehow I passed anyway. We test drove a jumbo matchbox that was masquerading as a car in the on-base sale lot. It's a Mitsubishi Minica; a Japanese keicar with four doors, four seats, and about an inch and a half of luggage space.

It has a great turning radius though, and we don't need anything big. It's in the running! We're looking at another car on Sunday morning - wish us luck!

*Literal translation: baby driver.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


...means hot in Japanese. Today it refers to the weather, the burritos I made us for dinner last night (yum!) and the cup of sake I'm about to have.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The food

In order to make up for my sushi whining yesterday, here are some photos of the truly beautiful, delicious sushi we've had since we arrived.

First of all, this is the sushi-go-round. That's the sushi chef there, standing in the middle of the room preparing maki (rolled sushi), nigiri (fish on rice), and whatever else people ask for. He will both make something a customer has requested and hand it to them AND will make a variety of tasty dishes, which he sets on a conveyor belt. All the seats are along the conveyor, and the customers just grab whatever they want. In the bottom right is a box of green tea bags and a little hot water spout. Tea is free - I love it.

This is probably the most recognizable to Americans - the lovely tekka maki. It's yummy raw tuna rolled in sushi rice and nori seaweed. The difference here is that the sushi chef applies the wasabi paste inside the maki. There is sometimes still wasabi going around for those who want extra, but using it can be considered gauche.

Nigiri Maguro! This is tuna on rice, sometimes with a little wasabi in between. Grab with chopsticks, dip in shoyu, eat all in one bite. Incidentally, the price of the sushi is indicated by the color of the plate - those two pieces cost less than $2.50.

This is just for Tnua Arabrab - food with suckers on it. I actually don't mind ika, or raw baby squid. It's a little chewy, but it has a sweet flavor.

If the squid didn't gross you out, then bubble tea should. Josh loves it - it's a sweet, milky drink with balls of tapioca schlumping around in the bottom - ick!

And last but certainly not least, I want to assure all my friends back home that I have, in fact, eaten french fries since my arrival. They call them "poh-tay-toh" with "ketch-chup-pa" for dipping. Delish!

About that fruit

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hit a wall

Today was the first truly tough day for me. It was a doozy, too, let me tell you. I woke up at one o’clock with a headache: that stabbing, sour kind that sneaks up on you over and over, and then again when you think it’s gone. I slept off and on from there, but got up for good when Josh left for the gym at 6:00. I had a grapefruit and half a PB&J – and a therapeutic chat with Mom on Skype – before hitting the gym myself.

I had hoped that the food, a stop at Starbucks for a double espresso on ice, and a little exercise would kill the headache, and I was WRONG. Wr to the ong, was I, I was wrong. Running on the elliptical machine made my head throb worse, so I switched to weight machines. That actually did help take my mind off it for a bit, but not for long.

Plus also too, Josh and I have been sharing a single room at the Navy Lodge since August 1, and that is getting old. The sharing, that is, not the Navy Lodge – although I guess it is getting old as well, judging by the carpet. Anyway, Josh likes to go to sleep by 8:30 or 9:00 pm and rise by 5:30, where I am more of a midnight-to-8:00 kind of sleeper. He’s been great about using a sleep mask so I can watch TV for an hour or so after he goes to sleep, but it still sucks. I can’t use the computer because the sound of typing is like an alarm clock to him, for some reason. My flashlight uses funky batteries, which are dead, and which I haven’t found replacements for yet, so I can’t read or knit. I spend a lot of time at night watching bad television with very low volume, or just staring at the thin slit of light that comes in around the curtains. Hours of nighttime boredom = unhappy Emily.

So after the gym, Josh and I met up and left headed into the 90+ degree heat and ridiculous humidity around 11:00. I have experienced humidity, folks – south Florida, Washington DC, Massachusetts in the summer – but it’s worse here somehow. August is the worst month, they tell me, and this is the worst year in recent memory. Let me just take a moment to thank everyone out there who drives a Hummer or votes for Republicans*. Really appreciate the global climate change. Really. Thanks.

The heat was oppressive, and when we discovered it would be another hour before our cell phones (which we’d picked out and paid for 24 hours prior) would be ready, we went to find some lunch. And, for the dozenth time or so since we got here, we realized that the only things we know how to order are fast food and sushi. Since we both refuse to eat KFC (in this country or anywhere else), we sat down for sushi again.

Now, I LOVE sushi. Love. Me. Some. Sushi. But I really, really wanted to eat something more like a balanced meal today, with vegetables even, and the feeling of being foreign hit me really hard. I can’t figure out how to set the voicemail on my phone** because the book and the buttons are in Japanese and the on-screen instructions are in Engrish (“Tools: Using calendar and other function. Camera: shooting picture.”) I can’t have a simple conversation with 99% of people I meet in shops or on the street. I can’t even order a bowl of noodles, because I don’t know how to explain that I don’t eat mammals, but they could kill a chicken and put it on a spit in front of me, and I would dig the hell in.

On top of it all, I lost my water bottle somewhere today, so I’ve been paying ¥120 apiece for bottles of water. And there are no recycle bins for the bottles in the Navy Lodge, so the Earth? Also being killed by me.

Oh, there was more. My feet are like snowshoes to the Japanese, so I have to buy shoes on base or take my chances with the fit on an online order. But the NEX (on-base department store) carries an abysmal selection – if you’re a woman. There’s a whole section of active outdoor shoes for men, with a bunch from Keen, Merrell, Teva, etc. But if you forgot to bring your penis to Japan? It’s high heels and one scant rack of sneakers for you, missy. My one pair of leather flip-flops are not good for bike riding or long walks, both of which we’re doing a lot.

So this morning was really rough, and I’ve spent all afternoon laying down in our sad little room. The headache is gone now thanks to Excedrin, and Josh and I are making burritos with vegetables, and no raw fish, in our room for dinner tonight. I still love this country (even though I may, allegedly, have claimed to hate everything about Japan earlier today. Ever had a fit of pique? I had one.) and I am looking forward to getting over this wall.

Comments and emails and Skypes, please!

*Okay, I know it’s not all Republicans! I know, I know.
But in general? They suck at Earth.

**If you have international calling and want my cell number AND promise to think of the time difference before calling me, please send me an email.

Apropos of nothing, here’s a picture of a $35.00 watermelon.

Radio silence


So much to tell you - in the past two days we've purchased ice cream, cell phones, and our first Japanese fruit. I'll write about the others soon, but for now...would you like that ice cream in a cup, or a corn?

Friday, August 8, 2008


This one is just for fun! These are some of the ads we see on a daily basis, "out in town." I wish I could tell you what the first one says...

Feel wood, everybody.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Getting around

What a day!

Today was Train Day – everyone who is new on base is required to take a one-day train trip to somewhere outside Yokosuka city. Josh and I attended a couple of hours’ worth of classes this morning (how to buy a ticket at Japanese station, ideas on where to go, odd stations to look out for) and then stopped at a realty office before hitting the trains. More on the house hunt later.

First of all, can you guess what kind of shirt I was wearing?

Yeah. Ouch. I was wearing sunscreen, but apparently not enough - it was in the 90s and incredibly humid all day. Worth it though.

We rode the train to Kamakura, about twenty minutes away from Yokosuka on the JR train line. The station (eki) was easy to navigate once we found it – Yokosuka eki wa dokodesu ka? – and was the quietest, cleanest train I’ve ever ridden. Josh and I stopped in for some of the best sushi ever –AGAIN!- before walking to the Tsurugaoka-Hachimangu shrine. The Shinto shrine was created by the Minamoto clan in 1063, to honor the god of war who allowed Minamoto Yoritomo to become Japan’s first Shogun.

That was incredible, I have to say. How about the size of those leaves?! It was hot hot HOT out there though, so we headed back to the train to Hase eki, then walked to the Daibutsu, the Great Buddha of Kamakura. It is the second largest bronze Buddha in all of Japan at 13.3 meters high and has been around for almost 700 years. Buddhism and Shintoism are the two major religions here, and most people practice a little of both.

He's much bigger than the photos can show. Here we are with the Buddha, and lighting incense while setting good intentions for our time here in Japan.

The Buddha usually stays sitting there in the courtyard, but just in case he decides to take a little stretch, there are slippers nearby to fit him.

It was so amazing to be in the presence of something so majestic, so peaceful, and so old. I really like being in a country where the major religious image is one of peace and meditation, where introspection and self-discipline are so highly valued. You must visit the Daibutsu some day.

The house hunt was a story in itself; stay tuned! Tomorrow we take our written driving exam and get ready to learn to drive on the left, with the steering wheel on the right side of the car. Until we get that straight, we’ll keep on riding those trains.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Class, class, class

Here's Josh with battleships - it's such a boy thing.

I’m writing this in Benny Decker movie theater on the base, where Josh and I have been sitting on our keisters all day, watching PowerPoint slides and listening to presentations. Today is Base Day, and tomorrow we learn more about Japan.

The lawyer from Navy Legal Services Office was really funny. They deal with divorce, adoption, divorce, wills, power of attorney, divorce…he kept talking about it – apparently the stress of living overseas puts strain on a lot of marriages. So far Josh and I are ok. Speaking of lawyers, though, here’s some free advice:


Japanese authorities have primary jurisdiction over everybody who is on Japanese soil, including gai-jin (white people/foreigners) like Josh and me. Possession of one joint, just for example, can land you in prison for 5-10 years, DUI charges are up to $10,000 plus lots of jail time, and repeated failure to separate your trash properly will cost you upwards of $2,000. The Navy takes things seriously too – once you get out of Japanese prison, you might also face court martial or Civilian Administrative Forces if you’re a dependent like me. They can send me home and make Josh finish out his tour here alone.

Holy crap, man, I’m following the law while I’m here.

Just for fun, here are a couple pictures from around the base. We’re hoping to get off base for dinner, so I should have some pics of Japan itself for you soon!

Still, isn't the foliage around this tunnel pretty?

House hunting 1.0

Yesterday morning Josh and I attended the first of many meetings for the week – a housing brief. Well, I should say HE attended it – so many people showed up that they kicked out all the spouses and made us wait outside while they got the info on off-base housing.

It’s pretty crazy. We want to live off-base so we can really enjoy Japan and not just eat at Chili’s and shop at the Navy commissary. After our shopping and lunch excursion yesterday we were really excited about getting immersed into the culture, but this morning left us both intimidated. You’d think they would have clear-cut, understandable procedures for all of this, but you’d be wrong – the “brief” consisted of an hour and a half of broken English and a small packet of papers.

So we chose three potential houses, each about 1000 square feet, to look at this week. Our first appointment is on Wednesday at 5pm – wish us luck! If we can find a place with room for our bed, the piano, and some kind of oven, we’ll be ahead of the game.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

We have landed

...and I have finally had real sushi!

Let’s get the basics out of the way: Josh and I arrived safely in Japan on Friday, August 1 at 1:30pm, or 12:30am on the east coast. The flight and the airport were both fine – we were lucky to have discovered a week prior that our original July 31 flight was cancelled, since there were more than a dozen other servicemembers at the USO who were unexpectedly stuck in Seattle for an extra week. The Navy had already rebooked us on a commercial flight, thank goodness. Once we arrived and cleared customs at Narita, we waited for two hours before hopping on a military bus to Yokosuka Navy Base. All in all, we were traveling for about 24 hours.

Five people from the Navy Band met us at the Lodge on base, including the new bandmaster, Lieutenant Wrenn. Our sponsor, Alex Ivy, and his wife Beth brought us a goody basket with some supplies and some funny Japanese snacks, and they took us out for dinner on base and a driving tour. They even leant us their bicycles so we could get around a little more easily.

We have spent the last couple of days getting lost on base, checking out the gyms, food courts, and facilities here on Yokosuka. Our room at the Navy Lodge is adequate, with a tiny mini-kitchen that allows us to forgo eating at Chili’s every night, thank heaven. The band played yesterday at an on-base theater, so we got to hear some smokin’ big band music and get introduced to some of Josh’s coworkers and their families. I think we’ll fit right in here.

Now for the fun stuff! This afternoon, for the first time, we took a loooong bus ride around the whole base to get to the main gate, and walked off American soil and into Yokosuka! It was so much fun, y’all. I was a little nervous at first since we don’t speak the language, but you’d be surprised how far “sumimasen” (excuse me), “dozo” (please), “gomen nasai” (I’m sorry {I used that one a lot}), and “domo arigato gozaimashita” (thank you very much) will get you, especially when combined with hand signals and a lot of pointing. The town is set up pretty well to welcome Americans since the base is here, that is, there are photos of a lot of the food and some romanji (Japanese words spelled phoenetically in the Roman alphabet) and English descriptions on signs.

We went to a yarn shop – hooray! – but didn’t buy anything yet. We stopped into a 100 yen store, like a dollar store here, hoping to find some trinkets to send back home, but all they sold were household goods and little food items. *Side note: a surprising number of the little bags of snack mix have little dried fish, eyes and all, as a featured ingredient. Guess I’ll be making my own snacks from now on.* Vegetables are MUCH cheaper on the local economy than in the commissary on base, so we bought some gorgeous baby eggplants, cherry tomatoes, and onions to have stir-fried with local soba noodles, shoyu, and olive oil tonight. Wish us luck! Fruit is crazy expensive everywhere though - ¥500 or more for two apples. That’s almost $5.00.

The best part of all, though, was the sushi. We stopped in at a sushi bar with a conveyor belt The Conveyor Belt of Bliss, which kept bringing us plates of nigiri, which is a slice of raw fish on top of a little mound of sushi rice. We had maguro (fatty tuna), salmon, some cold edamame, and tekka maki, which is a small sushi roll with tuna. It was far and away the best sushi I have ever eaten, bar none. The taste was wonderful, the fish was at room temperature and incredibly fresh, and the whole meal included miso soup for us both and cost less than ¥1200!

I’m going to like it here.