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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Scenes From Japan: Day 3 - Goodbye Hanyu, Hello Sake

I'm trying to catch up with my Japan posts before I actually start a new batch of them (yes, I'm leaving for Japan again in 10 days or so). So please bear with me.

Day 3 - April 23. 

Sad day since we're saying bye bye to Hanyu. I was starting to love that place (and how warm the people were). The other day when we were at lunch, we met a couple of Filipinos who were on training for a few months. We suddenly felt home. The factory was the smallest I've been to (in terms of headcount and yes, even area size). You would immediately feel how strict cost cutting measures were while walking through dark corridors. But I was really glad we decided to spend our first few days there. I immediately felt at ease with my 'new' role. And it didn't feel scary at all from that point. I was a little disappointed though I didn't even get to document how our day went there. I think that was probably going to be the last time I'll ever get to visit that place. We hardly left our seats at the conference room except for when we had lunch or headed out for the restrooms or grabbed coffee at the nearby vendo but I didn't feel the burden of work while I was there.  So it was a little heavy on our way back to Kumagaya today. I tried to soak in every tiny detail of the view from the train ride. I silently said my goodbyes to the rice fields, quiet neighborhoods, a few cherry blossom trees that I regretfully didn't get closer view off (it will turn out to be the only cherry blossoms that I would see in this trip), high school kids dressed just like the way you'd see in Japanese telenovelas (short skirts, pig tails, and big bags). 

Later that night we dinner with our American colleagues tonight. We came back to Wataminchi and I finally had my first taste of Sake. It was amazingly good. My glass was filled to the brim and I was a little worried they might have to carry me back to the hotel after I finish my glass but surprisingly, I didn't feel the alcohol kick till I was actually comfortably settled in my hotel room. Slept like a baby (and thinking of coming back again even for just a shot of that Sake hahaha)

Our group was little adventurous last night. They ordered raw shrimp (which was amazingly sweet), horse sashimi, and these small fish that's filled with fish eggs. They managed (or rather forcibly) to convince me to try that tiny fish. I only took the bottom half (from the mid part down to the tail) and passed the upper half to my staff who was more adventurous than me. When in Japan, know that water is not for free so we had to follow that fish experience through with a shot of Sake just to ward of the aftertaste. It wasn't actually bad. I think. Had you been on the same resto that night, you wouldn't even think it was a table filled with workaholics sitting in front of their computers day in and out. 

It was an extremely fun night. It was my team's welcome dinner for me. And it turned out to be a whole lot of fun welcome.

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