Gym and Fun

As anything they do, Japanese go to the max when it comes to sport. I noticed that a lot of Japanese people enjoy jogging.

Go to the Imperial Park and you will confirm my statement, the park is packed from 5am to 10pm with joggers. I now know a lot of regulars with same timeframe as mine!

Soon after I arrived, I subscribed to this studio, great atmosphere, a lot of Les Mills class (in fact only Les Mills classes), just next to Shibuya Crossing. All are extremely professional and I found here the same sense of team/club atmosphere as I had in Brussels.

When Izumi San left, it was very sad for me as she was the one subscribing me and making all possible efforts to get our broken Japanese/English communication going, always smiling, energetic, she was a sunshine in the club. Of course, it is great to see her challenge herself and move to Auckland but she is missed!!

 

 

Living in Japan almost meant I could attend the Les Mills Live day last November. In Europe, we are not so privileged and Les mills Live never happened in Belgium so I made it!! Let me tell you, getting the tickets when you are not a Japanese reader is an adventure

1- get the website and “understand” how to navigate

2 – choose your sessions, at that stage, I had to ask a colleague to handle for me

3- get the emails to confirm, one per session!!

4- find another colleague to go along with you and collect the tickets from the combini

5 – find out that these tickets are not printed out from the automated machines but at the counter in the Kombini (even my Japanese friend struggled with that)

6 – get the tickets one by one and not all together!!

7 – take a deep breath, it is almost over!!

the day itself was great, I enjoyed very much. As always, Japanese super equipped, very elegant and trendy, make you feel really underdressed and guilty!! they are all expert at whatever they do when I feel like a beginner after 6 years of Shbam, 6 months of Body Jam and 5 years of Body Balance, but great fun!! aim higher as they say…

 

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Sundays in Tokyo

Every day is an adventure here but Sundays allow you to see a bit more than usual as people have quality time with themselves, their families, friends, pets, and can dress as they fancy. What do you think of this one?

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Beer Garden

Did you know that Japanese literally love the Beer Garden concept and imported it in mass from Germany?

From June to September, so many restaurants and most hotels offer a 2-hour package with all you drink ! they have partnership with the famous brands and depending on the location, offer random junk food for up to elegant dinners. I tried a number of them and it is fun. This is where you see families, salary men, relaxed and friendly people in numbers.

I enjoy one in Tokyo Bay, very classy with a Thai food theme in August, the place was full of families and we enjoyed a nice evening although not quite comparable to what you would find in Frankfurt or Munich!

Nagasaki

Not sure anyone falls in love with Nagasaki at first sight however it has a lot to offer.

First, it is on the seaside, and it is surrounded with hills which makes it an attractive spot for me at least. the city lives out of tourism mostly thanks to cruise ships coming every day from Mainland China with 1000’s of visitors. Mitsubishi has a massive construction site there too and that drives the business.

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I found a pretty city with the Glover Gardens, the tiny streets, enjoying castella. It has a special feeling as in the history, anything that was not Japanese was called Dutch. therefore you have a lot of Holland this and Holland that but there is a Dutch connection and you may visit Huis Ten Bosch or have a look at some of the flemish style houses in the historical center. During the isolation period for Japan, Nagasaki was the only place still open to the world. This is why the castella cake has an inspiration from Portugal for example.

Because of the Chinese influence, the typical meal in Nagasaki Shippoku looks alike a Chinese dinner with plenty of food or a rolling table. But they also have Turoku Raisu (Turkish rice), Castella, oysters, seafood, champon, or Nagasaki beef.

I will go again as many of the sites are in distance from the city and you cannot walk around but need bus or even train

 

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Communication (or not)

So far, I take this situation as an opportunity to keep calm and silent most of the time and work on myself! Nobody understands me and I understand nobody and it makes me laugh!

For example, so far, I cannot make the difference between an add in my mailbox for a restaurant delivery service and the electricity bill, all are colourful and written in full Japanese. Ordering food at a restaurant can be challenging since in most cases I cannot read the menu. So  I have overcome the challenge with

  • Going to small family restaurants with 10 seats because there is no menu and you get what there is that day. In Japan, it is always good and clean, so why bother
  • Going to restaurants I have been on other occasions and stick to what I liked there, but it may become boring after a while
  • Benchmark with the price range
  • Take the set menu, always a good one for lunch, prices are very very good at lunch, you can get a full lunch for 1000Yens

And I learn every day of course so more to come