Monday afternoon a group of us fellas from Florida decided to go pre-game at one of the hotel`s bars. We all shared a round of drinks and some weird vegetables that we accidentally ordered. The Japanese are EXPERTS at manners and service. Which made me feel guilty when I discovered that Japan is not a tipping culture. That`s right, there are no tips for the doorman, cab driver, waiter, bartender, and the list goes on forever. However, it`s hard to swallow, well not financially :)
Mr. Dansby adding to the entertaining conversation.
Ok I`m calm now. In the evening, 900 of us incoming JETs were treated to a welcome reception. This equates to FREE FOOD & BOOZE! Yes my friends, hoards of Asahi beer, saki, and whiskey were there for all, and oh yeah there is a feast too. I have no clue on what I ate, but I enjoyed it.
Japanese culture is welcoming to casual partying. There are teachers in every school who have the duty (and honor) of being the school`s party planner. In fact, for most schools, the equivalent of $20-$30 is taken out for the `enkai` or office party.
My first encounter with Japanese style karaoke came later in the night at Big Echo. Pretty much ￥3600 ($36 US) got me 2 hours of singing, laughing, and unlimited drinking with recently acquired friends from Australia, California and Florida all within the confines of our comfortable booth like room. A few Asahi beers, several umeshus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umeshu), and a hairy man standing on the couch waving his tamborine made for a wonderful evening. I walked in hating it, and walked out a SINGING SENSATION! Much love to karaoke!