Sunday, May 20, 2012

the reunion, the walk

this week's Saturday was a happy one. finally i got to meet one of my teachers who used to teach me nihongo back when i was still in JAD program. Onuma-sensei finally is settled down in nihon after being in malaysia for about 6 years and taking this chance, we arranged to have lunch together. it was something i decided back then that i'd love to have sushi, so sushi we would have!

after asking around, i managed to gather Hidayah and Azizul for the reunion, others seem to be busy with stuff of their own. so, we agreed to meet at Kanda station. that was my first time stepping there. thankfully, i require no transit if i take the train from Kitaurawa, the 2nd closest station from my house. though we arranged to meet at 12, it was early of me to depart from home a bit after 10, even idly riding the bicycle to the station only took me around an hour from my house to the destination. well, azizul came a bit early too, as well as Hidayah who got to the different entrance. as expected sensei arrived punctually on time.

wasting no time at all, sensei took us the sushi place he already had in mind located near the station. it's a small place, yet quite renowned. it only has seats at the counter, and people were already filling the place at the time. we were lucky we didn't have to wait much. it's different to the usual sushi place with conveyer belt i sometimes go. we ordered the same sushi set, the one i pointed one that has anago-my favorite. as it lived up to its reputation, the sushi were not disappointing at all. and i challenged 'uni' for the first time. i don't hate it. and anago, anago is just, gooood~~~ i guess i just love sushi, well, even though after a few pieces i would start dividing the rice part, and only eat half of it :P

as a result, we were pretty much stuffed. really stuffed. Kanda is like an old town, the rows of shops were pretty much aged. with full stomachs, we decided it'll be good to take a walk around this old town and let the food goes down. at first, sensei were thinking it would be good to have a map guiding our way, so we stopped by a book store. there is actually a map book of old tokyo, so you can imagine how it was in the old times as you walk. and lots of other guides too, japanese do love guidebooks, for simply anything. in the end, we decided we would just randomly take our walk with our instincts.

from Kanda, we were to walk towards Ginza, i was not sure what the reason might be, but it's a nice place to walk around after all, the buildings are beautiful. even at Kanda, we made pretty much a roundabout trip, crossing through the backstreets which line most shops i would never know they would be there. the weather was really nice too, though i felt it's getting hotter no different to malaysia at the moment, but still bearable. the pleasant breeze helps to make it better. we walked past the nihonbashi, under it there are few peculiar statues, like a dragon that seems to be breed of the eastern and western dragon mixed. there also seem a service where you can ride the boat to tour the river? must be one of tourist attractions they come up with.

heat got the better of us and we were thinking of cooler place to take shelter, and we were walking right about the Bank of Japan, where we unexpectedly came to an exhibition on money, with free admission! with no hesitation, we went straight in. it was really an interesting exhibition. it shows the history of money and the chronicle of the money evolution, especially in japan. they have the real pieces of what used to be the currency used in old japan. well, the description were mostly in japanese, i tend to skip them, but simply looking at the display were enough to amuse me. like how we could be silly to think how the shape of some of them resembles animal dung. and coins used to have holes so they can tie it up in ropes, and imagining someone would put that on their neck as they walk through town is amusing too. and some of the money were so big, not to mention heavy, you would wonder how exactly they carry those around. but, the display that caught most of Dayah's and my attention was the one which you can choose which country's money you want to see. they have it in racks and the rack number you input would come into display. so funny that both of us didn't notice the legend that were in english just next to one in katakana that we were struggling to read. just when we were about finished touring the place, suddenly the place were full of people, mostly having notebook at hands and were taking memo, was it normally like that or are having tasks of some sort was beyond us.

after we were done with the exhibition, we continued our walk. we just walked and walked, we passed through shops with specialty of a select prefectures in japan, like niigata, nara and others. there are even shops specialized in seaweeds, and bonito flakes. very interesting indeed. just why never i knew of these places, these are supposed to be the highlighted tourist shopping spot, i only knew asakusa or ueno to mention. we also passed a shop with interior stuff, and stopped a while admiring the displayed merchandises like the lights that cost about a year of my room rent. indeed they are beautiful but i doubt only a handful of people can actually appreciate that in the comfort of their own home. by the time we walked ahead, our throats got a bit dry. there were a lot of cafes so we entered the one we just happened to pass at the moment. rather than to say we took a little breather, we ended lounging there for quite long. as compared to when we were in the sushi place where we were sitting in a row, it was more pleasant to share the table with us facing each other. such a long chat we had, just keeping up with the times we haven't been in contact. sensei seems to be doing fine too it's really nice to hear. and yeah, we talked and talked. i didn't even realize we've spent hours together.

eventually, we didn't even reach Ginza as we thought we would, nevertheless it was a fulfilling day spent. i love taking walks like this, especially when you have companions to make it ever more fun. i really gotta thank Onuma-sensei and Dayah n Azizul for making it a fun day. Onuma-sensei is a sensei i can hardly forget, i wish him all the happiness. i really hope we could meet again.