Skip to main content

There's No Raining on Our Parade

On Sunday I went to a CAMP Yale BBQ at the American Embassy Dormitories in the heart of Tokyo.


The complex is located in Akasaka, right in the middle of the city. There are three "towers" like the one above, each with a different color assigned to the balconies. Personally they remind me a lot of the Piet Mondrian paintings: the ones that are white canvasses with stark black lines and occasional blocks of primary colors.

Despite the rainy weather we held our BBQ outside (albeit with a gazebo and pop-up tent handy). There was a bouncy castle for the children present, while the adults did both an egg toss and a water balloon toss for Tokyo Embassy-themed prizes. Then there was classic American BBQ fare--hotdogs, burgers, grilled chicken, potato salad, corn salad, watermelon, brownies and beer. The Yale community here seems really friendly and I hope I'll get to know everyone more over the course of my time here.





Interestingly, right across from these dormitories is a shinto shrine, Hikawa Jinja, built by the Tokugawa Yoshimune, the 8th Tokugawa shogun. The shrine has very densely wooded grounds, and the effect is somewhat like entering a quiet forest when one least expects it.

The rainy season is certainly starting to show its colors, however. The next few days are all cloudy, if not raining, and the humidity is creeping upward in a direction that makes me blanch, just a little bit.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Taking a Breather

Sometimes when you're in Tokyo, as wonderful as its bustling atmosphere is, you just want to forget you're in the middle of Tokyo.


A few weeks ago I was chatting with a guy from Sweden who regularly came to Japan on business and he said that despite how much he loved Tokyo he could never live here because of the lack of green space. Tokyo has its parks, of course, like all major cities, but if you want unspoiled greenery you have to be willing to head at least forty minutes outside of the sprawling metropolis limits. In winter this desire to surround oneself with greenery might not matter as much, but now that spring is seeping into the atmosphere and the upcoming sakura season is on everyone's mind (NHK even puts out an annual "forecast" for sakura!) the neon lights and concrete jungle start to feel a little oppressive.

That's when little hideaways like the Sato Sakura Museum and Kohmeisen come in handy.



The Sato Sakura Museum is a small museum in Nakameguro…

Short Hair, Don't Care: Model Behavior

I like to think I have a wide range of accomplishments under my belt:

Accidentally over-caffeinated myself conducting ethnographic research--check
Read 3+ books in a single day--check
Never (yet) pulled an all-nighter--check
Sung at Carnegie Hall--check
Published a poem--check

But now I can add a decidedly interesting item to that list:
Been a hair model in Japan--CHECK.

It's a bit of a long story.

It all starts with coffee, actually, like many of my adventures here in Japan do. I was checking out a coffee shop in the too, too cool area of Daikanyama (no, seriously, that entire neighborhood is just Too Cool for me, I don't even know why I was there). There I met stylist Yusuke, who asked if I wanted to appear in a PR photoshoot for the opening of his salon brand's newest branch, boy Tokyo, Harajuku. They're (wisely!) making a site to appeal to foreign clientele--it's a smart move because it's really hard to find a place that has stylists who truly are comfortab…

100K Announcement

RICEANDRAMEN HITS 100K VIEWS!!!

Thanks to everyone who has read and followed my journeys in Japan from 2011 to 2017. Your support of my adventures and observations means the world to me.

In celebration of Riceandramen finally hitting 100k views, I am pleased to announce that I will be running a giveaway!

I will send one lucky person a custom box of goodies from Japan that could include (but isn't limited to): snacks, stationary, character goods, traditional Japanese crafts and more. The only limits are weight and size and your imagination (I'll be keeping everything small and light to keep the shipping costs down).

Without further ado, the details and rules of the giveaway are as follows:

Details:


The giveaway will run from today, February 25 2018 JST/ February 24 CST to March 11, 2018 JST/ March 10 CST.You don't have to be in Japan to enter: since almost all of my readers are international, this giveaway will be, too. The winner will be picked at random and notified via p…