Happy (really belated) Birthday, S!

18 Oct

This is like way out of date, so I apologize, but for some reason, I never (I don’t think) mentioned what we did for my bff S’s birthday.  Her birthday was at the beginning of October, and since it fell on a Saturday, we were able to go into Tokyo for a day of fun to celebrate!  A play that we wanted to see was playing on that day, so we got tickets in the name of birthday fun, and planned to meet up with J, who would also be in Tokyo that weekend, and our friends who had the live in Gunma back in September.  But of course, being the cool kids we are, the first thing we did was grab McDonald’s before the play!  I decided to try a yearly fall special in Japan, the Tsukimi Burger or “moon viewing” burger.  Tsukimi is a Japanese tradition (that, as far as I can tell, has basically fallen out of fashion) that is similar to hanami or “flower viewing” in the spring.  As far as I know, one drinks sake with friends outside in the evening and enjoys the beauty of the moon.  The Tsukimi Burger, however… has really nothing to do with moon viewing except for, as far as I can tell, that the egg patty thing on it looks like the moon.  Yes, you heard me right, egg patty.  I overcame my hatred of egg to try a McDonald’s seasonal special.  I’m a daring individual, what can I say.

After McDonald’s, we saw the play, which was funny and well done, and got to do a handshake with the actors afterwards, which is always a treat (even when they’re either terrified because you’re a foreigner or try awkward English on you), and we got to hang out with our various Tokyo friends.  But we weren’t done when we headed back to Gunma, because Sunday we had plans to party with our Kiryu friends!  But first, I had plans of my own; I had yet to give S her birthday gift, so I whipped up some homemade wrapping paper.  I’m a fan of making homemade wrapping paper– it’s much cheaper than buying, and it’s more personal that way!  True, it was a tradition I started in college when I was poor and didn’t have money nor time to buy wrapping paper, but I think it’s also nice to spend the time to make something, rather than just buy it. At any rate, I made her some Japanese-esque girly paper and a bow to go with, and then wrapped up her gift, which was a really special Sexy Zone single that she had requested.  Because I’m a lame friend and got her exactly what she asked for.

After I gave her her gift, we headed out to meet our Kiryu friends at a local izakaya.  Izakaya are a type of bar in Japan, popular for small parties and drinking gatherings.  Most of the food is snacky-type munchies like karaage (fried chicken bites) or kushi (meat and vegetables on small skewers), though there are also sometimes more meal-like dishes or things like sushi and sashimi.  We ate unhealthy food and chatted to our hearts’ content before heading to karaoke!  At the karaoke place in Kiryu, if you make a reservation for a birthday, they’ll give you a cake and “champagne” (which seemed to be chu-hi in a champagne bottle), so we got to indulge!  The cake was actually quite good, and all in all, it was a very nice little way to celebrate!  Perhaps we’ll go back for my birthday~

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