It was another morning and another day with things to do. Today we were going to meet our first people in Japan and spend a little time with the locals.
While researching this trip I came across the Couchsurfing website, which is a place to find couches to stay on if you are backpacking across the world. From Couchsurfing I ran into a man named Mochan who runs a little thing called Wish Club. No one quite knows what Mochan does, he used to run a bar but from what we all gathered he sold that, got a house from his dad, and now spends all his time hosting travelers at his house and holding drinking parties in Tokyo. That's fine by us.
As close as we'd come to the Tokyo Tower during out Japanese trip. On Day 5 the plan was to meet the Wishclub folks for their Cherry Blossom viewing party at Shiba Park. Unfortunately the day was frigid and the sakura were still a bit in hiding, but once everyone gathered together there was a traditional Japanese fix for such things.
Sake, and lots of it. Up until this point in my life I was disgusted by sake. I had tried it many times here in the sates and each time I found it to be pretty terrible. But when I tasted the stuff in Japan I was shocked at how smooth and easy to drink it was. Flavorful too. I guess I have just been buying the wrong stuff. When I asked how expensive it was I was told simply "We got it at the gas station across the street." Wow.
The party kept going for a while. Many of the pictures can be found here, so click that if you want to check them all out.
We brought Tasty Cakes, a local treat from Philly, the girls loved them.
The party came to an end and we piled onto Mochan's bus and headed on a 3 hour tour to Shimizu
Along the way we stopped at a magical rest stop along some Japanese highway. It was bigger than any I had ever seen and it was complete with a whole double sided row of vendors selling Japanese treats.
Also a monster pork bun. What wonders Japan holds.
we'd spend the night drinking beer, eating a home cooked Japanese meal, and falling asleep in a room filled with 6 other people all on futons on the floor.
Mochan welcomes all comers.
The wall of travelers who have come to the Mochan house.