This morning Nerissa and I got up early and headed over to the fish Market in Tsukiji. Unsurprisingly for the world’s largest seafood trading hall, it was ginormous, although the smell was remarkably bearable. This may have had something to with the fact that everything was being so thoroughly cleaned, and that aside from the odd dozen discarded tuna heads, the place was incredibly clean. After experiencing the thrill of a thousand slaughtered fish we headed to Shinjuku, where we actually spent an incredibly pleasant afternoon wandering around my bête noire. This may have had something to do with the fact that for the first time since I got here I managed to avoid getting lost, and to think it’s only taken me 9 1/2 months.
This evening we attended a party on the roof of Rie’s house, where we watched the fireworks from a nearby festival, ate far too much food, and handed out small fireworks and sparklers to the local children. Thankfully, unlike in my textbook, this experience didn’t end with the death of any family members. As an added bonus I received this rather strange complement from one of Rie’s friends: ‘The last time I saw you Sam, you were in shorts and looked like a boy, but tonight, in your trousers, you look like a man.’ However, any joy this brought was short lived, as another friend thought that I was ‘around 33’; I blame the beard.