Okay, since I managed to get back earlier than I thought, here are some pictures. The izakaya was a place called Hokkatei, combining the first two characters of Hokkaido with Tei, meaning stop or in this case restaurant. Good seafood, considering we're as far from the sea as you can get.
Since Forget-the-year and New Year's Parties are quite common in Japan, restaurants like this have pre-set menus ready for us. We got the sashimi and nabe set, which was lots of fish (which you really appreciate when you come to live in Japan), and three big pots of kim-chee soup. Yum.
A rare glimpse of the J-List crew. Hilariously, the girls all sit on one side, and the guys on another side, no matter what we do. It's like we're all in Elementary School. This is us about to do the clap I wrote about in today's update.
This is atsukan, hot sake. It warmed us nicely.
The nabe was delicious, too. This is kind of like sukiyaki, but deeper, and with different ingredients, including kim-chee, tofu, vegetables and meat. When we'd eaten it all, they put rice and crab meat in and stewed it some more and it was heavenly.
Later it was off to the karaoke box. They actually have disco balls in them, isn't that cool? Do they have disco balls in the U.S. at all? I've been gone way too long to know the answer to that.
There sure was a lot of anime and even video game music to choose from, testimony to the rise of otaku culture in Japan. Here you can see the full selection of songs from Air, one of the PC dating-sim games that was so popular they made a mainstream anime out of it.
I've posted before about how good karaoke is for learning Japanese. The only problem I had with it was, it's so effective at teaching you how to read and pronounce kanji properly, you outgrow it quickly.
Just what we all need, a medley of songs from Macross 7. Well, that was our fun little party. Hope you are going to have some fun this weekend, too. And of course, kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegai shimas, which essentially means thanks for your past support, and we hope you'll continue to help us out in the future.