Before I talk about my day, let me do a couple of ~important things~. First off, look at this. It's Rilakkuma inari! SO CUTE. (Note: Rilakkuma is a cute bear character that I happen to be a huge fan of- for example, I have a planner, a notepad, etc. with him on it. Inari is a soybean pouch kind of thing that's stuffed with rice.) Also, I had my blog added to The Japan Blog List, which I just happened to find on Google yesterday, so if you're interested in reading other blogs about Japan, check it out! I mean, I haven't really looked around on that site much, but. lol
But anyway! Since Mondays are our days off around here, Becky and I went and had fun this afternoon~ We got covers for our iPhones (mine is purple, of course), and then went to lunch at Mos Burger. Now, I need to preface this by saying that I learned something about Japan last week: They're amazed by napkins with designs on them and often refuse to even use them. When the girls from the Mie University Bible study were over, Becky brought out some random Valentine's Day napkins with a teddy bear on them and the girls thought they were super cute and wouldn't use them. They said that they'd put them up on the wall! It seems like most Japanese people use tissues at the dinner table, although I have seen normal napkins at restaurants and stuff. But anyway, all of this to say, I was pretty amused when we sat down at Mos Burger and saw this decorating our table.
And then, of course, the food.
The Hokkaido Croquette Foccaccia. Croquette is really just a deep fried mashed potato-type thing. Seems like most of the "burgers" at Mos Burger aren't really burgers at all, haha. But it was delicious!
Onion ring/fries combo. Whyyyy is there no ranch in Japan. ;__; Someone send me some :D?
After we ate, we went to the castle park. Which, okay, it's pretty cool that there are castle ruins in Tsu, but there's really not all that much left. There's like, the guard tower or whatever, and some of the walls, but that's about it.
The guard tower. I wonder what the whole castle would've looked like.
The lord of the castle.
Pretty sure this fountain isn't an original part of the castle though...
But we didn't really go there for the castle. We went there for the leaves. And man, fall in California is nothing like this. The maple trees here are amazing. I took tons of pictures.
One of the old castle walls.
This was part of the moat, I think.
The moat on the other side of the park.
An old-fashioned Japanese lantern.
I mean, look at how perfect these little leaves are. (And, um, how imperfect my nail polish is. >_>)
A little tiny maple tree.
I just can't get over how amazing these leaves are.
After leaving the park, we came home, and I chatted on Skype with a couple of people and studied some Japanese (so that I don't procrastinate as much as I did last week...). And then, around 6, we headed over to Carol's to celebrate Becky's birthday. Here we all are:
Carol worked really hard on the food. Everything was really good!
Pumpkin soup and an orange biscuit.
Salad with crunchy sweet potato stick things and sesame dressing, which is possibly the best salad dressing in the world (second to ranch, of course).
The main course: cinnamon carrots, macaroni, and a chicken/ham/chicken cordon bleu-ish thing which was my favorite part of the meal. The sauce was so good!
Pumpkin pie cheesecake.
And, of course, the birthday girl!
I didn't get a picture, but the candle on the cake was awesome! It was like a sparkler, shooting off sparks pretty far around the cake. I've never seen a candle like that before!
The Mouth of Truth. It's for your toilet paper apparently, haha.
And we all had a really nice time talking about how we met Becky (I'm the most recent of course, but Carol and Nori-chan have known her since she was five!), and just chatting about various things. I've met Tomomi-san before, on my first day in Japan when we went to the Audacious concert, but I got to know her a little bit better today, and she's really funny! Of course Nori-chan was there, and Eri and Youko from church, and Miho who comes to the Bible class on Wednesdays. I had a lot of fun!