Holiday Date Marathon Part II: Yokohama

Last night (Christmas Eve), I went out to Yokohama with Midori, a girl from the Tokyo University of Foreign Languages. We didn't really hit it off romantically, but we had a great time talking, the conversation mostly meandering about differences between our cultures when it comes to gender relations, standards of beauty, and love.

Yokohama is an amazing port town, and beautifully lit at night. It has bay cruises, a warehouse-cum-boutique-mall, an amusement park, and Landmark Tower, the home of the world's fastest elevators.

Despite the platonic vibe, I think we were both happy to be strolling around holding hands and looking couple-ish. Looking at the crowds at the pier, the amusement park, and the tower, Christmas Eve in Japan is nothing but pairs. Single people stay inside, or in some cases, go to game centers all night the day before so they can sleep through the misery. Given that I was already adjusting to my first Christmas away from family, not feeling doubly lame because of my single-ness was nice.

Yokohama's Chinatown- made me nostalgic for San Francisco.
Yokohama Chinatown

Pretending to like the Chinese noodle dish I got, with was a flavorless, oily disaster. Why didn't they have any good old mongolian beef?
Pretending to like the yakisoba

Midori and I in front of the Hikawa Maru Yokohama
Christmas Eve Date with Midori

Shocho, the greatest street performer I've ever seen. Besides making balloon corsages, solving a rubix cube in 30 seconds, juggling fire, and blowing a latex glove into a hat with only his nose, he was also amazing at crowd-handling, keeping us all in awe and stitches with his glib Japanese shpiel.
Balloon Corsage

Shocho juggling fire, just because he can.
Juggling Fire

The "Vanish" coaster, which is pretty darned scary when it shoots under water like that.

As usual, full Flickr slideshow below (turn on captions for the narrative).

Unfortunately, my dating marathon never made it to #3: Miyuki caught ill. I ended up tooling around Shibuya with a friend from Lewis and Clark, and then going out to Sushi with her family. It was pretty fortunate we had planned to meet up, because otherwise I would have been super-bummed about my spoiled plans for the night. Nothing like a cell-phone mail header of「悲しいお知ら ( "A sad announcement") to let you know you're not going to like the rest of it.

What's in store for the rest of the week? Tomorrow's Six Apart Japan's holiday party, and the 27th is a little apartment shindig with a friend from Hosei University. I'm going to try to get together with Miyuki sometime before New Years (maybe see if I can bring her some soup or some other gesture of well-wishing), and then it's off to Nagoya to hang out with Sandy and her family before classes.

Maybe I should also make a little time for studying in there….nah…..