At first, we had thought of going to the "kaiten" (converyor belt) sushi restaurant again, but I
made a case to go to one of the smaller restaurants just by our apartment building that we have not been to. We debated about which one to go to but just went with the closest one since we plan on going to all of them anyways.
We walked in and immediately realized it was a "greasy spoon" diner. There were a handful of locals, sitting at the two tables and watching baseball, who looked surprised to see to foreigners. The proprietor indicated that we should take a seat at the stools in front of the counter and handed us menus. We laboriously read the hiragana (Japanese alphabet) and katakana (modified alphabet for foreign words) names of the dishes and figured out they had ramen. Joan did not want that dish and so worked with the lady to decide on rice and fish (gohan to sakana).
The prices were really cheap, but we were a little skeptical about the food based on how the place looked. The lady bustled around her kitchen space right in front of us, pulling Joan's fish out of the fridge and plopping it on the grill. She heated up the large pot of water and quickly
dumped in my ramen noodes. Joan's rice bowl was filled, along with another smaller one of miso soup. My noodels came out and were topped with chopped green onion, seaweed, pork, and bamboo. Before we new it, the dishes were slid in front of us, and she indicated for us to tuck in.
Luckily are initial imperssions were quite wrong, and the food was delicious. I need to go back to the ramen master down the street for a taste comparison because this lady's ramen was killer!
Quite full and pleased, we paid our bill and explained who we were and where we lived. It was interesting to find that they knew all about our apartment buildings, where it was, and that is was full of foreigners. I
guess that is not too suprising; there are not too many foreigners here, and the building has been there for years.
With some time to spare, we walked around the neighborhood, down small side streets and alleys, peering into people's yards. The Japanese style of landscaping and architecture is really interesting. We met an old lady walking her incredibly cute dog and got some good animal time while trying to chat with her in Japanese.
Then we had to pick up the pace to make it to the concert on time. It was being held at the driving school, which is between our place and the university - maybe a five-minute walk. I think it is a private business in a large building it shares with others, but out back is a fairly large
driving course of condensed roads and intersections.
The concert was held to raise funds for orphans (at least that's what we think it was for), and donations were collected at the door. There were three groups, all wearing matching Hawaiian shirts and dresses, and they played wonderful Hawaiian, Okinawan, and Japanese music. It was a very pleasant hour and a half. The man with his head in a driver's license was the MC of the
show and the representative of the driving school.
After the show, we slowly walked to the grocery store to some supplies and ice cream! It was a very nice evening overall. It felt good to get out of the house and do something in the community.