For those who don't know, pachinko is a like a Japanese form of slot machines or pokies or whatever you call gambling machines. Being Japanese, it has to be way more advanced yet way more antiquated than gambling machines elsewhere. There also have to be a heap of stupid rules.Read More
If you are learning a foreign language, like Japanese, going to karaoke is good way to get practice. Or maybe it’s not. Maybe I’m just thinking that because I’d rather faff off to karaoke and sing Arashi songs than do real study – but then again, if I wasn’t doing that, I’d just be faffing off playing spider solitaire or posting on facebook anyway so at least I’m doing something, right.
I think this would work for any Asian language since there seems to be a huge amount of Asian songs available. If you are studying a non-Asian language, like say Bulgarian, you might be out of luck. Or maybe there are a heap of Bulgarian karaoke boxes that I just don’t know about.Read More
Ninja training - not something I'd really thought about doing before but my friend was coming to Tokyo and I searched for something fun for us to do. My first thought was a cooking class but all the ones I could find online you made shit like Teriyaki Chicken. Like you couldn't work that yourself.
I figured it'd either be a lot of fun or really lame (and then we'd laugh at them).
We turned up late for our class and got told we had to wait for the next one. I don't get this stupid thing of booking you in for a time then telling you to turn up 20 minutes early. Why the hell don't people just book you in for 20 minutes earlier? Anyway, the girl working in the ninja shop was a bit of a bitch. I'm not sure if it was a language thing but doubt it. She wouldn't let us use the toilet and she told my friend he couldn't buy anything in the shop (we found out later that was because you get a 20% discount after the class but she was really rude about it).
We got into the ninja class and finally got to use the toilet. There was the 2 of us and a group of three teenage boys and their mothers. Turned out it was one of the boys' birthdays. The vibe was really weird - them on one side of the room and us on the other. Class started. It was supposed to be in English as well as Japanese but the English was mainly some powerpoint slides in the background. The guy did give us some English instruction but not a lot.
After the talking, we got to practice with swords, just pulling them out and doing ninja-like poses, not actually using them. It was a bit annoying because we did it in groups of two so there was lots of sitting and watching, not doing. We got up last and I was totally awesome. That was the instructor's comment not mine :)
After that, we learn ninja concealment. By this stage, we'd worked out one of the teenage boys was not the type that should be learning to use any kind of weapon, not even a fake sword. I'm pretty sure he'll end up on one of those posters you see in the Post Office or something. One of the other boys was lovely though and took photos for us. It was kinda sweet too that these 15 year old boys were doing this with their mums, even pairing up with their mums not their friends.
Last up was throwing Ninja stars. Again, I was pretty awesome. I actually got mine in the target. We had a 'boys vs girls' competition at the end and I got 30 points, winning it for my team. Yah!
The guy running the course was very ninja. After we finished, we went to the old amusement park next door and he tapped me on the shoulder. I didn't even hear him walk up! He told me I had great sword-handling skills. I'm not sure if that was a come-on or not. I was pretty impressed with myself though because I'm usually crap at stuff like this.
The class goes for about 45 minutes and costs 2000 yen. We booked in beforehand but you could totally get away with just rocking up and joining a class. Here are the details - http://tabihatsu.jp/program/89331.html