December 24, 2013

The Holiday Weekend in Yokohama


Aren't these the cutest Christmas reindeers (aka poodles) you've ever seen?

While many other countries may have a day off to celebrate Christmas on the 25th, here in Japan it is not an official holiday. So a lot of people get together over the weekend or on the 23rd, which actually is an official holiday here (it's our Emperor's birthday!).

I ended up in Yokohama this weekend with my Japanese friends, who currently live in South Korea, and their Chinese-Malay friends, currently visiting Japan from Malaysia. We went by Chinatown and had lunch at Bawarou, a Taiwanese restaurant that actually had vegetarian options. It was really good and the owner was quite the character.

After learning how to count from one to ten in Chinese, Korean, and Malay (this is what happens when everyone speaks a different language), we took a walk down the pier. Yokohama has so much history, it's really interesting learning about how the port opened and evolved. Also, the view is pretty amazing, too.

Our Malaysian friends wanted to try ice skating so we stopped by the Red Brick Warehouse, which we call Aka-renga. Every winter they have a popular outdoor skating rink in their event space. It's very crowded so it's not the place to practice your triple axels, but skating with friends is always fun. Especially when it's someone's first time on ice. The girls had previous experience so they were very good but their dad had never ice skated before. He was like bambi on the ice! Teehee!

We had tons of fun and I'm glad we got to spend our holiday weekend together. And even though I'll be working on Christmas day, I'll still be in a festive mood for sure! (Especially since everyone on the other side of my emails will be on holiday and I won't have that much to do anyways ;D)

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas from Japan! x


16 comments:

  1. I've never been to Aka-Renga during Christmas season. And wow, they have a skating rink? Looks veeery crowded, but so is everywhere else in Japan ;)

    Happy holidays, Kaori :)

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    1. Happy holidays, Miwa! (I'm so behind on all my comments!) I've always avoided Aka-renga during this season because I know it's so crowded, but then I end up having fun anyways. haha. Skating rinks are popping up all over the greater Tokyo area lately! Do you have one in Nagoya? I bet E would have fun :D

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    2. Yes, we actually do have one in Nagoya! I just randomly ran into it while I was in the city, but come to think of it, it's not that much of a surprise to have skating rinks in Nagoya since so many of Japan's famous figure skaters are from the area!

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    3. Oh that's right! I forgot how the top skaters come from Nagoya! ;D

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  2. Looks like a fun time. Trying to catch up on blogs and didn't say Merry Christmas yet. :) Merry Christmas!

    Looking at your pictures, I noticed the girl in the skirt. I hope she was wearing skin coloured tights or something cause it looks frighteningly cold!

    Lastly, the picture of boots on ice reminds me of curling. I need to do that again. Been years since I last tried it.

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    1. I'm behind on reading and commenting on blog posts, too!

      Can't say for sure regarding the girl with the skirt. Young kids do crazy things to look their best when venturing outside. I know for certain because I used to wear the shortest school uniform skirt with just loose-socks in Sapporo winters. Crazy.

      Also, you know how to curl? I've always wanted to try, it looks so interesting! Do they were regular skates or are there curling skates just for the sport? You've got me curious now :D

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    2. Curlers don't wear skates. They were regular shoes. If you are an amateur you just have to wear flat soled shoes and they give you a special "footprint" to step on. It is similar to a ski but the size of a regular foot. That is how you slide. The ice is actually not slippery at all if you walk on it. It is like a frosted sidewalk. If you try to stop suddenly, you'll slip, but if you are careful, you won't have problems walking on it.

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    3. Oh okay. I always see them sliding on one foot and pushing with the other. I thought maybe they had a skate on one foot or something :D

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    4. It would definitely be more interesting if they were on skates though.

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    5. I just learned that the skating rink behind Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi will have curling lessons on Wednesdays! Maybe they'll hire you as a coach? ;)

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    6. Really? Curling at Midtown? I'd do it, but I don't need the lesson. Can I just hurl rocks down the ice? ;)

      PS: I hope they make it real curling ice. Regular ice is just... too... slippery.

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    7. I feel like I'm taking Curling 101...they use different ice??? ;D

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    8. If you want, I can teach you here. :P

      Funny thing, saw a friend who learned to play on hockey ice. Strange to see but no curling rinks in Tokyo. :(

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  3. Looks like a lot of fun & cold, too!!! Japan gives you the opportunity to celebrate Christmas differently.😊👍🎅

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    1. I'm so glad you all seem to have survived the massive Christmas feast in France! hehe! ;D

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    2. Only barely! Looking forward to healthier Japanese food.😉

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