Monday, July 7, 2008

My Friend's Visit: Karaoke in Shibuya

My friend and I were still quite tired on Friday, so we had a very relaxed morning.

We went for a wander round my local area again, and we went to Hamacho Park to see some green. It hit 30C for the first time while I've been in Japan, and as we were out at midday the heat was a little overwhelming.

It was lovely and sunny though, even though the summer's omnipresent humidity made it a little less enjoyable. It is still rainy season, but recently it's just been blankets of grey cloud broken by the occassional sunny afternoon. The general trend for the day is that it's extremely humid in the early hours (around 98%) and cloudy, then the humidity drops to around 60 or 70% in the afternoon, when the temperature goes up and we might see some sun. Then the temperature drops and the humidity rises in the evening.

We went back to my guesthouse (maybe to recover a bit as we are British, and we're not used to this weather!) and waited for my Chinese friend who lives in Western Tokyo to arrive.

There was a vague plan to go to Shibuya for dinner and karaoke, so when he arrived at about 5pm we left after introducing everyone.

It was nice to catch up with his news, and he's started studying French at University so he and my French housemate chatted about France and he practised a little.

There were four of us that evening, and I took them to a karaoke place I knew called Utahiroba (歌広場). We went for two hours (which is quite a short time as it goes so quickly) and they do unlimited free non-alcoholic drinks. Including some food we bought, it was Y1,900 each.

My Chinese friend and David had never done karaoke in Japan, and my French housemate likes to listen more than sing, so it was up to me to start it off. I asked them if I should do an English or a Japanese song first, and they said Japanese, so of course it had to be Perfume.

Along with my usual songs, I did some duets of Leona Lewis' 'Bleeding Love', 'My Heart Will Go On' by Celine Dion, 'Suddenly I See' by KT Tunstall and Aretha Franklin's 'RESPECT'. You've got to choose the most embarrassing ones, otherwise it's not as fun!

Then we ate dinner in a nearby restaurant that I'd been to before and afterwards went for a walk round brightly-lit Shibuya, which was heaving as it was Friday night.

We then took the Yamanote line (山手線) to Shinjuku (新宿), as my friend had to go home, and we wanted to show David the skyscraper district at night.

We took one of the last trains home and helped one of my housemates choose her outfit for a night out. It took nearly two hours! David was falling asleep on the sofa towards the end of the fashion parade but it was fun, and good practice for my Japanese!

By the end of the day, we were both very tired and we fell straight asleep, with the air con on of course!

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