Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cinco de Mayo + Children's Day

Golden Week (or whatever two days we had off) ended on a high note, with homemade margaritas and a Mexican feast, such a rare treat on this side of the world. I met up with the boys, who once were my neighbours in Marugame and who are now my neighbours in Tokyo (things change, but stay the same).  I was assigned to the cocktail-making, and I worked on a mix of frozen mangoes, cider, lime juice and a bit too much tequila. We made tacos and played a board game, something about settling an island but we were a bit too distracted by last year's Eurovision on YouTube and we pretty much gave up on settling that island (sorry, Jon). I feel so lucky to have some of my closest friends living pretty much next door, as Tokyo can be a lonely place.

Cinco de Mayo was also Children's Day, which means special sweets such as kashiwamochi, which is  rice cake wrapped in a leaf. Apparently you're not supposed to eat the leaf, which I mistakenly consumed as I thought it was similar to sakuramochi, which has an edible leaf. It was more embarrassing than anything, especially as the story made the rounds. I'm quite mortified and had a bad stomachache the following day, but it's all good now (except getting over the embarrassment). To be fair the leaf was quite tasty, albeit a tad chewy.

Life somewhat slowly resumed after this holiday, and I've decided to quit my gym and instead do fitness classes and private training sessions next to my office. I found a place I really like, and I'm kind of relieved I don't have to wait around for 45 minutes until a treadmill becomes available, or not work out on Wednesdays or before work because well, it's closed. Gyms in Japan are usually very expensive (three times the monthly cost of my gym in Montreal), crowded (especially in Tokyo) and filled with rules. Community gyms are usually very cheap, and you can pay as you go- my ward gym was quite far, though. I did enjoy the gym when I was freelancing as I had lots of free time, but with a full-time job the schedule is too limited. Yet I believe exercising in a necessity and not a luxury, and convenience (and location) usually wins over the cost.

Blending in

I even salted the glasses, how classy


Healthy taco

à la bonne franquette


Andy Omae said...

I always wondered what the gym costs were. I have the luxury of working out at the Sanno Hotel when I'm there, but have been curious. Maybe I'll go to the Gold's in Harajuku in a couple of weeks to see what it's like. Do they give tours? And did they have a bunch of Star Wars people dress up for 'May the Fourth be With You?' :)

Vivian said...


Gyms are definitely pricey here, average 15,000¥ per month… check out Gold's Gym, probably that price and they'll definitely give you a tour. Japanese gyms are full of rules though! I recommend Club 360 near Roppongi Hills, you can pay as you go and get those boot camp classes and private sessions. Maybe a better option for you if you're not here full time?

And no, didn't see Star Wars people, haha.

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