I’ve been on the move for the last five days. First me and Miwa went to Tottori, a city due north of Okayama-ken on the coast of the Sea of Japan, for the weekend. Then from monday to wednesday I was in Kobe for the JET Recontracting Conference, a good excuse to get pissed every day and pick up the odd scrap of useful information from the masses of boredom that await in the lectures and seminars.
Tottori was beautiful. It took us 3 hours to drive from the Inland Sea to the Sea of Japan, and by mid afternoon we were eating raw fish and drinking beer by the beach. Tottori is famous for the “Tottori sakyuu”, sand dunes that stretch out for several kilmetres by the sea. They come complete with “desert costumes” and camels, but despite our best efforts we couldn’t locate the elusive camels (maybe they’d taken nenkyuu! 🙂 ). The food was absolutely fantastic; fresh sashimi for lunch on saturday, then barbequed whole fish in the evening; “tai”, “aji” and a local fish as well as squid, scallops, clams and prawns. Then on our last day we went down to the fish market at Tottori harbour, which had fresh and amazingly cheap crap meat.
After returning to Okayama late sunday night I was off again the next morning to Kobe by bullet train. The Recontracting Conference was really great fun; I was lucky that I was put in a room with two Brits who shared the same attitude towards the three days as me. Despite the occasional useful bit of information, I was happy to make sarcastic comments to while away the several hours of boredom each day. The predominantly American-habit of cheering, clapping and volunteering just doesn’t seem to sit well with us Brits (or maybe its just me), who prefer to quietly mock and scorn that which they don’t like (ok it is just me). In truth it wasn’t all that bad, and I did make it to all but one seminar, which is pretty good going I reckon (I didn’t make it to breakfast any of the days though). Anyway, the Conference was fun because of the evenings, when we got to “explore” Kobe in true JET style. The highlight has to be the last night, when I went out with a big group of Brits in Sannomiya. Trust the english to find the biggest public space (a concrete area just outside the main station), sit in it and drink cans of beer! I met some fun people, refreshing my list of contacts in various places all around Japan, as well as getting to know some of the other Okayama JETs better. On the last day we all went out for lunch as it was my New Orleansean friend’s birthday. Hope you had a good day Reed!