A time for goodbyes. The Japanese system of transferring workers—especially in the case of government employees and teachers— may have its reasons, but it can be quite a hassle too. And it makes March and April really expensive, because in true Japanese fashion, we have to make toasts to and party it up with everyone involved.
I'm losing a teacher I've been working with since the beginning, but at least she's staying in our town and my co-worker gets to teach with her from now on. Yesterday I had a lunch with most of the ladies from the school she's departing from. The restaurant that was chosen was perfect. I wish I could tell you what we ate but I can't do the details proper justice. Just know it was contemporary Japanese, fresh, and full of flavour; refined and subtle. Just as elegant as the restaurant itself—notice the beautiful wooden tables that might look like one big table, but is actually four moved together. As for the chef, he had a sort of "mad scientist" hairstyle—longer than normal grey hair, messed up in the back—, except in a chef's jacket I guess that becomes "inspired artist". I wish I had recorded his explanation of the meal. Do note that all this fabulousness is reservation only.
The evening was not as refined. You'll see some typical Japanese drinking party food. Clockwise from the top we have: potato fries, batter-fried prawns, sashimi, crab, edamame, prawns, pickled vegetables, fish, spring rolls, fried something, and strawberries. I couldn't tell you what's in the centre of that plate, because I neglected to eat any of it. We also each had a lump of sōmen (I think? they have lots of noodles here) served in some cold dashi. And what's a Japanese event without onigiri—or if you're speaking textbook English: "rice balls"—served with some delicious takuan pickles.