On Sunday November 3rd we met with the staff from the Akira Foundation and headed out. It was our first time meeting the staff and although we knew that they would be running the Japan-side of the program, we did not know much about who they were. Of course, they were friendly and ready to show us around and so after introductions and a brief run-down of what we could expect during the next couple of weeks, the group, joined by our new friends, Hirofumi, Atsufumi, Megumi, Ken, Sosha, and Marina, went out to enjoy Tokyo.
We set out for Akihabara, a district in Tokyo known for its stores selling electronics. As it was already midday we decided our first stop should be lunch. With different people wanting to eat different things, the group split up into two. One, incidentally all of the males, went to eat sushi, while the other, all girls, went to eat more traditional Japanese food.
When Americans think of Japan, we often think of sushi. However, as I soon learned, sushi is not a common dish, and instead is something that is eaten only occasionally, maybe once or twice a year.
We sat down on stools surrounding the conveyor belt that rotated in a circle in the center of the small, compact restaurant. In the center of this conveyor belt there was a chef preparing the sushi, working masterfully, as he responded to special orders from knowledgeable customers.
As plates moved past me on the conveyor belt, I had no idea what was what. However, I picked whatever looked interesting and soon was stacking plates high. How this sushi bar worked, and how many do in Japan, is that the color of the plate indicates the price of the dish. Patrons stack their plates on top of each other as they continue eating. Once finished, a waiter will count up your total based on the amount of plates that you have stacked up and the colors of these plates.
School Without Walls