Thursday, January 17, 2008

Shinnenkai (新年会)and Sumo Food

Woke up this morning, and this is what I saw:
It may not be obvious in the picture but frosts were all over the place. Initial reaction was, 'snow!' but come to think of it, it was just probably frosted dew. It's around 0 degrees Celcius around here since it's winter. Of course seeing the actual falling down of snowflakes would have been more dramatic; nevertheless the sight was cool since I'm a first-timer having a semi-winter experience.

Anyway, we just had our Shinnenkai, or New Year's party awhile ago. hahaha. At first, I thought all of Toppan's employees would gather around and 'party', but It's just actually a dine out with the whole team under Tozawa-kachou (Manager Tozawa) where I belong. I guess there won't be any 'company-wide' event, it's just not the Japanese way.

We had just dined in this Japanese resto near Himemiya Station (Tobu-Isesaki Line), which turned out to be a Sumo restaurant. This is the 2nd time we're going out with the team, the 1st one was our welcome party wherein we ate sukiyaki.

When eating authentic Japanese dishes, expect raw meat. This is some pic of raw seafoods as appetizers:

And now for the main event, the Chankonabe! (feat. Yasuda-san)

Imagine that big pot (nabe means pot) being shared only be 4 people (the team ordered 4 pots). It's Sumo diet, remember? Yet, more sidedishes to come:

(beside: that's just some cooked egg on the left, on the right- it is raw horse meat!)
(below: forgot the name, but it's basically something like our very own fishballs)

On meetups like these, it's usually patak-patak (everyone pays) but thankfully we were 'saved' by Kachou or else we would have contributed 6,000 yen.

The Japanese are indeed heavy drinkers, even capable of drinking different kinds of alcohol in one sitting. It was a good thing I skipped the beer this time (and chose Melon instead, haha, health conscious because of my BP!) because I might not be able to catch up with them. But really, the best way to befriend a Japanese is to sit down and have a drink with them. Most of these team mates are very serious at work which makes us feel "out of place" all the time, having no one to talk to. With the help of alcohol, they really get to have the confidence to talk to you and practice their English.

Another weird thing is that we're always celebrating during weekdays (Thursday). Well, the most logical reason would be that on Fridays, most of the Japanese would take long trips home.

We ended the dinner-get-together by standing up, yelling a one syllable "yoo~" and then end it with a clap. For whatever it means. haha.

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posted by ScIoN 5:48 PM


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Location: Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

ScIoN is a former Systems Engineer in Japan who specialized in industrial imaging and digital hardware design. He is now back in the Philippines pursuing graduate studies in Finance at the University of the Philippines - Diliman.



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