During my time in Japan, I have been volunteering as much as possible in the local area. It’s not only a way to have all sorts of experiences that I otherwise never would have had, but also, it’s been fantastic for making friends with Japanese people outside of my school. This has been the most important step towards feeling happy and comfortable in Tokyo. Unfortunately, due to COVID 19, all such volunteering events have been cancelled since mid-Feb until the unforeseeable future, but as soon as they resume, I plan to get back out there right away.
One time I was volunteering, I met a lovely English teacher. She said that next summer, her daughter would be moving to my home city, Vancouver, on a working holiday. So, she graciously invited me to lunch at their family’s favorite Italian restaurant. She was even kind enough to pick me up in her car. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a car.
The restaurant was actually gorgeous. It seemed so authentically Italian, almost as though we had been transported to Europe. The decor was so beautiful and cozy, and the staff were wonderfully warm.
All the trees that you can see from the windows are cherry trees, so in the spring, apparently it is the perfect spot for cherry blossom viewing. We checked, but the restaurant had already been fully booked, far in advance.
The appetizer was delicious, and might have been my favorite part of the whole course. It is actually very rare to get hummus, chickpeas, and a charcuterie-type platter like this in Japan. I eat this way all the time back in Vancouver, though, so it was a huge treat for me. This was also served with some foccacia.
We chose different pasta entrees. They got swordfish spaghetti with white sauce. (I didn’t even know that was a thing!) I got a more standard tomato sauce with Italian sausage.
After that, came dessert. It was a mousse with a tangy marmalade sauce on top. What a well thought out course meal. Together with some great conversation, thanks to their hospitality, I really had a wonderful afternoon. Thank you! ❤