Merry Christmas!

I love traditional Christmas food. Tomorrow I’m going to roast a turkey, even though they are expensive and hard to find in Japan. Tonight I had mince pies and custard. I had to re-order our Christmas pudding from London as I couldn’t help but eat the one I had in the cupboard, which I ordered too far in advance. Thankfully the replacement has arrived in time for Christmas Day. I would make my own but the fruit is so expensive that it’s much cheaper to import a pudding than to attempt to make one.

I’m going to miss eating roasted parsnip but I did manage to find fresh brussel sprouts. We aren’t going to have ham, as it’s expensive and I’m not that keen on it. I also didn’t manage to find cranberries, so no cranberry sauce.

Japanese Christmas food is a little strange. There is a tradition of eating roast chicken from KFC, and we did do that one night this week. Our local supermarket is selling whole chickens, both fresh and roasted. I had never seen a whole roasted chicken in that shop before. They were rather small as Marty was able to eat a whole one himself for dinner, but it was really nice.

Christmas cakes aren’t fruit cakes, they are white sponges with strawberries and this year I saw quite a few chocolate versions. The little one I bought was lovely.

Japanese Petite Noel Cake

Japanese Petite Noel Cake

Merry Christmas!

Afternoon Trip

Yesterday afternoon we hired a car and went to one of the outlet malls outside Tokyo.  We really liked the Mitsui Outlet Park, but were more excited by the drive.  To get there we drove through the Tokyo Bay Aqua Line. It is a 15 kilometer long bridge-tunnel across Tokyo Bay that connects Kawasaki to Kisarazu. 9.6 km are under the bay, making it the fourth longest underwater tunnel in the world.

Route, showing the Aqua Line

Route, showing the Aqua Line

It is not cheap to use. As we used it on the weekend we were charged 800 円 (5.43 GBP) each way. During the week that would be closer to 3,000 円 (20 GBP) each way. We found it fascinating, and the part that is a bridge is beautiful as you just don’t expect to come out of tunnel on to a bridge that is out in the sea.

Busy Month

My last month was dominated by theatre.  I spent a week in November helping out with Tokyo Theater for Children‘s production of The Stinky Cheese Man.  It was a very funny show, which made it difficult to keep quiet backstage.  But I mostly managed to do that.

I spent time learning and teaching the vocal score of “My Son Pinocchio Junior” and “Fame Junior”.  I was surprised by the beauty and complexity of some of the songs in “Pinocchio”.  It will be a challenge to teach, but so far I’m really enjoying working with the children.  Both shows will take place in April next year.

At the start of December I performed at Body N Voice’s annual musical showcase.  I had mixed feelings about the music, but it seemed to go all right on the night.  I’m hoping that next year we can tackle a full musical, but I’m going to wait until the New Year to start working out just how much it will cost to produce that.

I’m still attending improv workshops and have been to 7 of those since I last blogged.  One of them was 6 hours longs, which was incredibly difficult.  Not sure if I am improving, but I am starting to understand the underlying principles.

I have no physical theatre training, so I agreed to attend a couple of corporeal mime classes.  It is difficult. I have no formal dance training and my body does not want to get itself into some of the required positions, but I will continue to attend in the New Year.