Unlike karaoke in the US&A, karaoke in Japan can be crazy fun. You rent your own room with a group of friends and usually for somewhere around $25 you get two or three hours of all you can drink. They seem to have nearly every song I can every think of, and my favorite way to spend the karaoke fest is by enforcing a "only songs from Jr. High" policy. This rule works really well and it is something close to bliss to get blitzed and sing Sugar Ray.
On the 31st I went with my cousin and his friends from high school (who all went to the American School in Tokyo, and many are Japanese or half or from the US) to a karaoke bar in Shibuya, which is sort of Tokyo's Time Square, but with a lot of cool bars and tons and tons of people. I forgot that I cannot drink as much as business major bros and got really drunk and the countdown crush of hundreds of people in the streets screaming is all sort of a warm fuzzy blur. What is not a blur is my struggle to find the right train home, and once seated on my train the guy next to me turned to me and puked all over me! By the time it hit me that yes, a stranger had puked on me, he was off at the next stop. The humiliation of being puked on (and then handed tissues by passers-by, and then backed away from, oh and lets not forget arriving at my family's house covered in puke) in this super polite place is something that will make this New Year's Eve unforgettable.
I was in a tall building in Shinjuku.
One of my cousins asked me, "Kelly, what is your fashion style?" I told her, "Well, in the winter time I wear as many bulky, unflattering layers as I can squeeze under this thrift store find of a jacket, lots of bright off-colors that clash, and try to look as outdated and as possible." As irony is non-translatable and my cousins only seem to wear things with large labels on them, I had to follow that comment with "Just kidding, I am really into Marc Jacobs."
At a lot of convenience stores you can buy pre-made oden, which is a kind of soup made up of a clear broth and various fish cake and seaweed items. It never really looks that appetizing in the convenience store... However, I would say that convenience store food in Japan is of amazing quality compared to the old US&A. I actually like eating food from convenience stores here.
Zoom Zoom Zoom.
Train Train Train.
Setagaya, the neighborhood in Tokyo where one of my cousins lives. I stayed here for the majority of they time.