I might be single, but I am not alone.

I can proudly say I had a wonderful Valentines week. Okay, maybe it wasn’t a full week, but I celebrated the holiday of everything red and chocolaty for several days. It was a lot different from how I normally spend it, which is alone watching some sappy K or J Drama with a dinner made by me for me. This year I put a lot more work into it that is for sure.

It started this last Wednesday when I met up with my fellow trouble making ALT Taylor. We both met up in Taylor’s city Iwakuni after we both got off of work. We had nothing really planned for the rest of the day, but we would find ourselves staying out into the early hours of morning. The only thing we had officially planned for was me to get a hair cut, but that had to be put off until the next day due to the salon being booked. Not knowing what to do Taylor turned to the rather upset me and said, “You getting hangery?” “Yeah, I think so,” I replied. She smiled at me, “Want sushi?”

So off we went to go to our normal sushi stomping grounds at the Fresta Mall. There we filled our tummies up and started to head back to Taylor’s apartment, but not without stopping for some Karaoke first. We don’t normally get to stay out late during week days, but since the next day was a holiday we could hang out as long as we wanted. Karaoke had not been a part of the original plan either, but knowing Taylor and I we just can’t say no.

Well, “lets just go for an hour,” turned into “Omg, I think we have this room until 4:00 am.” Which in fact we did. Without really knowing it we had booked a room from 7:30pm to 4:00 am with the addition of the all you could drink service. Boy did we have it made. Between the two of us we sang for a solid seven hours. We even got to see JOJO, a worker at the Karaoke place, that we met another time we had been there. We made him sing a little too.

The next day we filled our time with making chocolates, watching HULU, and being the silly girls that we are. We also got my hair cut and had dinner together. It was Indian curry from one of Taylor’s favorite places, Ganesh. After everything was said and done and I finally got home I was totally wiped; I was asleep by 8:30pm.

Then came Saturday. I spend the day with Sumitomo sensei in Hiroshima. This time however I got to learn how to take the bus from Yanai to the Hiroshima Bus Center. I also turned into the tour guide for the day, even though I know very little about the city. Over all I think my day trip plan worked our very nicely.

To start off the day we got coffee at Starbucks. Always one of my favorite places to stop to get a treat since Yanai, and all of my prefecture Yamaguchi does not have one. Sumitomo had never been there before either so it was a first for her!

After coffee we roamed Hondori Street. It is a street that is littered with shops and various specialty stores. Think of it as being similar to a Strip Mall, except is goes along a street on both sides. This street is one of my favorite places to shop, because I can go to H&M, GU, and other stores that carry clothes that fit my body type. This area is also loaded with places to eat at as well.

For lunch we had pasta at a very cute and delicious Italian food restaurant called Ristorante Mario. It is very close to Memorial Peace Park, and right next to the river. The food was well priced and tasted marvelous. Sumitomo and I would get the lunch set which included a salad with bread on the side, your choice of pasta as the main dish, along with the desert of the day, and finally to finish the meal, your choice of espresso, coffee, or tea.

The last part of our trip would be the Hiroshima Museum of Art. The current expedition consisted of works from the Impressionist time period. I even saw a few that artists and paintings I remembered from my art history class, but many I didn’t know. This made my experience enjoyable. I also prosperously chose to arrive at the Museum when a music performance was taking place. The performance was of classical pieces and we also got to see a small portion of an opera piece.

Once we finished getting our fill of art Sumitomo and I headed back to the Bus Center. The Sogou Mall is connected to the center and Sumitomo had heard that there was a floor full of chocolate. She loves sweets and I promised her that we would check it out. So, before we loaded onto our bus we found our way to the 9th floor, it was Chocolate heaven. There had been many women buying chocolates for their lovers and so many different choices to choose from. I am impressed at all the quality and care that goes into buying chocolates for Valentines day here in Japan. Back home in the states I feel like we throw a bag of Snickers at our loved ones and say “Here ya go.”

After getting to test out all the chocolates and finding some dinner we managed to make the bus home, with only a second to spare. The day was long and exhausting, but very enjoyable.

That leaves Sunday, the dreaded day of Love and mushy stuff. This year I spent it making a mess with my buddy Becca. She lives about 35 minutes away from me by train in the town called Suo-Hanokoka. Anyway, we spent Valentines day making a homemade whipped cream and strawberry cake, experimented while making chocolate treats, and ate way too much sugar. All in all it was a day filled with laughs and mistakes but it was a fantastically wonderful way to spend the holiday with a friend. I loved it!


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