I had to go and renew my Japanese driver's license. Here in Japan, your driver's license doesn't expire until a month after your birthday.
The whole renewal process is not terribly complicated. They have distinct numbers and arrows on the floor to help you figure out where you have to go from one window to the next. The whole process was about 45 minutes until the part where I had to attend a lecture. That took 2 hours, to the minute. They did have a 20 minute break after an hour of lecture. The last 40 minutes consisted of more lecture, but the last 25 minutes was a video they had English subtitles for. Amazingly, the whole time, except the last 25 minutes was all in Japanese. I did not understand pretty much anything, although I could figure out what he probably was talking about based on the pictures he showed or his motions. At the end of the 2 hours, my drivers license was ready for me to pick up.
The next step was getting an international driver's license. Since my British Columbia driver's license expired, I wasn't sure I could get it renewed and issued in time for me to rent a car, so I took precautions and got an International Driver's license. That took no more than 10 minutes, which included getting a picture taken at the booth just outside the Driver's License Center. After arriving at shortly after 11 am, we were finished by 14:30.
A coffee at Starbucks to celebrate was in order and Rie and I went out to dinner, a delicious dinner. It was something we have been planning for a while and today was a good day to go. We went to Kisoji, which has shabu-shabu, but also what they call sukiyaki. Shabu-shabu is when you cook your food at your own table, in hot water. Sukiyaki, is similar in that you have a hot plate on your table and heat up the pot, but you put in a soy/sugar sauce and baste your food in that. It was delicious!
|First course shrimp and tofu/egg mixture.|
|Second course, shrimp, sea bream and octopus.|
|River fish, edamame and ginger. The sauce on the right was a vinegar.|
|Different noodles, different mushrooms, different onions, tofu and chrysanthemum leaves were used to baste in the sauce.|
|This was basting in the soy sugar sauce.|
|This is the beef.|
|Rie basting our food.|
|After you baste the meat or vegetables, you can dip it in either the raw egg (left) or put it on the rice (center). The tomatoes were delicious as well (right).|
|We finished our dinner with a dessert with matcha tea. I had vanilla ice cream and Rie had Japanese sweets.|