Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I was invited to an enkai by my base school and decided to take them up on the offer. Basically, an enkai is a work party and they are quite common in Japan. Lots of food, drinking, and coworkers having a good time together. This was my base school's end of sports festival/end of the semester enkai and thus a pretty big one. It was held at an onsen in Isawa and there was even a bus to take everyone! Only problem was that the day of the enkai wasn't the day I worked at my base school, so the bus made an extra stop to come pick me up!

The onsen was really nice and the party started with some optional spa time, which I opted to do cause going to this enkai was expensive (about 6,000 yen) and I wanted to get my money's worth! Then we went to our private room to get the actual party started. The setup was really fancy and everyone drew a color and number to determine where they sat. Well, everyone but my JTE, cause they made her sit next to me.

Once everyone was seated, the food started to come, and come, and come, and come. It never seemed to end! I also ended up with quite a few glasses of plum sake too. The alcohol they were serving was beer, which I don't drink, so all the teachers who weren't drinking, and even some who were, gave me their sake so I could have a good time. And once I was done with those, the principal ordered me some more! I was really nice of everyone to do that for me and I felt a bit embarrassed, but the sake was really good, so I sure wasn't going to turn it down.

After all the food, I was stuffed. In between all the eating and drinking, we also did a mini version of a sports festival including a three-legged race, tug of war, and a catch things in a basket game. Quite funny watching ones coworkers run about while tipsy. Sadly, my team came in last, but we got some nice consolation prizes, so it wasn't to bad. I personally got a pair of red banging stick noise maker type things. At the end of the night, and after finishing all my sake, they then asked me to give a little speech on what I thought about the school festival and enkai. Luckily, I wasn't too drunk, so I stood up and said a few words. After the onsen, there was another bus ready to take everyone to another bar, but I ended up going home as my ride wanted to head out. Plus, I had to go to work the next day! All in all, a good evening out and something I would totally do again.

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