Friday, May 29, 2009

Welcome Dinner!

Last Saturday, Mia and I were treated to a lovely welcome dinner party at a local restaurant (Subarashikikanajinsen - thanks!) :)

The gang (left to right): Mayumi, U, Brian, Mia, Azusa, Akira, Junko

Azusa, Akira and I had hot Japanese shōchū (an alcoholic drink made from sweet potato). It doesn't taste like anything I've ever had in America, and it should not be confused with sake. This was much less strong and much more sweet than sake, in my experience. Mia opted for the much healthier choice of orange juice. :)

Since there is zero tolerance for alcohol when driving (or biking) here in Japan, everyone had made arrangements to get home. Mia drove me home and my students either had someone come pick them up to drive them home, took a taxi, or walked. While Illinois has a limit of 0.08, the limit here is 0.00. No drinks. The fine for drunk driving is 300,000 yen (about $3,000), plus you lose your license and aren't allowed to drive for 10 years, so you simply don't do it.


  1. I dig this.
    Both the welcome dinner with students, and the 0 tolerance limit. Dig it. :)

  2. I like this zero tolerence approach to drinking and driving and I wish they would adopt it here! What other social laws do you find strict, or liberal in Japan as compared to the ones here in the US?

  3. u guys went to subarashikikanajinsen :)
    i like suba-jin!