Last week we went to a Yakatabune, or boat cruise party, for my friend Joy's birthday. To add a little excitement to the festivities, she wanted everyone to wear yukatas. So, after spending a half hour in front of the computer watching someone explain how to properly wear the obi (belt), Ryan and I managed to tie the thing up and meet everyone at the designated corner down near the harbor. We proceeded en masse to the boat office, where we all signed waivers, paid our money, and piled onto the boat for an evening of eating, drinking and karaoke.
Bags were given to us right away so that we could remove our shoes before walking on the tatami of the boat. So much for the cute matching wooden shoes (called getta) that I bought.
For the one set price, we all got to eat and drink as much as we possibly could for the 2.5 hours of the cruise. Tempura was even fried fresh right there on the boat.
I was particularly keen on the plum-liquor, called umeshu. But perhaps it got me a little too relaxed, since I managed to bust open my belt several times during the evening. On the upside, Ryan is now a pro at retying it.
It is also possible to sneak up to the roof of the boat to check out the incredible view of Odaiba. Despite it being scheduled right at the onset of rainy season, we lucked out and had clear skies all night.
Some of the guys even wore yukatas.
Here I am with the birthday girl on the left. A fun night!