The after parties started at about 10, it was hard to walk down the street without finding a party. We were invited into many, but ended up going to the one at our local cake shop. We have many friends there and it was a more comfortable drinking environment.
There was lots of food, drinks, and friendly conversation. I made the mistake of choosing a whiskey as a drink during the night, the options were beer, canned cocktails, and whiskey. I really just wanted the one, but it was such a humorous thing a girl would like whiskey that my glass somehow stayed constantly/dangerously full.
I was still wearing my yukata, which people loved. Partying in a yukata in Japan is very difficult. Parties are usually gatherings of people on the floor, which means that you have to sit on the floor, which in a yukata means you have to sit on your knees. There is also an obi, and lots of things around your waist that restrict your movement, so your only choice is to sit up very straight. The first time I got up, my feet were so numb that I had to lean on Ben until my feet gained some sensation. If you are drinking in a yukata, then there is the added complication of going pee… which squat toilet+yukata+whiskey=Katie yelling at the toilet for being unfair. It was unfair, nothing in my life had prepared me for a toilet situation like this. Everything really went fine, which is really a point of pride for me, but seeing as no-one in Japan will ever be impressed because squat toilets are nothing, and no-one in America will understand the difficulties associated with a yukata, it’s one of those moments where I got to be really proud of myself… but there’s no-one to brag to.
Ben and I ended up going home at 3 am, which was actually earlier than most people. We made it home without being dragged into a new party. I’m not sure how Japanese people do it, they are so good at not sleeping. We slept like a rock, until the fireworks the next morning at 8am, marking day two of the festivities.
To be continued…