Hisashiburi (久しぶり)

Hisashiburi (久しぶり) means “long time no see” or “it’s been a while” in Japanese.

I went to Nagoya yesterday for the first time since I left seven months ago. I didn’t realise how much I missed Nagoya until the train pulled in to the familiar station. As the train approached, I felt the same anticipation I used to feel when I went to London and the train slowly pulled into Victoria. Nagoya was my home for two years, and perhaps I didn’t appreciate it enough at the time. But, coming back to Nagoya from Hamamatsu, I could really see what I was missing.

It wasn’t just the shops, although I was thrilled to be back in Tokyu Hands and a decent sized Loft (Hamamatsu has a Loft, but it’s really tiny). It was more than just that though, of course, it was the people. Today I spent time with some really good friends (all Japanese) who I had been too busy to realise I missed.

I arrived at Nagoya Station just before 10 a.m. and everyone was hanging around in the station waiting for Takashimaya to open.  It seemed so much more crowded than I remembered, but I guess that was partly because of my absence. Also, it was Sunday and getting near to Christmas, so there were probably more shoppers out and about.

Nagoya Station and JR Takashimaya

I was excited about seeing the Christmas decorations in Nagoya this year, and I had been so impressed the last two years. However, sadly, this year the main attraction was absent. Usually, on the side of Nagoya Station, there is a huge animated light show/picture. But this year there isn’t going to be one. I thought that was kind of disappointing. Instead, there were just a few lit up trees, which seemed kind of pathetic compared to 2009 and 2008.
Nagoya's Christmas lights, 2010

Anyway, I met a friend for lunch, and then met up with some other friends for dinner. On the way to dinner, my friend and I encountered and amusing bunch of hippies…

Free hugs!

We spoke to them, and they basically said that people feel better when they’re hugged, and when they hug, so they liked to give out free hugs! They seemed harmless enough, so we gave it a try!

Free hugs!

I can see where they were coming from, especially living in Japan. People don’t tend to hug that much here. Luckily, I got a whole bunch of free hugs when I saw my friends that evening!

It was really nice to see so many familiar faces, and catch up with all the news and gossip. Some things had changed, but the people hadn’t (except two of the “kids” are now old enough to drink – and I remember them in High School uniforms!).

We ate at a tofu restaurant, and the food was really good… with the exception of this one grey tofu, which we nicknamed “concrete” tofu…

"Condrete" tofu

The tofu sushi was really yummy though!

Tofu sushi

And, of course, so were the desserts…

Dessert

All in all, it was a really wonderful day! Thank you to all my friends who had time to meet up, and I’m sorry to those I didn’t have a chance to see – next time!! 😀

Nobuki, Yoko, Kazue, Rie, Keichi, Yoko, Makiko, Anna, Shiori, me, Mayu, Yukie and Leah

Note: After writing this post, I was asked to submit this to Show Me Japan, which I did with pleasure!  I’m always happy to be involved in any project which helps to share Japan with the world! 😀

8 thoughts on “Hisashiburi (久しぶり)

  1. Even though I do not remember ever seeing any in London, I somehow always thought Loft was a British company. Something about the design aesthetic of their logo and ads and such always struck me as British somehow. But, I guess it turns out it’s a Japanese company. How about that?

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  2. Oh how cool to go back and meet up with so many people! I would love to go to Nagoya again! Maybe someday…

    Oh I see the Free Hugs movement has reached Nagoya too, those guys are everywhere, literally all over the world! I’ve seen them in Europe, the States, in Japan (Tokyo) and even on TV. But I’ve always been to shy to hug a stranger… I like the movement though :).

    http://www.freehugscampaign.org/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Hugs_Campaign

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  3. We haven’t seen any of the free hugs people out in the sticks yet, but I guess it’s just a matter of time. 🙂
    And I love how the shops here get all decked out for xmas even before Halloween.
    Would you like to join our Show Me Japan weekend meme with this post? It would be awesome if you could play with us!
    Here’s the link:
    http://www.budgettrouble.com/2010/11/show-me-japan-vol1-issue-1.html
    The more the merrier, right?
    Thank you so much and have a great Sunday!

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  4. Thank you for participating in “Show Me Japan”.
    I see that you had good time dining out with your lovely friends and getting free hugs! Nagoya is quite big city and has a lot to offer. I like their local miso flavored cuisines. And you take such a great photos. I could see your friends having big smiles on their face with “V” sign, of course. I especially like the second one.
    Have a good day.
    Free hugs.

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