Well, I'm back from the conference. It was very boring most of the time but it was a good opportunity to meet people and have some bonding time. I even met a few people who are interested in Cosplay so we'll see how that goes (I may go to the next Tokyo Comicon). The party last night was pretty fun. We all split up into groups and did a scavenger hunt around the streets of Utsunomiya (mostly taking pictures of things and accosting random japanese students for signatures and photos), I enjoyed it because I had no idea where anything was in the city so it served to help me get my bearings. After that hour we met up with everyone at a bar at the base of the city shrine steps. While we were there I met a couple of guys from the seattle area who are working on safety equipment installations in the area, one of them was from Kent and one was from south seattle! As things began to wind down at the bar (there is only so much time you can spend just drinking and talking with as many people as we had, plus it had been raining) a large group of JETs moved to Birdland, a dance bar, which was just down the way a bit. The DJ there is pretty good, as long as you request songs, and the more foreigners the better the music gets. So, we were there until about 1:30 and then Tara, Jessica and I decided it was time to go back to the hotel (we were staying in a different one from everyone else and it wasn't a bit farther to walk to). When we got there the place was dark and all the doors were locked (we even walked around the entire building trying all the doors we could find). We called all the people Tara could think of until we finally got ahold of someone who would let us sleep on their floor for the night (the entire situation was rediculous because we'd already paid and there wasn't anything posted, in english or japanese, that said anything about a curfew), the only catch was we had to walk all the way back to birdland. So we trudged back and just as we got there Tara got a call from the JET liaison saying that someone was going to be opening the hotel doors for us. Well, we took a taxi back to the hotel and got in through a side door that might even have been open the entire time but it was effectively camouflaged as another piece of the glass wall, the handle wasn't even visible when the lights were on.
Today, the only reall high point at the conference was the very last bit. We had part of a Taiko group come and play for us. They were really good! Then after it was all over I went down to the immigration office and got my re-entry stamp in my passport (so now I can come and go from Japan as I please). Then we came back to Kanuma on the train. (and now I'm going to open my presents and watch some movies so I'll talk to all of you later) ^_^