Nikotama BBQ Party!
Tamagawa is a river a little over 10 minutes by train from Shibuya. It's a perfect place for relaxing walks, picnics, bike riding, fishing and playing xylophones. Under the train tracks there is a little designated BBQ area. When I was living in Sydney I used to see albums on facebook of all my Tokyo friends having summer BBQ parties and I was so super jealous and desperately wanted to move to Tokyo and join them. Yesterday was my first chance to personally experience a Japanese BBQ thanks to our friend Hiroshi who arrived at 9am to secure a spot.
My first Japanese BBQ experience was extremely different to the usual 'Barbies' I've experienced in Sydney. Upon arrival we were ushered down a row of witches hats, read a series of rules such as 'Don't swim, don't light fires, don't play music'. Naturally the rules were read in Japanese and I joked to my friend that he was saying 'Don't instagram'. About twenty minutes later my friend asked 'Did he really say no instagram?' ha ha.
The first group we encountered upon walking in was a gathering of youngsters screaming and laughing while pushing and pulling each other and drinking directly from bottles of wine. Next, was a team of three guys walking to the bathrooms, the middle guy appeared to have consumed his fair share of sake and wasn't able to walk so well. Fortunately, he had the help of his two slightly more sober friends whom he put his arms around in some kind of six leggered race style.
After phone calls for directions we finally found our group of friends who luckily weren't drinking wine directly from the bottle. Turns out there are some good things about being over 30.
The boys began flipping various meats with tongs and chopsticks.
Colourful picnic sheets and sparkling wine.
Assessing the sausages.
Our friend Allen is a butcher and bought along 6kg of incredible meat! What couldn't be eaten was later up for grabs in a round of 'Jun ken pon'.
Kind of Enoshima - style?
At 3pm the BBQ area organisers came around collecting our entrance stickers and insisted we all start packing up. In true Japanese style, the rubbish area was a well coordinated neat little corner manned by polite and efficient Japanese men. One basket for cans, one for PET bottles, one for PET bottle lids...
The 'only-in-Japan' rental table cleaning system. And why are generic tarps an ugly blue colour in Australia but Tiffany green in Japan! Yet another reason why I love living here.
So my first BBQ experience in Japan is complete!
There is a video of the BBQ on my instagram, too.