Yesterday I went down to Tokyo, visiting Akihabara to scout for awesome products I wanted to carry on J-List. (The latest twist on the “maid cafe” concept is a “girl’s dormitory cafe” in which you sit around with Japanese girls in their pajamas, playing Wii or engaging in cute banter with them.) While I was in Tokyo I met up with a friend from Italy to have a bounenkai, usually translated as “year-end party” though the kanji actually mean “forget-the-year party.” The Japanese are big fans of drinking and will pull out sake or beer at any excuse, and at this time of year drinking establishments are crowded with friends or coworkers laughing and reflecting on the past year over a Suntory highball. There was certainly a lot to forget in 2011, between the sad events of March 11 and other trials the year held for many of us, and as my friend and I drank we did our best to forget them.
A season to drink and forget the past year.