For the love of enkai
One of my favorite things about life in Japan is enkai. Enkai is roughly translated to mean a party. Work enkai are very common. There is always an end-of-the-year party and sometimes even one at the start of the year. In the field of education, there are two in the spring; one for teachers who get transferred out and one for those who get transferred in. Sometimes there are impromptu parties in summer time or if there is a weekend work retreat, or in the case of my farewell.
So on the occasion of my visiting Japan, I got to enjoy several enkai. Usually they are held in restaurants who specialize in large group events. The room is long, the one, long table low to the ground. Everyone takes their shoes off and sits on the ground. Most often, sashimi and other dishes good for sharing are served. Sometimes you get individual portions. With the constant flow of beer, the enkai becomes more lively and loud. I always love enkai!
While I enjoyed seeing my former colleagues at all my enkai, I was particularly happy with one in Fujieda. I was really touched by the attendance of a few teachers…unexpected and so very nice. It made me feel really special, and that’s always a good thing.
This is a photo of the sashimi dish and the nama biru (draft beer) served at one of the enkai. It’s not an enkai if you don’t see this!