In AT's constant quest to bring it's readers the most useful area information, we are adding this new monthly column to our pages. ToeJam, mysterious and debonaire man about town, will report on local places, scenes, and happenings he deems worthy of the attention of our sophisticated audience. So, letfs go...
(1) Tsukuba You World: As I make my rounds of the towns, I am somewhat flabbergasted that many in our gaijin community are as yet unaware of this interesting entertainment complex located on Rt. 354 in Inarimae (near the Water Hotel -- also recommended!!!) It was brand new over a year ago, and still seems so. Here's what they have to offer:
There is an eight-screen Cineplex with awesome Dolby sound, very comfortable seating and the latest available Hollywood (and other) flicks. The eight rooms contain seating ranging from 118 to 367 seats. One thing I really like about this theater is that one may take items from the concession stand inside to consume while enjoying the movie. This includes popcorn, soft drinks and, most amazingly, BEER!!! Late shows, after 8pm, cost a reduced price of 1200 yen. Wednesdays are "ladies' day" and Thursday are "men's day" -- all tickets 1000 yen all day. Phone: 0298-39-5700.
Onsen: This very modern Japanese spa includes three distinct themed areas --Japanese, Roman, and French. It's open 24 hours. The standard cost is 1800 yen with no time limit. From 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. there is a surcharge of 1000 yen, but I don't know why. Tuesday is "couple's day", 2500 yen per mixed pair; Wednesday is "ladies' day", 1000 yen; Thursday is "men's day", 1000 yen. Customers may avail themselves of a salt and steam herb sauna, body peeling (?), massage, and mud treatment. Swimsuit rental is on offer and towels and "relax wear" are included free. You can buy multiple ticket books to get a discount. There is also a large tatami party area and ping-pong tables for 650 yen per half hour.
Batting Center: For baseball buffs. Ultra modern. You can choose your favorite pitcher, Hideo Nomo for example. The multi-talented Avi, long-time Tsukuba gaijin personality (and founder of the band Xenophobia) currently holds the batting record there. Can you top him?
Bowling: Spole Bowl has 24 American-style lanes, state of the art.
Free Climbing Wall: No, it's not free, OK? It's a wall for climbing free of any bothersome equipment (such as safety ropes). Thick padding will ease the pain and shame of your fall. For kids and adults. Always a good show!!!
Food Court: Casual style offering pizza, fried chicken, noodle dishes, etc. You can watch the free climbing as you eat.
Game Center: Video games, etc.
(2) The Frontier Bar and Grill in Amakubo has recently initiated a poker night on Thursdays, starting around 10pm. It's a low-stakes game -- nobody loses their paycheck or their shirt. It's a lot of fun, with free lessons available for beginners (it's easy to learn). What else is there to do on Thursday nights?
(3) The Alien Times is offering a new service to its readers: Free Classified Ads. That's right!!! If you have something to sell, need to buy an item, are looking for love, want to meet fellow hobbyists, have an announcement to make, want a language exchange partner, etc., just send your ad by E or snail mail to the editor (see bottom of page 2) and it will be printed (with possible minor editing). What a deal!!!
Also, AT is always looking for contributing writers. Got a story to tell, a tip to give, an opinion to air??? Send it in.
(4) Lake Cruise: Of course, you already know that we are living near Japan's second largest lake, Lake Kasumigaura. From the Tsuchiura yacht harbor, you can take a 30-minute cruise for about 1000 yen with one of two cruise boats available there. They leave once an hour. If you don't have a car, take a bus to Tsuchiura Station. You can walk from there. Bring a picnic basket or a six-pack of your favorite beverage. Makes for a unique cheap date!!!
Well, that's it for this month!!! Stay coooooooooolcand tell 'em ToeJam sent ya.
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