We spent two days in Soka during our Japan trip to escape the hustle and bustle of central Tokyo and rest a bit before we resumed our adventures on this island. We stayed in our friend’s place, a lovely newly-built house in a quiet suburban area, very close to Ayasagawa, or what we hear was called “the dirtiest river in Soka” (I thought it was lovely!) As a part of our familiarization with everyday Japanese life, our friend took us to a flashy mega-store that sold pretty much anything you could think of – from clothes, cosmetic products to an insanely varied collection of socks and old-school Japanese candy. The next day, we explored the quiet streets and cycled in the park around the river. For dinner, we went to a local conveyor belt sushi restaurant, which was closing that week, so all the sushi was 100 yen! After we tried pretty much every type of sushi on the menu, we went to try our hand at Japanese karaoke (having only experienced the Korean noraebangs up to that point) in a place on the main street that had a great offer of 2 hours plus all-you-can-drink for only 2000 yen. Needless to say, this combination led to some pretty interesting song choices that were well outside of my vocal range. Next day, it was back to noisy streets of central Tokyo. Still, it was great fun!