Pictures will follow later because I have not been astute enough to capture these elements of awesomeness! So here we go, and please don't be jealous! Thus far my favorite things in Japan are: what I refer to as the "magical toilet seat", and the coffee in a can machines. These things are amazing and need to somehow come home with me!
The magical toilet seat (first encountered at the Radisson near the airport, but then also later discovered to be in the airport bathrooms as well) is a device (kind of like a seat cover) that goes on the toilet. It has various buttons on the side with some pretty amazing options. Two of my personal favorites are the heated seat option and the faux flush option (I guess the sound creates the appropriate ambiance). The other options are a bit intimidating and definitely not standard on American toilets (bidet, shower, heated shower, etc).
The coffee in a can machines are vending machines that have sports drinks, energy drinks, water (although that was questionable), tea (available hot or cold), coffee, and fruit drinks with real chunks of fruit. Some of them also have beer. The coffee in a can is fantastic! You have the option of selecting hot or cold, and it literally comes out of the machine nice and warm in a red bull sized can! It doesn't get much more wonderful than this folks!
Last night I ate at a "chain" restaurant with one of my coworkers, it was called Coco Curry and it was fantastic (it has been recommended to us at least 3 times in the 3 days that we have been here!) The process is great, you basically piece together your plate of wonderfulness starting with how much rice you want, you then move on to the ingredients that you want in your curry, next is the crucial step, your level of heat...Anyone can select levels 1-5, but levels 6-10 can not be chosen until you have eaten a full plate of level 5. This is a serious system people! I chose level 3 and will be going no higher! It was wonderful but I definitely felt burning!
Now that I have been moved into a non-smoking closet...I mean room, things are looking up! I purchased some things on base to make it more like "home" including some coffee essentials! There are some really fantastic things to do around here and I have a coworker who enjoys similar things, so I have a feeling we will be doing a lot of exploring on weekends/after work! Yesterday we learned about a place where you can rent kayaks (near the seawall) and you then can kayak out to Monkey Island (there are no monkeys). This will happen soon! Adina (coworker) and I are also looking into renting bikes for our rotation here because we do not have a car, and for the days when it's extra rainy that will be a quicker jaunt to base! Everyone here rides bikes and walks (which is great!)