This year the party was held at a hotel in Otsu. Rather than being served a set meal, it was buffet style. We drew lots for tables, which were all decorated Western style, including silverware (rather than chopsticks) on cat-shaped rests. The buffet tables were along one wall, while along another wall were offerings prepared in front of you by chefs. ...Though really all they did was put it on a plate and hand it to you. I was, however, quite intrigued by the cheesy potato dish. This chef had a big chunk of cheese set under a heat lamp. He put some potato onto a plate and, every couple minutes, scraped the top melted layer of cheese over it.
Farther down along the table they had spaghetti. Unfortunately, both kinds of sauce had meat in them (one beef, one bacon), but thankfully the sauce was separate and it was possible to get the spaghetti plain. They offered two toppings to sprinkle over your pasta: parmesan or seaweed. (Only in Japan?)
Oh, and don't forget the beer!
Here is a shot of what I ate, not including the pasta.
After the main meal, the hotel staff set out a selection of desserts. Here is an example of the bite-size cakes. (The persimmon-shaped desserts are really sweet-bean-filled mochi balls colored orange.)
At the end of the meal, there was a raffle to give away prizes provided by the hotel. Amazingly, all three of the foreign teachers in attendance won something. I got a box of cookies. One Ritsumeikan teacher won a bag of rice, and the other won the grand prize, a free night for two at the hotel.
Now we must return to classes and try to convince the students that they still have to study for another two weeks. Their brains are already on vacation for the most part.
As I kill time waiting for the Warcraft servers to come back up with the new content patch, I uploaded some more screenshots of my characters. I attended last weekend's Blackwing Lair raid, at which I contributed to taking down Chromaggus. In this next shot, Glaya hangs out with Nefarian (the final boss of the instance). We haven't managed to kill Nefarian yet, mainly because most people have been in the raid about 7-8 hours by the time we get to him and it's past midnight in US time zones.
I have also made a couple of new characters. The one I believe I will focus on leveling up next is Amakihi, a druid. At first I had considered leveling my priest character, but druids can shapeshift, which gives them an edge in terms of fun. Here you can see Amakihi in cat form along with her non-combat pet kitty.