You may find this letter rather odd as we’ve never met before. But I just wanted to write you to let you know that I am as excited about your new life in Japan as you probably are.
I’m a Japanese person, born and raised in Tochigi, who moved to New Zealand at the age of 17, then to the US at 19. That means I didn’t grow up speaking English. So unless Japanese is your first language (e.g. your parent(s) speaks it) or you’ve studied really hard to get to the level of fluency already, I know how nervous you might be at this point.
Don’t worry. You’ll have some bad times for sure, but you’ll have so much fun, too.
I’ve spent a total of 5+ years in NZ and the US combined, and now I’m back in Japan, living in Tatebayashi, Gunma which is adjacent to both my hometown Ashikaga and second hometown Sano, Tochigi. And looking back over the years, I am 100% grateful for the experiences and opportunities that I was given while abroad. And that is despite all the minor racist incidents I encountered, from microaggressions to being thrown a coleslaw at while walking down the street.
Racism, ethnocentrism, disablism, sexism, classism, cissexism, and heterosexism are quite prevalent in Japan, especially under the current Abe administration, and not so many people are even aware of those problems. So you may be surprised to hear something extremely bigoted from someone who seems to mean no harm whatsoever.
That, however, is not meant to scare you or make you more nervous than you already are. I just want you to be prepared when you’re here and someone says or does something appallingly discriminatory by Western standards.
Another thing I want you to know is that there are very good people here as well, and that there are phone numbers that you can call when you need support, like this one.
And if you’re going to be located somewhere in Gunma, Tochigi, Saitama, or Ibaraki (I’m sure you all by now know where you will be going), you can visit me at FAT CATS Bar & Grill.
It’s a bar & grill that my mother and I opened in 2014 in Tatebayashi, Gunma (close to Sano, Ashikaga, Ota, Koga, Hanyu, and Oyama) with the intent to create a safe and welcoming space for all people regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, gender, occupation, socioeconomic status, body size, level of education, etc. etc. Our menu book is bilingual and my mom and I speak English. So if you ever feel down or need someone to talk to, or just wanna relax in a non-judgmental environment where you don’t have to speak Japanese, come visit us! 🙂
新メニュー開発のため2/14〜2/18までお休みを頂きます。※前後定休日を含め長期休暇となります。ご来店の際は営業日をご確認下さいm(_ _)m We will take a winter vacation from February 14 through 18. We’re also closed on Sundays and Mondays. For any specific date, see below.
2/12(日)定休日 Sunday, Feb. 12 – Closed
2/13(月)定休日 Monday, Feb. 13 – Closed
2/14(火)冬季休暇 Tuesday, Feb. 14 – Closed (vacation starts)
2/15(水)冬季休暇 Wednesday, Feb. 15 – Closed
2/16(木)冬季休暇 Thursday, Feb. 16 – Closed
2/17(金)冬季休暇 Friday, Feb. 17 – Closed
2/18(土)冬季休暇 Saturday, Feb. 18 – Closed (vacation ends)
2/19(日)定休日 Sunday, Feb. 19 – Closed
2/20(月)定休日(築地にて仕入れ) Monday, Feb. 20 – Closed (we’ll go to the Tsukiji fish market to find fine seafood for the following day!)
2/21(火)超豪華イベント(要予約) Tuesday, Feb. 21 – Seafood & Steak Event (RSVP required) “今野さん”の生牡蠣&カニ&牛ステーキ＋3時間飲み放題パーティー開催 Expect fresh oysters, crab, beef steak, and 3 hours of all-you-can-drink!
2/22(水)通常営業 Wednesday, Feb. 22 – Open (regular schedule resumes)
2/23(木)通常営業 Thursday, Feb. 23 – Open
2/24(金)通常営業 Friday, Feb. 24 – Open
2/25(土)終日貸切 Saturday, Feb. 25 – Closed for private party
2/26(日)定休日 Sunday, Feb. 26 – Closed
2/27(月)定休日 Monday, Feb. 27 – Closed
2/28(火)通常営業 Tuesday, Feb. 28 – Open
お客様には大変ご迷惑をお掛け致しますが、2/21のパーティー及び4月からの新メニューに乞うご期待！(*´∀｀*) Thank you for your understanding. During the vacation we’ll be having lots of meetings as to what new dishes to go in our April new menu, so stay tuned for that!
先日館林市内某所で行われたホームパーティーの料理を担当しました！ヽ(´ー｀)ノ We did our first catering service at a home party in Tatebayashi!
FAT CATS 初のケータリングでしたが、アットホームな雰囲気の中、スタッフも楽しい時間を過ごせました? It was a whole new experience for us, you know, using someone else’s kitchen and having to bring all the ingredients and stuff, but the people at the party were so friendly we had lots of fun!
写真はご用意した料理のほんの一部ですが、合計で25人分のお食事を4テーブルに分けてご提供しました。 We only took some photos, but the entire food was prepared for 25 people, divided into 4 tables.
また、パーティーの様子を写真と動画に撮ったので、編集したものを主催者の方にプレゼントしました(*´ω｀*) Also, we took photos and videos to give to the host later.
館林近郊限定ですが、ケータリングご希望の方はぜひ FAT CATS をご検討下さい〜！ If you’re throwing a party in or near Tatebayashi, consider FAT CATS!
More than half of our regulars are not originally from Tatebayashi.
And in the past years, we’ve seen them meet and make friends with each other.
As it so happens, none of us here at FAT CATS are from Tatebayashi. We didn’t know a single soul when FAT CATS was opened in 2014. But now, look at us, with all the wonderful people around.
Tatebayashi became our second hometown, and we just hope for FAT CATS to be, not just one of your favorite restaurants in town, but also the place where you have the opportunity to get to know people and make this town your second hometown, whether you’re here for business, school, or for good.
Don’t be afraid. Don’t be shy. Because FAT CATS’ regulars are not like the typical bar-goer who thinks they are better because they’ve been frequenting the establishment for longer than you. In FAT CATS, it’s very easy to make friends 😉
Most popular among women between 25 & 55 years-old.
また、共同オーナーのマサキと Eva は英語を話すことができるので、お客様同士のコミュニケーションの手助けをすることもできます。お気軽に声をかけてください。
We do not allow any kind of exclusionary or discriminatory behavior inside FAT CATS. And we do welcome people from any racial, ethnic, cultural, and other backgrounds. (We just need you not to make trouble.)
As far as we know, we’ve had customers who have ethnic roots in the US, France, Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Korea, the Philippines, Argentina, Peru, and Brazil. It’s only natural if you’re in FAT CATS and the person sitting next to you is from another culture.
Should you need help for communicating with other customers, ask staff and we’ll see what we can do (Masaki and Eva speak English).