I found my way to a neat store called Tokyu Hands. It is most like a Fred Meyer. It has wood/hardware, furniture, kitchen supplies, pens, paper, bicycles, towels, toys, a couple restaurants, art supplies... basically everything. Really quite remarkable for Tokyo to find everything in one spot.
Then I made my way to campus, thinking to meet up with the art club... but I was late coming from Tokyu Hands, and so I skipped it and instead called one of the first-year friends I made yesterday. We wandered around campus, trying to orient ourselves before classes on Monday!
I helped my host mother make dinner. We had tempura and soba (deep fried veggies/shrimp and buckwheat noodles with sauce/soup). DELICIOUS!!!
Soba and Tempura Directions (essentially):
1. Boil water with dried fish flakes, then pour through colander to remove the flakes (this makes dashi or soup stock). The kombu vegetable enters in here, but I don't really know how.
2. Boil water and cook soba noodles. When soba is done rinse it with cold water several times, then serve in clumps on soba plate (which has drainage holes so-to-speak).
3. Make sauce/soup with mirin (rice vinegar), osu (vinegar), sake (Japanese rice wine), and shoyu (soy sauce). Bring to a boil and then set aside.
4. While doing all that, cut up vegetables (carrots into small pieces, asparagus into twigs, tamenegi and naganegi (round and long onions) into slices, mushrooms into bunches, green pepper into slices).
5. Tempura batter: mix *tempura flour* (very important, I think it has a lot of gluten because it sticks to the veggies really well) and water until sorta soupy-sorta pasty.
6. Mix each kind of veggie in tempura batter. Use chopsticks (it's easier, believe me) and dump the clumps of veggie/batter into the hot oil and fry.