JAPAN! Food! Old Classmates! Dancing!

JAPAN! Food! Old Classmates! Dancing!

Happy New Year everyone!

I might do another “best of” blog…I dunno. I’m still debating. Until then…

Here’s Japan!

–Day 6–

I can’t really remember what we did during the day…maybe we went shopping? probably we got lost somewhere…

But, the real mission for the day was meeting up with an old classmate of mine from SFSU…Hiro.

I had emailed him when I realized I was coming to Japan…I had no idea where he lived, what he was doing,
or if his email address still worked. A couple days later he responded and gave me his number. A few calls
back and forth and we had a plan.

He was working as an AD on an indy feature and was wrapping production in the middle of the week. 
It worked out great, we made plans to hang out on Thursday, grab some dinner, and catch up.

Micah and I waited in the 2-level Starbucks in Shibuya. The Baristas did this really cool sing-song
thing when the cashiers gave them an order. I think Micah drank his mocha-frappacino in like 17 seconds.


It didn’t take too long for Hiro to find us. He looked basically like I remembered, just a little older, and
a bit more clean cut.


We met up with his friend Ryoko. She had gone to university with him before he came to SFSU. Now
she was working as a radio producer. Her show was translated into 17 languages. She was well 
spoken, funny, polite, attentive.

The first thing they did was teach us how to use PASMO. Which is probably about the coolest thing
in subway technology. It’s a RFID card that you just wave over sensor’s when you enter and exit
 ANY OF THE SUBWAYS. It works on every one of the many train systems. It saved a lot of time. And 
Micah and I felt like big pimps. We stopped and held out our cards – Ace Ventura style. Hiro and Ryoko
 laughed and told us to stop. Silly Americans=)

We headed to Shinbashi which was, as Ryoko told us, the place to go to interview salary men.

“Men not like you.” she said motioning at Micah and I. heh. We laughed.

micah & ryoko in shinbashi

Somewhere around there, a girl in a big puffy jacket and holding a menu started talking to Hiro.

She was like a sales person for a restaurant…I’d say “hostess,” but that means something different in Japan
 than it does in the States. I’m not sure if they were just talking about food, or negotiating prices or what…
but we ended up following her down the street, up some stairs and into a restaurant.

ice fish

We took off our shoes and entered the private both. They brought by a cart with whole fish that we 
could pick from…Hiro asked what we wanted to eat…Micah and I gave him and Ryoko carte-blanche 
to order whatever. It was a wise move.

I think these were bits of eel.

eel bits

The Sake flowed like…er wine. We got plate after plate of Sushi…I had really no idea what exactly 
we were eating…aside from “fish.”

sushi plate

something with egg.


One of the delacies in Japanese Cuisine is the fish eye. Micah and I didn’t know this…but Ryoko 
offered the eye to Micah. And he ate it. But I guess you are just supposed to suck on the eye, not
 chew it…there was something hard in the middle of it. She has a nice laugh. 

micah & ryoko


hiro at dinner
micah & miso

I brought some See’s Candy for Ryoko and a LA Dodgers hat for Hiro. The Japanese have 
a tradition of bringing gifts from your home. It’s one thing we got right.

hiro LA

It’s hard to really put into words how great the dinner was. I was warm from the sake, 
I was full from one of the most incredible dinners..and I felt like I’d made real connections with some locals. 
It was great to see Hiro again and in his home. Micah commented later that he this was when he first felt really at home in Tokyo…

I have to agree. I felt well taken care of and I was filled with happiness. That sounds a little weird, but it’s the best way I can describe it.

After much beer, much sake, and incredible food we went to an international bar. We met a 
Swiss friend of Ryoko’s. I talked to a Japanese helicopter pilot. (I think I have his card somewhere) 
we drank some more. And we danced.

I love how the Japanese dance. They are out there to have fun…not caring about how cool they 
look. It suited Micah and I’s personalities well…since we’re both pretty silly.


It started to rain. Ryoko had to leave, she had an interview at 9am the next morning. I think it was 
probably about 2am…and we’d already convinced her to stay late. I walked her over to the 
nearest subway stop and said goodbye.

 Hiro, Micah and I head to Roppongi to a club Micah was familiar with. It was basically an
 American hiphop club…only it was filled with Japanese people wearing NY Yankees and LA Dodgers
gear…all 3 sizes too big.


Hiro was kind enough to offer his place for us to sleep…the next morning we were going
to the tsukiji fish market…heck it already was the next morning, but we needed a little sleep.

rainy street

Next time…The Fish Market, Hangovers, Karokee…


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