07 Dec JAPAN! Tokyo is Blade Runner.
The trip back to Sodadomai was long and very crowded…the last train at midnight-ish was packed. 30 minutes of standing in a crowded train car, well it could be worse. The Japanese are exceedingly polite and at this later hour, more than a few people had had more than a few drinks, so there was actually some talking. It seemed the strict social rules had relaxed a little…
The next morning I had some American coffee. yikes. My stomach didn’t really like that.
I decided to stick with BOSS.
For breakfast we headed to the local sushi-boat place. you know, the place with the ok-ish sushi that travels around the conveyor belt?
Only here, it rivaled the best sushi I’d ever had in the States…we ate and ate and ate. The staff did
sing song greetings as people came in, they had routines for certain foods, they wiggled whole fish
at the guests before cutting it up.
Our goal today was the Roppongi Hills and Pumpkin Icecream…hand made, stuffed in a gourd and only 10 a day served. Back to the train. Back to Tokyo.
At Roppongi Hills, with, like the building the Wine Bar was in, is a gigantic, super new, super nice mall. Or rather, collection of multi story buildings. This was becoming the story of the trip.
Go to general area. Wander. Get pseudo-lost. Wander. Get ready to give up. Find the place.
We walked around several buildings before we found the right set of buildings, then it was a matter of finding which restaurant had the ice cream. There was a Thai, and Indian, a bakery…
Our first thought proved to be wrong…it wasn’t the bakery. We headed back to the other restaurants, I really didn’t think it was possible, but Micah asked at the Indian place. The guy said “yes we have that.” But it seemed like he might not actually understand what we were asking…but he left and returned with a flyer that had a picture on it.
We sat down outside and short moment later, a cute young waitress brought over two cups of coffee so black it would make my Mom proud.
“These are from my manager.” she said as she deposited them on the low table. “Stir and wait for a moment.” She motioned that it needed to settle…I could see the grounds around the edge, and I figured it was similar to Turkish Coffee. The last time I had that was in Harvard Square with Teal. I took a big swig at the end of the cup and ended up with a mouth of grounds…hehe.
A short while later the ice cream came out. It was a pale yellow and was sculpted into a dark green gourd. It was beautiful.
I wanted to walk there, I like walking. It helps me get the feel of a place….but we weren’t more than a block away when the streets shot off in divergent directions from the tower. Annnnd the tower was hidden by multi-story buildings.
Off the subway we walked and walked…it shouldn’t have been that far, but we couldn’t see the darn thing,
so we just headed in the general direction that we thought it was. Occasionally it would pop into view,
then they road would turn…
The girls working there all wore these cute uniforms. Uniforms are so big. Even construction
workers have uniforms.
I google’d this image…heh
Going up to the top of the tower blew. my. mind.
You have no idea how big Tokyo is from the ground, or from the subway…yeah there are lots of stops, but what does that really mean?
As the Sun set I realized that Tokyo is Blade Runner.
The neon lights, the gigantic metropolis, the video screens, the flying cars…the asian people. heh.
By the time we got home I was sooooooo hungry. I hated crashing like this, but I kept forgetting to get snacks to carry with me.
I know I know. I’m in the land of awesome snacks…and I’m not taking advantage of it.
We wandered around the Odokyu Station (It’s a chain of stores AND a train line)…we found a noodle place that looked good. But, you had to buy your food from a vending machine – then take the ticket to the cook.
The problem being, all the buttons were in Kanji. Sooo it would have been a gigantic hail mary picking something out…we opted to continue the search.
Upstairs we found a place that had plastic food…plastic food and picture menus were our saviors.
Many restaurants have these displays outside…
They didn’t speak much English at this place, so we followed the waitress outside and pointed at what we wanted. I opted for the Sobe and Tempura.
There are several parts to the meal
• The Kettle with hot water
• The Noodles
• The Sauce
• The Cup
• The Garnish
• The Tempura
The tempura is easy. You eat it.
The rest…well that was a little harder to figure out. See in the window, the sauce was pour right over the noodles.
So that’s what I proceeded to do, poor the hot water and sauce on top of the noodles as they sat in the square dish…
I happened to do this as the Matron was bringing us drinks…a look of horror crossed over her face.
“Eeeeeyah!” At about the same time we noticed the water streaming out from the bottom of the dish.
I look up at her half in shock, half confused…she motioned for me to stop and proceed to show me what to do.
Sauce goes in cup, noodles go in cup, garnish goes in cup. Stir, eat. Repeat. At the end, pour the hot water in and drink.
Next time…Toy Stores, Open Mics, and Friends of Friends…