First, the Jelly update. She’s on her way home today!
So last night, I paid a return visit to one of my favorite sushi restaurants in Tokyo: Sawada. I figured that since this was Ivon’s first visit to the city, he should be treated to a true sushi feast. And Sawada did not disappoint…
Then, we moved on to the nigiri. We had ika (squid), what I believe was saury, two different kinds of horse mackerel, clam, ark shell, various tunas, hirame…
We were served up several more nigiri, then capped our meal with a terrific tamago. The verdict? Ivon said it was the best meal he’s ever had. Mission accomplished. Since it was my return visit to the restaurant, I gifted Sawada-san a bottle of ice wine and then we were on our way.
We were feeling pretty good, partly due to the incredible meal we’d enjoyed, partly due to the three carafes of premium sake we knocked back. And so, following a late night stroll through Ginza…
…we found ourselves back at what is fast-becoming our favorite watering hole, Star Bar, where we sampled a few more of Master Kishi-san’s creations…
It was admittedly a rough night after that and I ended up sleeping in to 9:00 a.m. the following morning. Ivon was up at 8:00 a.m. and took a stroll in nearby Hibiya Park where he claims he saw a family of feral cats living in the park. We walked through later that day but there was no sign of feral cats. I wonder what color these feral cats were. I’m guessing pink maybe?
We headed out at about 11:00 for lunch.
After looking for an appropriate lunch spot, we settled on a yakiniku/barbecue grill join on the seventh floor of some building. We were seated in a tiny two-seat table and presented with a menu that broke down the entire cow by cut. We ultimately setttled for something called the “premium” cut. To Ivon’s horror, we later realized that, apparently, “premium” is synonymous with “fat”.
Following lunch, Ivon was feeling a little on the queasy side, so he decided to head back to the hotel for an hour or so to recuperate. For my part, I decided to counter the fat I’d just consumed with my go-to cure-all: sugar!
Ivon was also feeling much better later, so we decided to check out the Ginza area – specifically Ginza Dori which is open to foot traffic on the weekend. As we were walking along, we were stopped by a Japanese television crew and interviewed about the differences between Christmas in Japan and Christmas in North America.
My impression was that, while North American Christmas was a time for family, Japanese Christmas was a holiday for kids and couples. Still, for what it was worth, Tokyo out-Christmases any North American city I’ve ever visited.
They asked us if we were familiar with Christmas cake. Apparently, it’s tradition for the Japanese to eat strawberry shortcake this time of year (which I’d choose over fruit cake any day). They also asked us if we were familiar with the tradition of the Christmas boot, a small plastic boot that is filled with traditional Christmas treats (ie. seasame crackers) and gifted to kids. I pointed out that we hang stockings instead of boots but it’s a testament to the spirit of Christmas that we can come together in communal footwear-stuffing.
And then it was back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.
Next up: Pachon! My toy store haul! Out and about with Keiko!