I was archiving my Tokyo photos this morning when I came across a bunch of pics I’d failed to upload due to my then busy eating/drinking schedule.  Here’s what you almost missed out on…

Sake at Kamon, Night #1. We did a lot of this. I'm really not much of a drinker (I know, hard to believe given those two weeks in Tokyo), but I do like my cold sake.

Some of the chocolate creations on display at The Imperial:

Chocolate basset hound.


Chocolate Crown.

Chocolate Violin

Chopstick rest at Nodaiwa (unagi restaurant).
Looking sassy in Akihabara.
Me and the Colonel, old friends reunited.
Shirako (codsperm) nigiri.  Ivon opted for the tempura instead.  Go figure.
O-toro nigiri.
Toro Aburi Nigiri.
Me, somewhat downcast at the prospect of finally leaving Tokyo.

On our final in Japan, Ivon and I knocked back drinks at Star Bar and compiled our Tokyo Trip Summary:

Most Spectacular Meal = Dinner at Sawada.  It was a feast.  And, yes, it was spectacular. (December 12, 2010: Tokyo Travel Day #6! Sawada! More Star Bar! We eat a half pound of fat for lunch! Strolling down Ginza Dori!).

Worst Meal = There were a couple of contenders on this trip, but the award has to go to that back alley izakaya with the undercooked chicken and pork (December 21, 2010: Tokyo Travel Day #15! More Ginza sights! A double disastrous dinner! And Seven Eleven chocolate eclairs!).  A bad night all around.

Most Pleasantly Surprising Meal = Lunch at Nodaiwa.  Best eel ever! (December 16, 2010: Tokyo Travel Day #10! Hirosaku! Nodaiwa! Terrifying Tokyo Tower!)

Most Terrifying Ordeal = My trip to Tokyo Tower. (December 16, 2010: Tokyo Travel Day #10! Hirosaku! Nodaiwa! Terrifying Tokyo Tower!)

Most Unpleasant Surprise = The bill at Hirosaku.  107 000 yen.  Itai!  (December 16, 2010: Tokyo Travel Day #10! Hirosaku! Nodaiwa! Terrifying Tokyo Tower!)

Best Outing = The Odani Motohiko Exhibit at the Mori Art Museum.  I loved it so much, I went back for a return visit, then back again to purchase two copies of a special book on the exhibition.  (December 8, 2010: Tokyo Travel Day #2 – Sushi Breakfast! Roppongi! Desserts! And lots of walking!)

Best Macaron = Pistachio Macaron at Decadence du Chocolat, Shibuya.  This was a bit of a surprise.  Pierre Herme’s macarons have long been my favorites – but not on this trip.  (December 15, 2010: Tokyo Travel Day #9! Jelly update! Kondo! Shibuya!)

Best Home Away From Home = Star Bar. I was just as sad to leave the gang at Star Bar back in Tokyo as I was to leave my dogs back home on my way to Japan.  (Almost every blog entry over the course of those two weeks in Tokyo).

Best Drink = The Moscow Mule.  Why didn’t anyone ever tell me about this drink before?  I love! (December 12, 2010: Tokyo Travel Day #6! Sawada! More Star Bar! We eat a half pound of fat for lunch! Strolling down Ginza Dori!)

Worst Drink = Absinthe, straight up.  What was Ivon thinking?  What was I thinking following Ivon’s lead? (December 12, 2010: Tokyo Travel Day #6! Sawada! More Star Bar! We eat a half pound of fat for lunch! Strolling down Ginza Dori!)

Drunkest Tokyoite Witnessed = A lot of great contenders for this one too.  There was the businessman we spotted, squatted down in ritzy Ginza, puking his guts out.  The guy being restrained by his buddies from going all karate on a cab.  The middle-aged woman who did a face plant beside me while her husband chuckled and adolescent son looked mortified.  But I guess I’d give the prize to the guy passed out at the neighboring table when we visited that sake bar in Shimashi.  From the moment we took our seats to, hours later, when we headed out the door, he didn’t so much as stir.  If someone had told me he was dead, I wouldn’t have been all that surprised.  (December 16, 2010: Tokyo Travel Day #10! Hirosaku! Nodaiwa! Terrifying Tokyo Tower!)

Most Awesome Fashion District = Shibuya!

Best Restaurant Name = Ghetto Happy Dining

Best Name for a Musical Group = Bump of Chicken

Most Crowded = The shopping streets of Ueno (December 20, 2010: Tokyo Travel Day #14! Bangkok Kitchen! Our day at the Ueno Zoo!)

Most Painful Experience = Takoyaki in Harajuku.  Tongue-blisteringly hot and Japanese decorum, combined with Tokyo’s lack of public garbage cans, ensured a long, excruciating experience.

Most Awesome-Looking Movie Poster for a Movie I Didn’t Get to See = Gantz

28 thoughts on “December 28, 2010: Tokyo Trip Summary

  1. I like absinthe. I have had some straight up even.
    You are posting later and later… get back on US time. I am only up now cause my dear daughter, Leora, is sick… has been for over a week and tho seems better… we are off to the doctor first thing. 🙁

  2. Btw, that O-toro nigiri… looks like a tongue. I don’t want to know. But it would make a great cheap alien.

  3. Great photos! As I looked at the incredible chocolate creations, I thought the chopsticks looked delicious too!

    Sounds like you’re already longing for your trip next year!

    Thanks for answering my questions, but sadly, the answers weren’t what I was hoping to hear.

    Which leads me to a few more questions:

    1) From your reply, are DVD/digital sales of SGU the primary consideration for MGM continuing the franchise?

    2) Would good ratings next spring, including David Hewlett’s episode, have any effect on the outcome, especially if the result is significantly increased sales?

    3) Is there a sense of when MGM will have to make a decision about SGU’s (and/or the franchise) fate?

    And most importantly:

    Any news on which way your life may be heading with the two opportunities you mentioned?

    And I’m very happy to hear the blog will live on, no matter which direction you choose!

  4. How-does-that-work dept. – Yesterday, the snowflakes on the blog flowed toward the side of the page where my cursor was located; today, the snow flows AWAY from my cursor… is there a message here somewhere? Am I *scary* today?

    Per the Tokyo summary, looks like Day 10 had the most (and most varied) superlative-worthy events, although Day 6 had the best meal, also the best AND worst drinks! Thanks for having us along for the ride!

  5. Regarding Stargate Universe, there is a nice formula I like to use. And it is saying that ”the door isn’t completely closed on SGU yet”, or at least I want to believe so. Says it all in one sentence. It’s not naive, its not good, but something is still possible.

    I would be missing so much that show and the cast in particular. The fact that the cast (LDP, David Blue, Brian… Patrick Gilmore, Peter Kelamis, Bambam and all…) were so available on Twitter. They would respond to fans directly and share their passion and enthusiasm in the making and shooting of SGU. The fact that SGU was so characters driven … I ended caring a lot for the show and the cast.
    Really SGU made me ‘feel’ something, which is quite rare of a TV show.
    I have felt an incredible adrenaline rush when Col Young was beating the crap out of Rush.
    I felt the anger after Simeon. I felt so sorry for Eli.
    I felt full strength the distress of Young when he learns his wife wanted out of the marriage and that he was losing his moral drinking.
    There was an incredible atmosphere of despair and hope, all together in the same time in SGU: but when you are in the hole, you can only look up, and that show gave me a lot of strength for every days (you know that the economy is really hard now). Eli’s words to his mom (Cloverdale) resonated with me: “its all going to be OK, we are going to be OK”.
    What an extraordinary message of hope, even if its only coming from a TV show, it does matter.

    Anyway, a direct and indiscreet question I wanted to ask Joe:
    Why are you doing this BLOG ? Your therapist told you to do so ? Haha I am sorry, couldn’t resist. Or is it that you like it for sharing for your creative process… testing ideas and people’s reactions ? I am really curious, because this must take you quite some time (what maybe 2-3 hours every day reading comments and writing the next entry ?).

    Happy holidays and happy new Year 2011 Joe!!


  6. Hope all our friends from Australia are managing to keep high and dry.


  7. Hey Joe,

    j’ai beaucoup de difficulté à comprendre la réaction de certains fans face à vos réponses concernant la survie de SG1, SGA ou SGU.
    Vos réponses m’ont toujours prues honnêtes et surtout pleines de bon sens surtout qu’on garde présent à l’esprit que vous ( et les sudios MGM, SONY A&E etc.) êtes en affaires pour faire de l’argent !!.

    Cependant, ma seule difficulté est la suivante: comment est-ce possible que malgré toute la technologie disponible, le monde de la télévision n’a pas encore trouvé un moyen d’évaluer l’intérêt pour un show autrement qu’en comptant les téléspectateurs qui regarde l’épisode en direct à la tv (live audience or live +7) et autrement qu’en vendant de la publicité durant une émission.

    I continue to read your blog everyday and I wil if you continue it yourself.

    Have a nice 2011 !

  8. Read this on the Yamanote train from Shiodome heading to hotel in Nippori. I’m in the middle of my yearly Tokyo trip and am hoping to try out those macarons, at the very least. None of my friends here in Tokyo are drinkers, so a stop at the Star Bar seems unlikely but, dang, I want to go so badly now.

    Of note: My 16 year old niece asked me to get Bump of Chicken’s new CD (Cosmonaut) while here. They’re actually quite good. And yeah, she’s just your average very well informed kid from San Diego.

    Also, GANTZ isn’t out yet so you didn’t miss it. We actually get to see it first in the US with some one night only screenings by VIZ in many cities on Jan 20. I love Ninomiya Kazunari and Matsumoto Keniichi (the two leads) but might have pass on the screenings. VIZ made the awkward and unpopular choice of dubbing the film for their screenings. Not even a choice to see it dubbed or subbed. We’re mighty fumed at them, as we tend to be film purists and want 100% original works, and here I am torn between jonesing to see the film but not wanting to see it dubbed. I don’t want my movie going money to support that line of thinking and action.

    Which actually brings me to a question for you: Do you prefer films in their original language or do you not mind dubs as long as they’re done well? Or is it only okay for certain films, like anime?

    Will try and work in those macarons this trip, since I will be in Shibuya a number of times before Monday.

  9. What a fantastic trip and thank you for sharing your adventures with us. Hope you are continuing to enjoy your time with family. Hard to believe there are only 3 days left (including today 12/29) to this year. Personally outside of the trip to Dallas to see LDP in April, I’d like to believe 2010 started in August. So 2011 is going to rock!

  10. Hey Joe,

    I so ♥ஜ☆LOVE♥ஜ☆ your adventures and show-n-tell. YOU are a master. I believe my hardest laugh this year was the Ivon cod sperm vid you shared.

    Beat to you Joe,
    Cheryl. 🙂

  11. Drunken escapes in Japan? My drunken buddy decided one rainy evening that he needed a lightbulb from the Torch of Lady Liberty. She resided on top of a large square neon sign which was on top of the six story love hotel across from the Navy Base in Yokosuka. So we trooped into the back alley where he could get a vertical head start up the stairwell of the apartment building. Four stories up, he leapt over to the drain pipe on the Love Hotel Americana. He shimmied up a couple stories, then climbed up through the lighted neon sign. The High Voltage neon sign. In the rain. He tried to climb the Statue of Liberty, but she was too slick and wet. He settled for a blue bulb from her base.

    Whatever gods there may be, they must love a drunk.

    I’m in St. George for New Years. Rainy and cold, but we have a private hot tub on our private deck. Screw the weather, we’re drinking mimosas. This place is bigger than all my friends’ houses, and bigger than a single story of my house. Plush.

  12. I don’t think I could eat a Basset hound… Thanks for sharing your vacation!

  13. Hey Joe!
    I am looking firward to your blog daily now. I read it usually 2 times a day to see what is going on.
    I am especially hoping to see your news that you said may be coming up this week regarding SGU’s future.
    I beleive in my heart that Brad will come up with some great ideas and keep the show going in some form weather it be a mini series to finish it up, or maybe the best answer would be just a move to a new network with a fresh start and a complete third season and beyond!
    Thanks for everything!

  14. Mr. M. I don’t suppose you brought back any weird food purchases with you from your trip to Japan? Or at least things to look for in your local Japanese food store.

    At what point will you be looking for other writing opportunities? For the love of God please don’t write a “Syfy Original Movie”, no matter what the caliber the writing is.. The end result is always the same…

    While I remember, have you ever considered upgrading your blog layout/look? Rocket Themes have some very impressive themes. I was recently looking around for Joomla related items when I noticed they had wordpress related items, and remembered it is something you use. Link below.

    On a side note, I feel like a spam bot posting that.. o.O

  15. Looks like you had a fun trip! Did you loose weight like you did last year. 😉

    Say, any updates on SGU (or SGA/SG-1 for that matter)?

  16. @ Tammy Dixon – Basset hound is DELICIOUS! Not as marbled as poodle, but you can’t go wrong if you grill it up over mesquite, and serve it with crumbled gorgonzola and a red wine demi-gla…oooooh, wait…you’re talking about the CHOCOLATE Basset hound. Okay, nevermind then. 😛


  17. I wish to talk to you . i do have some very good story ideas about the stargate universe show that you may find very interesting please let me know if you would like to hear them

  18. What other ideas for your own original series have you got penned, anything down on paper, or is it all just still swirling in your head as you lay your head??

    I just had some strawberry chocolate… hmm… nice…

  19. Just wondering, been following the news here there and everywhere. Why does SGU being cancelled have a negative effect on the future of a SGA movie? I know you know like a million times more than me Joe, but surely if MGM were looking to make some quick money, even if its small on a francise, SGA and SG1 would come to mind regardless of SGUs cancellation?

    I’m more curious than anything else. Always did admire/love SG1 more than the other 2 shows, so SG1 getting a movie makes the world a happier place to me lol

  20. Isn’t there that song that goes ” do the bump, bump, the chicken bump, bump.” I think it was by Grandmaster Flash.

    I love the pretty glass and decanter in the first pic. Time to plan that next trip to Tokyo; buy hey why not go to The Source and make the next trip Paris?

  21. Das: you are sick! 🙄 Is basset hound even ON your new diet? 😉

    I worked at the humane society today. None of the dogs wanted to go out in the exercise yard because it was raining! A bunch of wusses. I had to throw a tennis ball outside and of course, they had to chase it. The tennis ball trick worked every time. Tricking them with tennis balls worked a lot better than wrestling them out on a leash.

  22. I have a question. Do you or any of the producers actually OWN Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis or Stargate Universe?

    I was under the impression that MGM is the one that OWNS the Stargate franchise. So how can you (if you don’t own it) decide anything about if a movie will get made or not?

  23. Hey Joe

    Mom and Sis staying until New Years? Been driving them all over to see your city or have they been there before?


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