Here I’ve been wracking my brain, wondering how I could make a living if moved to Japan – when, suddenly, opportunity comes a-knocking: Japan suffers sumo wrestler shortage. The way I’ve been eating of late, I figure I should be ready for action in about two months.
As much as I’m enjoying myself here in Tokyo, I do miss the dogs back home. Fortunately, I’m receiving daily updates on the gang from our dog-sitter, Christine – daily updates in the form of email, texts, and, best of all, the occasional pictures…
We’re slowly adjusting to Tokyo time here, sleeping through most of the night and waking up at a not ungodly hour. One more week and we should be perfectly synced – just in time to head back home to Vancouver. Anyway, we went for another morning walk through Ginza. We had lunch reservations in Roppogni at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (Akemi likes it for it’s “cost performance” – in other words, it’s a great deal) for noon. Rather than walk around for two hours on an empty stomach, decided to pick up a little breakfast. And by little, I do mean little – specifically a little katsu burger:
I picked it up in the basement of the Mitsukoshi department store. If you’ve never been, you have got to check it out. The entire floor is packed with sweet and savory ready-to-eat food items, from the casual aforementioned mini katsu burger to high-end pastries. Just grab your take-out and head up to the ninth floor snacking area. It’s incredibly child-friendly as well. Kids even get their own bathroom:
Foie, double sea urchin, cream – Akemi expressed concern about my high cholesterol meal. I explained that I actually suffer from low cholesterol and actually need to eat like this to stay healthy.
As I familiarize myself with more areas of the city, the pieces of the puzzle slowly fall into place, giving me a fuller picture of Tokyo. Last night, for instance, I accompanied Akemi to Daikanyama (I call it Dogkanyama because it seems to be pooch central) and happened across Tableaux, one of the very first restaurants I visited on my very first trip to Tokyo some five years ago. Back then, I had no idea where the place was located – and neither did our cab driver who had to stop and consult a map. As it turns out, it’s just a few blocks around the corner from the subway station.
A large part of the familiarization process requires me to walk everywhere. And such was the case later in the night when, after dropping Akemi off for her dinner with the gals, I headed to Omotesando for dinner with my friend Tomomi. She suggested I take a cab but I decided to hoof it instead, relying on the seemingly crystal clear directions offered up in a Japan Times review of the restaurant. Use the B1 Exit out of Omotesando station and walk down Aoyama dori, then hang your first left at the lights on Kotti Dori and walk for ten minutes until you hit Roppongi dori. Take a left at the Fuji Building then wind right down the side street and L’Effervesence will be on your right. Great. Except that, in Tokyo, you’ll be lucky to find a street sign, much less an actual address. Which way was “down” Aoyama dori? Was that first street actually Kotto dori? Which street was Roppongi dori? Miraculously, I managed alright (although, to be precise, the turn is “before” Fujifilm rather than the more nebulous “at”). I soon found myself walking down a dark alley. Headed toward me was a middle-aged woman pushing a baby stroller. If I was writing the horror movie, she would approach me and ask me to help her baby. Then, the second I approached, a small man who leap up out of the stroller and pierce my eye with a knitting needle. End scene.
Fortunately, my night was much less harrowing. I dare say, it was downright amazing. But the details will have to wait as I’m off to catch the bullet train to Osaka. Wonder what they’ll serve?
Finally, my sis makes the hard decision for her sweet dog, Aspen, soon. Sending positive thoughts their way: