Yesterday, we took a day trip to Akemi’s old stomping grounds, catching the Chiyoda line from Hibiya station to Yoyogi Uehara where we transferred to the Odakyu line and finally arrived in Seijogakuen-mae.   In short, just a little easier to get there than it is to pronounce…

Working on our tans at Yoyogi Uehara station.

Once we arrived the first thing we did was go on a tour of the places Akemi used to frequent – like, say, the local grocery store…

Canned pork belly
Canned pork bellies!  They beat sardines any day!

Then, we took a stroll through the area.  Akemi offered insight throughout the tour.  “This is where you can come and get your shirts dry-cleaned,”she would helpfully point out as we’d pass a dry-cleaners. And “This is where you can get your hair cut” – as we’d walk by a barber shop.  “And this is where you can buy your insurance.”

I stopped to contribute a little to help the poor cats and dogs displaced by the tsunami.
It’s actually a quaint little walking neighborhood.
Very homey
Sun-dried bottarga
We walked by this restaurant courtyard where two tables of bottarga were being sun-dried.
The food is great but apparently the service is an issue.
“Colonel Sanders Fried Chicken”as Akemi calls it.  CSFC
A beautiful view of the area I took well away from the edge of the balcony with my zoom.

Akemi had a hankering for soba (buckwheat noodles), so we had lunch at a soba restaurant called Akatsukian.

I ordered a lightly battered vegetable tempura.  The maitake mushrooms were outstanding.  In fact, this trip has given me a newfound respect for the humble fungus.  Who knew they could pack so much flavor.
My soba broth was incredibly rich, imbued with a deep, sweet smokiness from the duck and charred green onions.

For dessert, we headed over to another one of Akemi’s old haunts: Seijo Alpes…

“This is perfect!”I said – only to be informed it was a sample tray of that’s day’s selection.

Akemi had a chestnut dessert that I found not sweet enough and texturally kind of strange – but she loved.  “Very Japanese taste,”she said.  I, on the other hand, had a decadent hazelnut taste.  Very Joe taste.

And the overall verdict?

Two big thumbs up.

As we walked through the area, Akemi kept mentioning what a great neighborhood it was and how wonderful it would be to live there. I was unconvinced until I came across these guys…

Potential buddies for my crew.

We continued our exploration of Seijogakuen-mae with a little tour of the local bakeries.  We picked up a few samples for…well…sampling.

Clockwise from upper left: almond and walnut bread, custard cream bun, cream cheese danish, curry bun, chocolate bun, sweet potato bun.  Loser = chocolate bun due to its solid chocolate center.  Winner – custard bun due to its deliciousness.

We eventually wrapped up our tour and caught the subway to Shinjiku where two girls complimented me on my awesome Attack on Titan cell phone cover, and we walked some more…

The streets of Shinjuku
I’m not usually one for salad but…
Inspired curry.

It was a great day – but little did I know that the best was yet to come.  Our evening was so awesome, I can’t properly do it justice in the tail end of this blog so what I’m going to do is give our outing its own special blog entry later in the day.  Consider it a bonus blog entry.

Now, I don’t want to say too much and spoil the surprise, but here’s a sneak preview…

Damn.  Ivon is going to be SO jealous.

14 thoughts on “November 14, 2013: Tokyo Day #9! Wherein we check out Akemi’s old neighborhood and I eat way too much. Again!

  1. Sooo…you ended up at a robot strip club? 😕

    @arcticgoddess – Thanks for that vid link – informative! And now I want a burger. 🙂


  2. The broth looks delicious and the presentation is lovely. That is a very pretty street, and the Godiva store clinches it.

  3. I stopped to contribute a little to help the poor cats and dogs displaced by the tsunami. Thanks for that!

    “This is perfect!”I said – only to be informed it was a sample tray of that’s day’s selection. 😆 I would have thought the same thing. 😉

    I loved the video. Just wondering if those robots ever stepped on the girls though…..that would hurt. Those costumes looked very uncomfortable but cool!

    I can’t wait for the blog extra! Keep having fun.

    Das: robot strip club? Do the robots strip? 😉

  4. I think we should start placing bets on how much weight you gain on this trip, Joe. And the winner gets to call you fatty-fatty-boombalatty for a whole month. 😀

    Or, they get a box of chocolates. You decide!



  5. @dasndanger: I was about to post that exact same comment! I know the Japanese like their robots but this is taking it just a bit too far!

    Gotta get me some custard buns. I love custard tarts and Mille-feuille/vanilla slices so I reckon custard buns would be awesome! But worth the cost of flying to Japan? Maybe!

  6. Das said: “Sooo…you ended up at a robot strip club? :?”

    “Bring in zee FemBOTS!”

    Seriously, the food continues to look amazing. Also, those smaller street views actually look SO much like parts of Vancouver!

    I cannot wait to see the full description of your evening at that club. Ivon is not the only one that will be jealous!

  7. So where’s the other entry?

    A day packed full of jam here today, too, Joe (enjoyed the Valaism yesterday, by the way). Three dogs again and it’s been batshit! New pup is tiny and thinks she can run with the big dogs (and does), but still have to be careful she doesn’t get hurt by my two tanks. Cody gets neutered tomorrow, so that should cut down on all the macho nonsense sooner or later.:) Here’s a pic of Casey and Anakin.

  8. “This is perfect!”I said – only to be informed it was a sample tray of that’s day’s selection.

    they were some sort of acrylic? or just mini versions?

  9. I agree. What better way to improve one’s live style but with a Salad and a beer. As Archie Bunker noted beer is a natural drink. You have Water, Barley, and Hops flowers.
    It may be me but I think some of those disco girls have a little back. Then again it is the boots. I noticed you did not give the address. Glad to see you made it to the Robot convention.
    Joe, have you ever had a Freshness Burger? I heard it does not cause “ochobo”.

  10. Great pictures Joe, very scenic too 🙂 And lol at the Attack on Titan thing, I guess that’s probably down to the manga/anime being absolutely huge.

  11. A reminder (outside the radiation leak) about animals who lost their people (or vice versa) during the tsunami. Reminds me of that video of the man or woman who found theirs (all I remember was the dog).

    Akemi’s town does look very quaint. It has a Cedar Cove feel to it. I wonder what the Godiva store has it–if it similar to the US counterparts or more geared towards their culture. I went into the Godiva for my free monthly chocolate sample, and was offered a bonus sample. I should have asked what was in it. It was called Aztec Spce. I thought it was an interesting flavor. But then I felt it. The burning in my throat. I asked them what the spice was. They “thought” cayenne pepper. Hello! Allergic!!!! I asked them for a glass of water quickly and you would have thought I asked them something in a foreign language they did not understand. I said must move quicker please–allergy issue in progress! I could feel my throat was just about to swell up. This happened recently with this shrimp crostini product Jeff brought home. He made it and thought it was way too salty. And it was. But several minutes later there it was–the familiar “my throat is swelling up feeling.”. I pulled out the packaging ingredient list and bam–there were jalapeños in it–not visible ones. That required 100 mg of Benadryl.

    And robots dancing to Psy? Fantastic!

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