It’s a ten hour flight from Vancouver to Tokyo and I had hoped to sleep through part of it, but just as I was nodding off, about seven hours, I was awakened by one of the entertainment systems malfunctioning, emitting a sound akin to a spoke card’s rat-tat-at. For about a half an hour. That’s how long it took them to fix it. By which point it was all relative because the noise had awakened the baby three seats back and he wailed for the duration of the flight.
So, by the time we got in last night at around 8:00 p.m. Tokyo time (4:00 a.m. PST), I was ready for bed. But rather than call it a night, we went out for dinner at one of the hotel restaurants, toughed it out, and went to bed at 10:30 p.m.
And so, by 7:00 a.m. this morning, Akemi and I were up and at ’em, determined to pack as much into Day #1 as possible. This is how we fared…
Ginza at 7:30 a.m. I’ve never seen the place so deserted.
The Wako Building – one of my favorites.
We walked down to the Tukiji Market for breakfast. “But, Joe,”you’re undoubtedly asking. “Isn’t 7:30 a.m. a little early for breakfast?” Well, not at the Tsukiji Market which actually opens at 4:30 a.m. Some of the more popular sushi-ya’s have line-ups starting at 5:00 a.m.
Heading into the Tsukiji Market.
Akemi did some advance research and wanted to try this little horumon place – horumon being “offal”. The day’s special was bubbling away in a giant pot and, once you placed your order, a generous portion was spooned over a bowl of rice. Akemi wasn’t a fan of the elderly woman manning the pot – who wasn’t a fan of having the pot (or, as I discovered) her photo taken owing, I suspect, to her criminal past.
Gut Bowl. Despite the fact that Akemi and I were unable to identify anything we were eating, it was pretty good – though a tad underseasoned.
We parked ourselves at one of the little impromptu communal tables, ate, and then continued our foray.
That’s a lot of dried squid. Located a couple of stalls down from the whale bacon.
And that’s a lot of cod sperm (shirako) – bottom right.
Akemi lands the catch of the day!
If I actually lived in Tokyo, I’d be down here all the time. Of course, if I lived in Tokyo with its high cost of living, I’d probably be doing little more than strolling.
It never fails. Every time I visit Tokyo, I’m stopped for one of those man-on-the-street interviews. I should just move here and become a t.v. personality. Or convince Ivon to join me and we can be a comedy team: Gaijin and Tonic.
I had an omelet popsicle. Perfect for those hot summer days!
This curious culinary creation caught my eye. It’s a black ash bun stuffed with seafood and topped with fresh sea urchin. After much dithering, I decided to give it a try…
And it was delicious! I’m going back for more tomorrow morning!
Picked up these cool spaceship cufflinks at the hotel boutique. I’ll wear them on the first of shooting – sometime in early January.
Apparently this mascot for the town of Tottori – an emaciated, hunger-ravaged little girl holding a frog – was retired when it was deemed to depressing.
Curious print ad in the Tokyo subway. What the hell is going on here?
I think they missed their stop.
We had lunch at Tsurutontan, Akemi’s favorite udon restaurant. Check out my bowl of curry beef udon. Good thing I didn’t order a double.
But messy. Curiously, I was the only one at any of the tables who was given a bib.
And, for dessert, the udon ice cream. No, really, It tasted like very subtle creme fraiche – with bits of udon.
Then we headed over to Tokyo Midtown for a hot chocolate – and dessert #2.
I sampled an aged sweet sake. Intriguing.
Then stopped by Uniqlo where I purchased some down jackets in preparation for the bitter Toronto winter. Here’s me modeling one of my buys.
Kids heading home from school. I was thinking of picking up one of these uniforms – Gilligan hat, culottes, white athletic socks, and backpacks, and then just blending in.
Off to Osaka tomorrow to visit Akemi’s family. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring a tie for the tea ceremony. Fortunately, I was able to pick one up at a little specialty shop offering various goods from Gun-ma region. Now having worked in show business as long as I have, I’m not normally star struck but as I was walking out of the shop, I spotted the man (woman? thing?) himself: Guna-ma chan, the official Gun-ma mascot.
Who was gracious enough to pose for a photo with Akemi (who was none too shy about waltzing up and striking a pose).
On our way back to the hotel, I received an email from blog frequenter and Tokyo denizen benjamdisco who apparently spotted Akemi and I strolling the streets of Roppongi after his haircut. He was apparently too shy to say hi – so, instead, he took some clandestine paparazzi pics:
While I commended him on his surveillance prowess, I had to admonish him for not saying hi – and potentially joining us for ice cream udon and shopping at Uniqlo.
Finally, I checked in with sis this morning and she reports that the dogs are great. Jelly has been a little more active of late, Bubba a little more relaxed, and Lulu her usual gassy self.
Dinner tonight, then catching the bullet train to Osaka tomorrow! My feet hurt already.