I love Japanese department stores – not only for the quality and scope of their products, their terrific customer service, and their impeccable gift-wrapping, but for the little things. Like the fact that, right around closing time, they always play Auld Lang Syne to let everyone know it’s time to clear out. And, I discovered today, the fact that they play Tear Drops Keep Falling on My Head to inform the staff it’s raining outside and to offer customers plastic bags for their purchases. And, I also discovered today from Akemi who used to work at Takashimaya, that they also have a special theme song they play whenever suspected shoplifters are in the store to warn their employees to be extra vigilant. Akemi can’t remember what, exactly, is played, but I suspect it’s either Take the Money and Run by Steve Miller or the theme from The Fugitive.
Japan has the creepiest department store babies. It’s like an elderly man put on a onesie and crawled into a child seat, just waiting to be noticed.
Our last full day in Japan draws to a close and, tomorrow, we’re Vancouver-bound. I made the most of it by packing in another couple of great meals – and various snacks.
Following last night’s 40+ piece sushi extravaganza, we had a comparatively more restrained – but no less delicious and interesting – lunch at Sushi Tsu in Roppongi. Chef Daisuke Fujinaga, a former private chef to the Chinese President, has sushi preparation down to a science, continuously testing and refining his process to deliver optimum taste, texture, and flavor combinations. I sampled a number of preparations I’ve never tried before and look forward to coming back and trying the dinner menu when Chef really lets loose.
We dropped by Akemi’s favorite chocolate shop, La Maison du Chocolat, for a little snack: two types of chocolate macarons and a pistachio (and chocolate) macaron for me.
Then we tracked down the Only In Japan For A Limited Time Only Kuro Burger – that basically tasted like a slightly saltier, more peppery cheeseburger.
Then we hopped on the metro where I snapped this picture of a print ad for what I believe is a hair removal clinic.
Then back to d’un rarete in Omotesando for some baked goods.
I had a little work to do this afternoon and so, while I was holed-up in my hotel room, Akemi went shopping.
And bought me a pistachio-heavy assortment from Wako.
After distributing various gifts to some of our Tokyo friends (Moro-san at Pierre Marcolini Cafe, the gang at Star Bar, the hotel personnel who coordinated our various outings), we ended the evening with Akem’s sister, Hiromi, and her husband, Hiroshi, at Esquisse where we enjoyed a tremendous (another) tremendous dinner.
And, that’s that. We’ll squeeze in one more lunch tomorrow and then we catch a 5:00 p.m. flight out of Narita that should get us into Vancouver for 10:00 a.m. local time. I plant to sleep through the entire 9 hour flight and reach Canada well-rested and ready for my various conference calls and script reads. Things are about to get real busy, real fast…