Sunday, May 07, 2006

Thursday and Friday in Tokyo

I can't sleep so I'll just get started.

Thursday May 4th

D'Arcy and I left school early on Thursday afternoon and headed right to the airport to catch our 6:10 flight to Narita airport. Everything was fine, particularly the individual television screens on Japan Airlines with large and modern movie selections! If only the flight was long enough to allow for an entire flick. After a train and subway journey we finally arrived in Sagenjaya where we met Scott and his lovely girlfriend Mio. By this time it was just around 11pm.

The new lovebirds had stumbled across this insane little bar that is covered head to toe in chandeliers, stuffed game, random artwork, and red velvet.

We climbed the steepest staircase of my life to the upperlevel where we had a cocktail in the six ft. by six ft. bar space. My drink was ten bones and then we had to pay a sitting fee of another ten each! Ohh the blasphemy of Tokyo had begun... and we were wondering how a bar with a seating capacity of twelve could stay in business.

From there we went on to Shibuya, this busy "known for its teenagers" area that was also featured in Lost in Translation. We went to a dance club and did a little shakin' until we could shake no more.

Friday May 5th

We slept off the night before until Scott came over to cook us breakfast. I should mention that Scott was so generous as to let D'Arcy and I christen his new apartment while he stayed at Mio's. We had a Japanese pad all to ourselves and it was fantastic. So Scott came by and made us an incredible breakfast of spinach/cream cheese omlettes, fruit, and raisin bread buns. We couldn't believe our good fortune.

We hit the streets and did some walking in the noticeably fresh, sunshiney air. Ahhh. Scott took us to some quiet temples and shrines near his house and we appreciated the private tour of less tourist populated places. Especially after the next place we hit up.

First we picked up Mio who had by then recovered from the previous night's festivities and headed all the way across town to Asakusa (emphasize the second syllable, not the third like you want to) which was TEEMING with people. Perhaps not quite as teeming as other moments to come in the weekend but man, you had to carefully plan when to cross the walkway heading towards the temple. This particular walkway is lined on either side by vendors of various kinds though I didn't take much care to check them out. I was too busy making my way along. I should mention that I felt significantly taller than the crowd at this point.

The walking around continued after seeing the temple. I ate a chocolate covered banana which is not as delicious as chocolate covered strawberries or pineapple, but is apparently a common treat in Japan. We ended up finding ourselves at an Izakaya somewhere or other around a station nearby Shibuya that is known for Izakaya.

Izakaya are traditional style Japanese eating a drinking places that I had thought were different than they are. Turns out they are just small places where people.. eat and drink. We ate all kinds of things but of particular note to me were some skewers with miso sauce, the freshest tuna sashimi I've ever had (great, really) and warm, surprisingly tasty radish.

After we ate we called it an early night and I took a real bath in a real Japanese bathtub.

It was so nice to soak in water for once. All night long, as I lay awake thinking about how I was sure I could depend on my internal clock to wake us up the next morning for an early trip to the fish market, I was amazed at how clean and soft I felt.

It's time for bed. More later.


At May 07, 2006 5:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are the pros and cons of living and teaching in Japan and Korea? Where would you rather live personally? Any info would help me in deciding where to go. Thanks.

At May 07, 2006 6:19 PM , Blogger Shells Bells said...

Wow Tokyo looks awesome! I am so jealous..a bath!!! I think that is the first thing I'll do when I get home. Glad you and D'arcy had fun :)

At May 08, 2006 8:20 AM , Blogger Jessica said...

There are so many pros and cons to living and teaching in both cities. From what I've heard about the two different experiences I'd say it depends on what you're looking for. Korea is the better choice for me. The deal is much better. Not only is the money good, but you get things you often don't get in Japan like your apartment paid for, flight included.. hmm.. and with lower daily costs of living you can save enough money to travel all you want and put bucks in the bank.

Then again Japan is beautiful and heterogenous and I like it a lot.

Hope that helped.

Hi Shelly! It was awesome and so was the bath. Check it out someday if you get the chance!


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