Thursday, August 20, 2009


Japan, Tokyo: day 6

This was our last full day in Tokyo, and we were tired. Whew. We had made prior arrangements in the week to go out with Nikola & Philippe this Friday, so we decided to take it easy during the day, as we'd probably have a long night ahead of us.

We slept in, and then went downstairs to attempt to use the hotel's free internet. It was a little difficult, as it was 100 yen per five minutes (and you had to keep feeding it coins), and the whole interface was in Japanese. The keyboard was also in Japanese, or occasionally French, as Brian found out after hitting some random key sequences. Difficult, but not unmanageable.

After that, we headed over to one of the hotel complex's lounges that faced the park and the koi pond - giant windows of giantness. We camped out and played gin rummy and drank several gin & tonics, which were excellent. Andrea and I tried out the "assorted sandwiches" as well. It was a lovely, fun afternoon.

Then it was time to go out. We met Nikola at a subway station close to her house or her work, I'm not really sure which. It had looked like rain when we left the hotel, and by the time we got to our rendezvous point, it was pouring buckets, thundering and lightning. Brian got some excellent video of the storm. We walked across the street and went to an Izikaya's (which was run by a Brit). There we had our choice of yummy, delightful Japanese foods, Japanese beers, sake, sho-chu* and, of course, Guinness. The restaurant was tucked up under the train tracks and was very cozy. There were several westerner tables going on, but also a lot of Japanese people... which I thought said good things about the food. The food was great, especially the tempura (Kambocha is a Japanese pumpkin-type squash that is lovely as tempura.) and the sauted mushrooms. I love how many different kinds of mushrooms they serve. Nikola also ordered me a Japanese drink summer specialty: sho-chu. Sho-chu (or shochu, not sure which) was translated on the menu as "rough distilled spirits." They served it in a pint glass of ice, 3/4 full. It also came with a wee, glass coke bottle of carbonated water, a metal juicer and a sliced grapefruit. Order of business = juice one half of the grapefruit and add to pint glass, top off with carbonated water and stir. Refresh as needed. It was not bad, and very refreshing on a hot night. Andrea isn't a fan of the sho-chu, but I was ok with it.

After dinner (which took several hours, and the restaurant was close to closing. I love Japanese style dinner eating. So leisurely!), took a cab over to a place near Roppongi Hills. We went up to the 7th floor of a corner building (while Nikola kept saying, "Hmm... Is it the 4th floor or 7th floor?") and rented a kareoke room. It proves to be cheaper to rent the room with an all-you-can-drink clause, than to try to rent the room and buy a pitcher or two of beer... so that's what we did. Nikola is trouble with a capital T, I tell you what. It was super fun. Philippe met up with us after he had done his after work, work-drinking duties and we sang and drank (Nikola insisting that anyone who sang had to have a shot of straight sho-chu) until 4am. We got in another cab and headed home while the sun started to come up.

An awesome night. Nikola & Philippe rock it.

1 comment:

thetravellor said...

Sorry to be miss corrections here, but Nicola's name isn't spelled with a k. This is the last correction I swear!