Saturday, May 10, 2014

Tokyo Day Next

I can't figure out breakfast. I think it's the same as lunch and dinner. Fish or soup or fried things made out of fish and soup.

Fish market in the morning was very cool but I couldn't find the wholesale part. This corn fish on a stick was half my breakfast,. The other half was an octopus curry rice ball, which was a rice ball with a piece of octopus stuck on top, like a decoration.

The most unusual thing there were these sea sponges in the shape of toilet bowl cleaners, hanging on a Christmas tree.

Then I walked to a 300 year old garden where all of the original buildings have been destroyed either by earthquake or war. There were commemorative plaques everywhere describing the buildings that once were. General Grant was a visitor, also commemorated by plaques and copies of paintings. I paid a stupid amount of money to sit on the floor and have powdered matcha tea and a little bland cake in a replica of the original tea house that was destroyed by war and replaced in 1980 (maybe, I can't really remember).

I saw this cute box turtle and listened to screaming crows. There was also an elaborate pair of duck blinds for hunting.

There was a couple in traditional wedding gear getting photographed but they might have been models, as they were a little too beautiful to think they were real. Notice the gigantic buildings behind the garden. The encroachment is right up to the edge of this sanctuary.

Then I decided enough tourism, time for shopping so I went to Ginza. But first stop was for contact lenses since I left them at home. One man in the shop spoke a tad of English, but my ever awesome husband had sent me photos of the box so it was easy to get what I needed, though I still had to have an eye exam.  It took about 1 minute and cost $30. The important thing is I don't have to wear those awful glasses any more.

Now for lunch. By this time it was after 2:00 and everything was closing up. I went into a tiny restaurant with no English or photos. A man was eating a whole fish. I pointed and I think I ordered it. Hard to say. Another group of black suits came in and shortly thereafter they were told something and left without eating. The waitress tried to tell me something but the only word she knew was "kitchen" so I figure there was something wrong with the kitchen and I left. In any case I got to partly charge my phone and stay out of the rain.

Now everything really was closed so I went into a counter style place and ordered dumplings. There was a pictograph about how to eat them but I didn't understand and when I punctured it with my  chop stick the dumpling squirted everywhere. I tried to eat it and it squirted more boiling water into my mouth. Ouch. Then I realized they were soup dumplings and the pictorial made sense--puncture, slurp and then eat.

It was still raining so I visited the two big department stores. The clothes were pretty fantastic and all in my size, but the cuts are very square and not for me. Also, it was pretty pricey. One was a la Bloomingdales, the other Saks.

The 100 year old legacy store was reminiscent of Harrods. It had a Wurlitzer organ and this outrageous sculpture called Goddes of Sincerity, finished in 1960, took 10 years to make.

After napping for 3 hours I ventured outside, a Friday night, to find a different Tokyo. The shops and daytime stores were closed, and seemingly out of nowhere every place was a nightclub, bar, girly club, slot machine place, and so on. The streets were bustling with thousands of men in black suits, women in frilly short skirts and impossibly high heels, and stylish boys with lots of hair gel and funky tight clothes. African men were on every corner, all spoke English, and they asked me if I wanted a bar, or karaoke. While it was intimidating, I never once felt threatened or uncomfortable. Either I'm naive or this is truly the safest city in the world.

I finally ate around 11 pm at a sushi conveyer belt place (but really you order from the sushi chefs in the middle), and was rushed out as they closed at 11:30, sadly leaving half a bottle of sake that I couldn't drink fast enough.

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