Tokyo, Days 3 & 4

DSC06475

Chicken balls - figuratively, I think.

Dinner at Birdland.  Very good – rather small place  specializing in chicken yakitori…  We were seated at the counter, so we got to watch the busy chefs at the grill.   And nothing goes to waste, as was evidenced by being served heart, gizzard, liver and skin.  I ate everything – though I didn’t manage to finish all five of my chicken hearts – but Chris ate all of his.  I finished all my livers, though, which Chris did not… The chicken breast and meatballs were delicious, as was the special house sake.

DSC06476

Kampai!

We made another attempt to find Advocates, the gay bar we’d heard about.  We took the subway to Shinjuku Sanchome, which we knew was pretty close – and we had a map.  Rather than try to find it on our own, we hailed a taxi right outside the subway station.  The driver apparently attempted to explain that our destination was essentially across the street, but we didn’t really understand what he was telling us – so he drove us two-and-a-half blocks to the bar… The place was tiny, but convivial – mostly gaijin hanging out.  After a few drinks there, we also stopped at Arty Farty and Dragon, two other nearby gay bars.  All the bars were pretty quiet, but it was nice to hang out with some other gays…  Also, I was plastered – yay!

Slept in a bit, had a Western-style breakfast at our hotel and then walked over to Isetan, a department store nearby. Chris bought some fancy floral underpants for me – they are super-cute and sexy…  Just not when I wear them.  But I love them nonetheless… Then back to the hotel, where met up with Takako-san, our Tokyo Free Guide. She was friendly, kind and knowledgeable – a very nice lady.  She took us first to Asakusa for a visit to the Sensoji Temple, as well as the nearby market – originally the location of the post-WWII black market.  Besides giving us a bit of history as we walked, she was answered our questions, which were far-ranging and various – though many were along the lines of “What’s he saying?” and “What’s that for?” – though we also asked and learned about some of Japan’s history.

DSC_2134

Chris-san and Takako-san

From there we headed to Ueno Park, a huge and lovely green space in the heart of Tokyo. We visited a Toshugo shrine, modeled after a similar shrine in Kyoto, which was very pretty.  At another shrine in the park, there is a memorial to those killed in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – an eternal flame, taken from wreackage of a home after the destruction.  The memorial is quite dignified and very moving…

DSC_2113

Hiroshima & Nagasaki Memorial, surrounded by origami cranes.

Walked around a large pond that was filled with giant lotus plants, before heading to the Tokyo equivalent of a dollar store – retail shops here are endlessly fascinating.  Stopped for a quck bite – I had my first rice ball, which is my new favorite snack…  A slightly warm ball of rice, stuffed with a bit of tuna and mayonaise wrapped with a bit of nori…  Delicious.  Takako-san then took us to Akihabara and bid us farewell outside of the world’s largest electronics store.  Chris and I were weary, so we didn’t explore too much – we just went up to the fifth floor to admire the vast array of electronic toilet seats.  Seriously, I am getting one of those for our apartment back home – a plain old toilet seat feels downright uncivilized after using the automatic ass-washing variety…

DSC_2115

Prayers

Had a little lie-down at the hotel, then went for dinner at Tsunahachi, a tempura place recommended by one of Chris’ clients.  It was delicious – probably our favorite meal so far. Shrimp were amazing; Chris declared his scallops the best he’d ever had (and I have to agree – I like scallops, but I seldom swoon over them…  These were pretty swoon-worthy); and I had some kind of crazy autumn mushroom that was out of this world.

Just after we started eating, my friend Kenneth showed up – he’s a colleague who happened to be visiting Japan at the same time we were.  I’d emailed him the name of our restaurant and was very pleasantly surprised that he tracked us down…  We enjoyed the rest of our dinner together, then walked over to Ni-Chome again, for more drinks at the gay bars Chris and I had finally found the night before.  Had a great time – hung out with a Canadian fellow at Dragon, who is touring Japan with a choral group; met a couple of peculiar Australian gentleman; and watched in horror as a super-drunk Japanese lady did a face plant walking into the john…  I really expected to see her teeth scattered all over the floor, but she was helped up and had nary a scratch.

DSC06496

Chef prepares tempura.

Home at a semi-reasonable hour, though we still didn’t get going today until about 11:00 for our trip to Disney Sea. Got there by noon and had a really fine time.  The place was rather crowded, but people-watching was good.  Some great rides, too – notably Journey to the Center of the Earth and Storm Rider, both unique to Disney Sea. Chris-san seemed to enjoy himself too – though I know he’s just indulging…  One of the many reasons I love him…

Decided to make it an early night – we have another tour tomorrow starting at 10:00, so we’re hoping to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  Sayonara!

3 responses to “Tokyo, Days 3 & 4

  1. Sounds like a good trip🙂

    Hope i’ll also visit Japan some day.

  2. “met a couple of peculiar Australian gentleman”. Is there any other type?

  3. Hi Friend! I love reading your travel blogs and viewing food pics (even if they are kinda ick).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s