Thursday, September 22, 2011

Finishing out Tokyo

Whew, who knew it could take so long for me to blog about 48 hours in Tokyo? But here I am finally finishing out my posts on my August trip. Clearly the two weeks in Hong Kong that preceded Tokyo will see this blog through the end of the year...

Just some bits and pieces that didn't quite fit in anywhere else or didn't seem to merit a full blog post on their own:

In-flight snack on ANA; I'll take this over stale pretzels and coke any day (thanks again for the deluxe air tickets Mom!)


A big part of the reason I was intimidated about navigating Tokyo on my own.


A manmade stream-like feature running through a park in Ropponggi where people can "rent" a seat:


Further along in the park, a tranquil scene at dusk:


A fairly delicious avocado and "Italian frozen yogurt" shake from the food basement of Mitsukoshi in Ginza. What made it "Italian", I don't know, but the attention to detail with the petite mint leaf tickled my fancy:


Lunch at a delicious Kyoto-style small plates place in the Nakameguro neighborhood. This place was tucked away from the street down a narrow little path with nary a sign (as far as I could tell) to indicate that it was even there. Definitely would never have found it on my own. Thanks for lunch Taro and Christine!


Cold udon was perfect for the 30+ degree Celsius weather


The history of Sensoji temple juxtaposed against the hypermodern Sky Tree broadcasting tower in the background


Cheerful mini-temple


Something about the way this bike was parked outside the restaurant and the black and white photo in the window made me think of an old Japanese film. Maybe channeling the quiet simplicity of an Ozu film?


All the guidebooks talked about the "salarymen" aka government workers who throng Tokyo's izakayas and bars after work. I have no idea if this crowd worked for the government, but this picture captures the faceless anonymity that that term always conjures in my head:


A big reason I was delighted to be navigating Tokyo on my own -- more tonkatsu for me!

This was at Maisen, a well-known tonkatsu establishment. Their special sauce totally made the meal -- none of that thick gloppy sweet stuff you squeeze out of a bottle.


This stuff was fresh, with I have no idea what inside it, but definitely had hints of fresh ginger and maybe even pineapple? I recommend dousing the tonkatsu with it to get that perfect bite:


All in all, not too shabby for a glorified layover methinks!

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