Sleeping is the Best!
Good Morning Tokyo!
We are all well rested and heading down for breakfast soon. Thought I would use some of my now firing brain synapses to finish the story of the first day.
The train ride from the airport was more than an hour. During this time my brain was fighting with the impression of being someplace both foreign and familiar. The advertisements were all in Japanese, but that made sense. The disembodied heads on the pink banners claiming the many benefits of peach yogurt seemed perfectly normal. The school girls giggling and the elderly lady i’d never met sleeping with her head not quite on my shoulder all seemed normal. It was more like time travel than air travel.
The adrenaline of the “getting on the right train adventure” had worn off and we all started to zone out. Every now and again Kira or I would recount some random fact that we remembered as the Japanness filtered into our brains. I fell asleep at one point, but found that the skill of awaking briefly at each stop had returned just like the words I kept recognizing from the train announcements.
It was just the four of us on the train – me, Mel, Sarah, and Kira. Both Michael and Kira’s mother, Janet, were waiting for us at the Asakusa station having arrived hours earlier from China. Michael already had the lay of the land and guided us to our ryokan expertly. The warm air hit us as we came up out of the train station to behold a typical Tokyo landscape of shops, restaurants, and as an added bonus a temple. It was already dark and the city lights completed the familiar scene for my sleep addled brain.
We had thought we might collapse into “bed”, but Janet had enough energy to convince us to go out for a meal. We did not have to wander far to find a great variety of places and ended up in what was mostly a very upscale bar, but they had tons of food items on their menu as well as the beer and whiskey sours.
We stuffed ourselves with yakitori, yakisoba, Goyza (cooked perfectly and fused together all in one dish), some fried cheezu sticks. Melanie ordered some sort of fried seafood and cheese concoction made in an escargot dish that she thought was delicious, but to her dismay had bacon in the topping. She ripped off most of the fried cheese topping and ate the seafood underneath. I sampled some of the bacon, butter, cheese topping. Yum.
Sarah wins for the best ordering. She got a piece of grilled mackerel. Or at least we thought it was grilled. The first item they brought out for us was her fish and it was raw…to begin with. The waitress put down the plate with the fish and then took out her blow torch and cooked the fish in front of us. It was very fun and Sarah let me try a piece which was still a little raw on the bottom, but quite tasty.