utah: 6:27 p.m. monday, may 22
and so begins the start of day 2 in japan. it's almost 8:30 in the a.m. here, while,in utah, the gang will soon be gathering to watch the season finale of '24'. will jack bauer save the world??
yesterday was a bit of a rough day for me. as tour guide and firstborn, i take it upon myself [consciously or otherwise] to see that everyone is having the time oftheir life and that we are seeing every cool thing that there is to see. naturally,that doesn't always happen, and therefore stresses me out a bit....
i really don't know much about tokyo, or what there is to do here. it's a really, really, really big city. and that's really cool, but apart from seeing the really big city, what do you do? there's probably a lot, actually.
we ventured out to see the famous tsukiji fish market, which begins at 4 a.m. and supplies tokyo with pretty much all of their fish. by 11, however, there isn't much to see. dad and i plan to head back there tomorrow morning around 5 and see it in full swing. at 1:30 we met up with a girl named yoshi, who homestayed in my room for a few months while i was knocking on doors over here all those years ago. this was actually a pretty good idea, as she knew where to go for shopping that was affordable: we met up with her in ginza, which is THE upscale shopping disctrict of tokyo, and trying to find anything there at a reasonable price was pointless.
the girls went off and shopped at uni-qlo [kind of like 'old navy' for japan] while i accompanied dad and tim in the sony building. the floors aren't that large, but they lead from one to another in a series of short steps, each taking you to more and more extravagent merchandise, much of which isn't even priced, as it is display only.
we considered sushi for dinner, but ultimately ended on yakiniku, which was a missionary favorite, and turned out to be an equally big success with my family. we went into a narrow stairway leading down beneath the street to a restaurant of brick walls, reminding my sister of a new york jazz club. there, we ordered two plates of piled raw meat and two plates of vegetables, all which we grilled ourselves on the two braziers placed in front of us. mom was a little cautious about touching the rawmeat with the same chopsticks we were eating from, but the apprehension didn't lastlong as she began to eat.
as we were sitting down to eat, mom began feeling not so well. thankfully, yoshi was still with us, and was able to spend time on the phone finding a clinic that would be open that evening [as a tribute to japanese mentality, i note that yoshi called our hotel to see if the doctor was still available; not the case, she then called her sister and had her off making phone calls while were we dining]. becky wanted to stop at the hard rock cafe which was literaly just arond the corner ['wanted' is a light description; when traveling abroad with my sister, if the country contains such a cafe, the establishment must be visited so that a t-shirt can be purchased; if not, dire consequences fall upon the brother], but we all went with mom to the hospital as yoshi ushered us into two seperate taxis. walking in, i asked tim what this reminded him of; he smiled and said, 'the old guy in the hospital!' between the hotel and now this, we are having a sort of 'lost intranslation' fantasy camp.
once mom was safely registered and with an hour wait, we decided to head back to rippongi and visit the mecca called the hard rock cafe, while yoshi stayed with mom[there wasn't much i could do; medical terminology is beyond me right now]. rippongi is the hangout place for those our age, but it looks to be mostly bars and fancy confectionary stores, neither of which really interested me very much. and after only two wrong turns [about which becky reminded me, 'brothers are usualy right'], we found the great cafe. i didn't buy a shirt, because there's one in osaka, and tokyo just seems so... common. 'video killed the radio star' played on the tv.
in a minute we will be leaving for breakfast in the lounge. never did i think thata 'continental breakfast' could so good. far above anything i even tasted as a missionary, this is some of japan's finest foood. there are cheeses i have never ever seen before [most of which stink, yet i like to eat them], delicately rolled slices of meat, and crackers that defy barriers of what i thought a cracker could be; eggs, sausage, ham and bacon, of which look and taste transcendant of the culinary genres. also is a wonderful chef who will prepare and serve omlets that are equal to the view out the window as we eat.
the ritz of tokyo
ginza has all that's glamour
$300 for shirt?