Saturday, June 21, 2008

Shopping in Shibuya

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There is so much to write about that I can't stop journaling. It's only day two, but all my senses have peaked. Katie and I walked around the Electric City and stopped into to a little modern American breakfast place called Roy's. We were the only non-Japanese business men at the joint. I really wanted someone to take our picture. We were two colorfully dressed ladies around a sea of smoking men in black business suits. We ordered two large pieces of bread with butter, two mochas, and a bowl of fruit including red bean, almond jello, syrup, ice cream, and mochi. It's all about being experimental when it comes to traveling. We did the same for our lunch. We smelled something tangy baking and saw a woman cooking doughy balls with taco (octopus) topped with teriyaki sauce. Most of the shops were closed because it was so early in the morning. Finally at 10am, a flock of girls in school girl uniforms passed our way. There was so many things for us to do in such a small space. Katie and I were enthralled by the toy dispensers especially this one that had farm animals set on a keychain indicating in Japanese the different butcher cuts.

We left the Electric City and took the train down to Shibuya. We walked around and went shopping at a nine story mall that was separated in three buildings. We however, didn't buy anything. After hanging out for awhile we went back to our new hotel Komaba Eminence. The hotel is only two stops from the wild Shibuya, but it really quiet and quaint. We walked around on the narrow streets only moving around on the narrow streets only moving aside when trucks pass by. There's little restaurents with the food displayed in plastic replicas in the store front. Everything is well-organized for Westerners to point and figure out what they want to eat. We decided to have a small lunch. We grabbed the delicious taka balls and then went to McDonalds. Katie tried the Shaka Shaka Chicken, you shake pepper flakes into a little envelope and walla you have a really delicious snack. I had the tempura shrimp wrap or McTempura shrimp wrap, which was just okay. McDonalds in Japan is a lot tastier than the US.

For dinner we met up with Yumiko she wanted to take us out to a very authentic Japanese sushi bar. She was a bit hesitant that the food we were going to try might be too weird, but we convinced her we were open to try anything. The restaurent we went to was fairly small with the focal point being the sushi bar. We sat at the bar and was greeted by the very sweet elderly sushi chef. The chef sat us down and Yumiko ordered cold clear sake for us. The chef held up two boxes with an assortment of delicious raw fish, sea veggies, seaweed, and tide pool delicacies. Yumiko picked the selection of different foods from the boxes. She picked an eclectic arrangement of sea veggies, gingko nuts (which were warm), two beans which you scrap the contents with a small spoon, lemony tadpools (which were surprisingly delicious, even though they had eyes), raw scallops, clear fish, sake, and mackerel all served sashimi style.

The delicious sea and regular veggies were different than I ever tasted before. The pickled diakons were crisp and slightly sour. The mini pickled eggplants were crisp and very purple. We ate sea potatoes that were slightly slimy and tasted with wasabi. These were my least favorite dishes. My favorite dish was the fresh sea urchin (uni), which was very fresh. To eat it we had to scrap the sides with a little spoon. It tasted slightly like the sea, but was warm and comforting.

Yumiko was the perfect host very accommodating and paid for everything. Katie and I profusely thanked her. The sushi chef just got back from San Francisco so he really loved the fact we were from the area. He even showed us his pictures of his travels where he taught people how to make sushi. He was a very kind man, when we left he gave us a going away present of many goodies including green tea and seaweed. We had a blast and are really looking forward to meeting up with Yumiko and going shopping. When we got back to the hotel we were super sleepy, but we ended up taking showers and fell asleep to some very raunchy anima.