Monday, June 23, 2008
We woke up at 6:30am. I felt like a huge pile of crap. Luckily, after writing some emails we were able to go back to bed and slept until 11:00am. The extra bonus of sleeping in really rejuvenated us through the day. The third day is always the worst for jet lag. We left the hotel around noon walking and talking slower than normal.
We didn't plan any vigorous day activity because during the night we had plans to go out with Katie's friend's cousin Steve. Steve (who looks like Micheal Bolton from Office Space) grew up in Connecticut and moved to Japan ten years ago. He married a Japanese wife and has small children and no plans of returning back to the States. Steve took us to his favorite restaurant which loosely translates to "Upon The Sea." We ate the most delicious sushi I ever had in all my life! Steve ordered everything for us. The chubby cheery sushi chef took our order of summer shrimp, large ebi with tangy mustard sauce, sauteed fish (translated as eye board fish b/c of its flatness and being hard like a board) with lemony garlic oil, sake, flying fish sashimi, mackerel, and seared tuna. Steve joked that the food was too delicious and was likely to be poisonous. This was his amusing attempt to eat all the sushi.
A Japanese lady sitting with two friends offered to buy us a round of sake. She was an associate seller for a local sake company and was happy to hear Americans having such a great time in her country. She was also interested in talking with us because going to be moving to Los Angeles to sell her product. The shots were poured directly into a shot glass that was put into a wooden box. The bartender purposely over poured each shot so that the sake would fill up into the box. The lady said it was very Japanese not to waste any of the liquor and told us to pour the remainder of the sake back into the shot glass and drink it. We thanked her for her generosity.
The man (Steve) liked his music, smoking, and living the good life. He made for an excellent nightlife guide to Japan. After dinner, Steve took us to his favorite bar, a hidden gem called The Lantern. Steve informed us the only way you hear about a bar like The Lantern is by being introduced to it by a regular. And Steve introduced us to a night of of singing and drinking Japanese style. TL was not just a bar, but also had a Japanese Beatles cover band. And man, could these guys perform.
The best part of this memorable evening was when Katie and I got to sing along with the band. We sang HELP, which was an appropriate song to sing for us both at this point of our lives. It was so magical and we really rocked the house. I felt like such a ham singing and dancing, but it was so much fun. I've always wanted to see what it would feel like to sing in a band and I got to experience it was in Japan. We left the bar and Steve around 1am. On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at the convenience store in our town and picked up some late night sweets. Katie got green tea ice cream and I had vanilla mousse.