Thursday, June 26, 2008
Today we actually woke up at a normal hour. Unfortunately, we were hung over from the sake, beer, and cigar smoke from the night before. We decided that we were going to try one of the many local French bakeries in our town. We had brie in a french bread roll, shitake/asparagus open face roll, crusty almond tart, and a red bean pastry. All of the bread products were scrumptious, light, and flavorful. The senior baker came out and we told her how delicious her pastries tasted.
We walked to the Japan Folk Museum called Mingeikan. The museum was in a traditional Japanese house with screen windows and wooden architecture. Before we entered the museum, we had to take off our shoes and put on the slippers they offered to their guest. We saw a lot of beautiful textiles from an array of colorful kimonos to lacquer painted sake servers.
After the museum, we walked along this breathe taking neighborhood aligned with many lovely flowers including azaleas, dogwood, and cherry blossoms. It was a beautiful rainy Spring day. We walked to Tokyo University, which looks like a futuristic industrial and sterile jail. It was massive. I told Katie I wouldn't want to attend this University because the lack of life would make me depressed.
We walked down to Yumiko's store in the town over. The store had impressive simplistic displays. It was set up in a very minimalist way highlighting the items she was selling by displaying them in a row. I bought a very beautiful neutral toned light weight scarf. We chatted with Yumiko a bit and she informed us that if we walked down to the train station in her neighborhood that their are some great boutiques in a large outdoor market. As we were walking to the boutiques it started to pour. I got drenched and that along with my fatigue from walking everywhere put me in a sleepy mood. We decided to go back into the hotel to recharge. In the hotel we drank green tea and ate oranges.
We went out later for noodles and nourishment. I slurped down a huge bowl of seafood soba noodle soup. It was very mild in flavor, but soothing nevertheless. After dinner, Katie and I took the subway to Shibuya to check out the famous love hotels. The love hotels are designed for sex and nothing else. The appeal for tourist is their hilarious themed rooms. There is apparently beds that look like genitals and rooms that are themed in very seductive ways. This "sexy" district is completely accepted in Japanese culture. It is displayed in all tour books as the place to check out even if you aren't there to get action. Katie and I were definitely not there to get action, but wanted to see the wacky neon lights and what in the world the rooms would look like. We did see the neon signs written in bad Engrish with signs that read "2 for 1" and "Two Bad Asses." We chickened out and didn't go inside any of the love hotels. I didn't mind, the area really wasn't that impressive. We also were sick of the rain.
Yumiko's shop: www.fog-notebooks.com 4 29 14 daizaqa setagaya tokyo ph 03 5432 5610