17 May 2010

Day 2: Same old

Posted by Roland under: Travel .

I spent most of the last night debating whether I really wanted to wake up early for another attempt at sushi breakfast in Tsukiji. My idea when I went to bed on Sunday night was that I wanted to just sleep in, but my body would betray me and force me awake at 4AM. With nothing better to do I did go back to Tsukiji for one more attempt at sushi breakfast, this time at the really busy sushi place that I was not able to get into last time because the people I met in line forced me to go to another sushi place nearby.

I guess they had no patience.

Luckily I was able to get in line early enough to avoid being relegated to the much more depressing “second line” (you just feel like food is that much more out of reach at that point), but I would still have to wait an hour before I was treated to probably some of the best sushi I’ve had in my life. Again, maybe it was the lack of sleep/jet lag playing with my sense of taste, but I can honestly say I have had not uni (sea urchin) that good in my life and I was able to get not just one, but two pieces while I was there! While I shelled out around 4000 yen for the treat, it was well worth it. The sushi chef, used to dealing with foreigners, engaged me in lively conversation the whole time which I appreciated.

After Tsukiji, I headed to Tokyo to get my rail pass and found myself with some time to kill before lunch with Taki-chan. Again, I had done Tokyo so many times that there was nothing I really had to see, so I just wandered around Tokyo station, Harujuku and a bit of Shinjuku before I headed to Shin-ochanomizu and met up with Taki-chan. I haven’t seen her since she left Davis to go back to Japan but she was just the same as ever. It was great to catch up with her in person and felt just like old times. Unfortunately my visit would only be an hour with her but with the hope that I would see her again on the 30th, I wasn’t saying goodbye for a long amount of time.

By this time I decided to take my bullet train ride to Kyoto, which I promptly attempted to sleep through most of. Unfortunately my body thought it was getting real sleep (it was late at night in California) so when I did wake up before Kyoto I was very groggy. Nonetheless, Kyoto was familiar to me, having visited two years ago and staying at the same place me and Ajay stayed at (on my recommendation). When I got there, I was greeted by a new face at the front desk, apparently the old land lady from before had retired and passed on the reins to someone else, who was younger, but also could speak English. The inn itself was the same and as if it was meant to be, I was in the same room with Tom that I was with Ajay. Basically the same trip all over again.

Tom would show up a little bit later where he would regale me with the wild and crazy stories of his time in Tokyo by himself. He made hostel friends, they headed to Shibuya late at night and well, fun ensued. He can tell the stories better than I ever could. I would attempt to take him to A’s Bar, the same bar that me and Ajay went to when we visited Kyoto (can you see a pattern here) but my attempts to figure out if we were going the right direction east or west would be depressingly revealed to us that I was actually going north and south. Tom, already hungry and quite tired, would just suggest we take a taxi, which we did at this point.

A’s Bar was also the same as usual, where Tom and me drank some beer and ate some great food. It was mostly ourselves (and other random foreigners at other tables) for the night although the moment after Tom and me got up to pay our bill, three girls would come in and sit at the same table that we were at. Not sure if they would have sat there had we still been there, but I was a little sad that I couldn’t see Tom’s skills with the ladies in action that night. Fatigue was setting in for the both of us though and Tom said he was all late night partied out, which I appreciated. So we went back to the hotel and called it a night.

I spent most of the last night debating whether I really wanted to wake up early for another attempt at sushi breakfast in Tsukiji. My idea when I went to bed on Sunday night

was that I wanted to just sleep in, but my body would betray me and force me awake at 4AM. With nothing better to do I did go back to Tsukiji for one more attempt at sushi

breakfast, this time at the really busy sushi place that I was not able to get into last time because the people I met in line forced me to go to another sushi place nearby.

I guess they had no patience.

Luckily I was able to get in line early enough to avoid being relegated to the much more depressing “second line” (you just feel like food is that much more out of reach at that

point), but I would still have to wait an hour before I was treated to probably some of the best sushi I’ve had in my life. Again, maybe it was the lack of sleep/jet lag playing

with my sense of taste, but I can honestly say I have had not uni (sea urchin) that good in my life and I was able to get not just one, but two pieces while I was there! While I

shelled out around 4000 yen for the treat, it was well worth it. The sushi chef, used to dealing with foreigners, engaged me in lively conversation the whole time which I

appreciated.

After Tsukiji, I headed to Tokyo to get my rail pass and found myself with some time to kill before lunch with Taki-chan. Again, I had done Tokyo so many times that there was

nothing I really had to see, so I just wandered around Tokyo station, Harujuku and a bit of Shinjuku before I headed to Shin-ochanomizu and met up with Taki-chan. I haven’t seen

her since she left Davis to go back to Japan but she was just the same as ever. It was great to catch up with her in person and felt just like old times. Unfortunately my visit

would only be an hour with her but with the hope that I would see her again on the 30th, I wasn’t saying goodbye for a long amount of time.

By this time I decided to take my bullet train ride to Kyoto, which I promptly attempted to sleep through most of. Unfortunately my body thought it was getting real sleep (it

was late at night in California) so when I did wake up before Kyoto I was very groggy. Nonetheless, Kyoto was familiar to me, having visited two years ago and staying at the

same place me and Ajay stayed at (on my recommendation). When I got there, I was greeted by a new face at the front desk, apparently the old land lady from before had retired

and passed on the reins to someone else, who was younger, but also could speak English. The inn itself was the same and as if it was meant to be, I was in the same room with Tom

that I was with Ajay. Basically the same trip all over again.

Tom would show up a little bit later where he would regale me with the wild and crazy stories of his time in Tokyo by himself. He made hostel friends, they headed to Shibuya

late at night and well, fun ensued. He can tell the stories better than I ever could. I would attempt to take him to A’s Bar, the same bar that me and Ajay went to when we

visited Kyoto (can you see a pattern here) but my attempts to figure out if we were going the right direction east or west would be depressingly revealed to us that I was

actually going north and south. Tom, already hungry and quite tired, would just suggest we take a taxi, which we did at this point.

A’s Bar was also the same as usual, where Tom and me drank some beer and ate some great food. It was mostly ourselves (and other random foreigners at other tables) for the night

although the moment after Tom and me got up to pay our bill, three girls would come in and sit at the same table that we were at. Not sure if they would have sat there had we

still been there, but I was a little sad that I couldn’t see Tom’s skills with the ladies in action that night. Fatigue was setting in for the both of us though and Tom said he

was all late night partied out, which I appreciated. So we went back to the hotel and called it a night.

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