November 24, 2007

Had an opportune 72 hour transit through the city of Ramenly Love--opportune inasmuch as Dice was in residence and so I strongarmed (weaknoodled?) him into taking me on a tour of ramen. (The last time I transited through, Dice was in SF, and so was corralled with other castaways into Narita's You-Sleep-Here!--i.e. on this molded plastic seat--ghetto.)

I stashed my bags in a locker and Narita Expressed it into Tokyo Station. A very kind policeman helped me find Ginza, where I met Dice outside the Apple Store. We wound our way posthaste to a back alley Ramen place and ordered ginger marinated cabbage, garlic-soy-scallion soft tofu, and of course, ramen, of the flat noodle variety, in a lovely broth. The pale ale from Okinawa was excellent, and I imagined drinking quite a lot of it on the sandy beaches of said island. Sadly, no pictures exist of this fantastic meal. We went to ColdStone Creamery, entirely in an attempt to piss off Andrew (which seems not to have worked...), where I posed with Dice's purchase (my allegiances are entirely with Jeni's). Later, I was officially welcomed to Japan...



The following day broke overcast and I took a nice long walk through Dice's hood in Hiroo. Here's some crazy wood--I love Japan!  Also, here's a building that somebody has seen fit to encase almost entirely in frosted glass... the view across the street is of a not-very-pleasant looking housing project, but still--entirely in frosted glass? Good God! On my return, I stumbled across a woman selling rice pastries--the bean filled items, excellent; the soy based sauce covered item, not so much.




We met Ted for lunch, and friend of mine from Mongolia studying in Tsukuba for dinner. In between we stopped at the Muji sensation (according to Dice: "no brand, good products"). I bought some tea, which didn't have a brand--I haven't tasted it, so don't know if it's good. Dice bought us green tea cakes that didn't have a brand; mine sat in my pocket for the better part of the day, but that notwithstanding, it was pretty good.

There were some women dressed up in maid uniforms outside the train station... Dice asked them what was up; apparently they are escorts. Nearby, a gaggle of photographers were snapping away at a crowd of young women in schoolish outfits who posed by extending a single finger from each hand as a way of framing their coy smiles. The girls didn't seem to be anybody famous, but there was a large crowd all the same. Dice took a picture of me taking a picture of the photographers taking pictures of the girls. Afterward, this is what Tokyo looked like to me:



It was a great weekend in the To-k-yo. We capped it off with a quick bowl of ramen before I had to catch the train back to Narita. I forgot to ask for extra nori, but the salty sweet broth was perfect as it was.

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