I failed miserably at continuing to write about each day of the trip, while the details get fuzzier and fuzzier every day since. So here is the rest of the trip in summary.
We did some more sightseeing with Kaori. Went to Asakusa and saw Senso-ji temple, which had a long row of open shops in front of it. The vendors were selling all sorts of things that screamed “Japan”! Like kimonos, nikko cats and other things. After walking around the temple we had sukiyaki for lunch at Saniwa. This would be my third favorite type of Japanese cuisine (sushi is first, okonomiyaki second).
Later we bought cards to give Fumi for her wedding present. You don’t really give gifts at a Japanese wedding, you give money in a gorgeous card. We stopped at a cafe and Kaori taught us how to sign our names. That night we ate dinner at the Kanda meat market and got incredibly drunk. The market has several independent restaurants inside, but its all open. So you can sit at one place and order from another. Each had a different type of meat: chicken, beef, seafood, horse… We settled in at the seafood place, where the serious drinking began. They really loved us, because they kept overfilling our sake glasses and boxes. And we celebrated Andrew’s birthday, which made him blush. Surprisingly, we all made it home safely that night (ie, didn’t get lost).
The day of Fumi’s wedding. We started off by going to the Ghibli Museum. If you don’t know who Hayao Miyazaki is, you must add Totoro and Spirited Away to your movie queue immediately. I’ll wait while you take care of that… done? Ok, so we went to the museum which was awesome. It felt just like his movies, fun and whimsical – like you’re in his world.
Fumi’s wedding started at 2:30. It was a Catholic wedding and not too long. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take pictures in the church, but I got some cool shots on the outside – one of Kaori holding rose petals and Fumi walking through them. Then we were off to the reception hall: Ogasawara hakushaku tei, a one-Michelin-star Spanish restaurant. The food was fantastic, served tapas style by wait staff. And we knew enough English-speaking people to stay busy. Though every speech was in Japanese, it didn’t bother me that I didn’t understand. Afterwards there was a party for close friends in the red light district at III B (Three B) at Shinjyuku Kabuki-cho.
The day began with a trip to the Ramen Museum in Yokohama. The museum had a section inside that was set up to look like Tokyo in the 1950’s. There you could try all sorts of different ramen. We only made it through two bowls. After we walked around Yokohama and took some pictures (like the ferris wheel to the right).
For dinner we met Fumi and Toshi at Torafugu tei, a blow fish restaurant. By this time I had a bit of a stomach ache, from the Ramen Museum I assume. So the food wasn’t very appetizing to me. That very same stomach ache ended up lasting almost two weeks.
We met up with Steve’s friend/ex-programming budy, Kris Tate. He joined us for sushi at Kagura – really good sushi, I loved it! We had a pretty low-key day because I didn’t feel so well and we were all a little tired of walking around. So we sat in a cafe for a while and talked. (Also discovered just how cute Kaori would look if I could really put her in my pocket). Then went to dinner at an art gallery / okonomiyaki place, Sakura tei.
Met up with Kris before we left. We were supposed to get giyoza, but had some confusion about the time we needed to catch teh train, so we had burgers instead. They were actually perfect for my sore tummy. We walked around a little, went to another temple where we saw a traditional Japanese wedding procession. Then we were off to home!
I can now add Tokyo to the list of places I wouldn’t mind living. For a year or two. (The other place on the small list is Paris).