March 21st, 2007

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七日: "Sapporo Beer, Made From Real Fairy Tinkle"

...So you know it's good.

[You know you've gotten used to Tokyo when you walk through an empty station and get really creeped out by its emptiness, because you just never go anywhere in Tokyo where there aren't any people.]

Anyway, did MOS Burger this morning, Dusty got this weird tonkatsu dog, and I got me a spicy MOS cheeseburger. Need to go back, because I want to try the cheese fondue dog, which looked weird, yet tasty.

We set off to the Tokyo Metropolitan building in Shinjuku for the free view in the morning, which was great, since it was a really nice, clear day, so we could see Fuji-san and everything. Dusty talked me into getting a strap for my phone -- I didn't want one or anything, until he found the Domo-kun ones, then I had to have one, or I would just die. Unfortunately, they didn't have the one I really wanted, which only came in keychain form. So, we found an internet spot in the lobby, and looked on the Japanese-language NHK web site for NHK stores. And I could read just enough kanji to figure out the addresses to find the ones near where we'd be going (handy that I know the wards around here in kanji), so now we have a quest -- to find the perfect Domo-kun cell phone strap. I have one already just in case, but it could be better!

Incidentally, nikudon is really, really yummy. I will eat more.

After that, we hit the Yamanote line down to Ebisu (being able to read the kanji on the signs is really useful, since you don't have to look for the maps with the English translations when you're figuring out your fare, and it's funny that I'm the one finding them on the signs instead of Dusty, who actually lived here before, since I've slowly been memorizing all the ones in Tokyo -- names are a lot easier to remember than a lot of words, because names generally have simpler kanji, I think), and hit the Ebisu Beer Museum, which was full of tasty and neat. Sampled the beer, and saw this really whacked out "magic theater" thing complete with an evil wizard and a fairy. It was... Odd, yet cool.

After that, wandered down to the Tokyo Photography Museum, which had this neat exhibition on really early Japanese photography (thoughout the Meiji period). And then we set off for the Meguro Parasite Museum, which we pretty much failed to find, unfortunately (we did, completely randomly, run across the Polish Embassy in Japan, so since both of us are exactly one quarter polish, we took pictures out front). So, we hopped on a bus back to the Ebisu station, and hopped on the subway to Roppongi (after we stopped at Wendy's so I could freak out the natives when I bought fries and a tiny, tiny frosty to dip my fries into, and Dusty had to have the anko burger, which was just... Weird), wandered around Roppongi Hills and to the top of the Mori Building (expensive compared to the Tokyo Metropolitan Building of course, but also a great view at night, and there was some musuem stuff thrown in that we kind of ignored). We'd decided that instead of actually going up the Tokyo Tower (which would be more expensive) it would be better to go somewhere else and take pictures of the Tokyo Tower instead. This, we thought, turned out to be an excellent plan.

Afterwards, we wandered over the gaijin bar section of Roppongi, which was pretty much everything I'd been told it would be (which is good and bad, but it's nice to know things first-hand). Got our drunk on pretty good. Had a pretty good DJ (apparently she'll be back at the same bar on Friday, although I guess there's probably damned little chance we'll be back there). Generally had a blast, until we got back to the train station and found out we'd stayed too long -- because hell, the trains run later even in Denver than they do here. WTF. We ended up wandering from line to line trying to find a way back as they shut down, and ended up making things much worse, eventually getting stranded in Oosaki. Which sucked, because it was probably the farthest possible place we could have reasonably gotten to from Asakusa, and we ended up having to take a taxi to get back. Didn't quite break the bank or anything, but it was a pretty annoying unexpected expense (actually, it was an expensive day all around -- I think I may have spent almost as much today as I did during the trip up to today. Well, probably not, really, but want to cut back a little now -- before, at least, I'd been spending less than I'd expected I would, which was nice).

Still, excellent adventures. And not too hungover (Dusty is slightly, but I'm fine).

[see photos on flickr]