Sunday, June 26, 2011

Week One

Well another week of living in Japan is in the books. The thing that I am starting to realize is that not much changes around here. The faces and places might shift but being a Navy town there are things that will always be constant. The higher than usual concentration of restaurants, convenience stores, and bars a block off base. The weather which is currently "sticky" not very warm but humid enough to make one uncomfortable.

The food was standard fair for me. Tonkatsu near base, Ramen, Pizza, Thia, Za Watami all good food.

On Saturday Dave, Bryan and I went up for a half Tour de Tokyo. This was mostly the same sites as usual, Asakusa, Akihabara, Shimbashi, Daiba. We did go to the 47 Ronin grave sites in Tokyo. There is a movie coming out next year which I am sure like most movies will do an accurate job portraying the facts. Basic honor revenge story. Pictures below.

Week One June 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Fathers Day - June 19th

Nice and cloudy here today, slept a lot. Rolled my ankle a little bit, hurts but it will be fine. Had my favorite curry at Nirvana's for lunch. Went to dinner at a Restaurant called Family Garden, basically like a Denny's. As it was fathers day here it was packed, took around an hour to get in. Had the Japanese version of Pizza which is different but still very good.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Back in Japan - June 18th

Another successful trip. I will fill in the details later, however it was nice that I was on a flight that took off prior to the United computer system failure.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Another Trip Wrapped - 1st Week May 2011

Well the weather and food have been great. The last week was a very good week to pack in as much great food as possible. I had Korean BBQ, Teppanyaki (Japanese Steak, helps to lighten the wallet), Mexican, and Yakitori. All in all this was a great trip.


Teppanyaki Tuesday


Cinco de Mayo

Fly Day Friday

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tokyo Weekend - April into May

Saturday morning after walking around Yokosuka. After getting caffeinated and feed I headed over to the Costco in Yokohama. Always an interesting experience to go to Costco, a lot like US Costco's but with a lot more people.

After getting a little lunch I walked over to the Yokohama Marina Outlet mall. Hit up another MontBell. After finally settling on a messenger back I headed up to check into the New Sanno hotel.

It is a very nice hotel operated by the Army. Active Duty and DOD Civilians can get rooms for under 100 bucks a night. It is a couple of stops from Shibuya which can get you anywhere else in Tokyo within 40 minutes.

First I headed over to Asakusa and got some pictures of all the crowds out for Golden Week. There is a street on the backside of the area that has a lot of street food places. I got a few sticks of Yakitori and watched as some interesting people walked past. There was one Japanese women that had pink hair, which you really don't see that much. In a sea of black hair that would really show up.

After that I walked back and went through the Asakusa area again and got some night shots that came out pretty good. After going to walk around Shibuya at night I went back to the hotel to get some rest.

In the morning I took a few different trains and went out to Machida where they had a Shrine Sale. Basically it is like a big flee market with a lot of different things for sale. If you like second hand shops it would be a good thing. It was interesting to see and I did pick up a couple of smaller things. It did actually mark the first time that I bartered to get the price lower.

From there I headed back to Yokosuka, and came back to the rain. After being nice up in Tokyo for Saturday and Sunday it was dumping. I had my usual at Nirvana's for dinner. And then went to Church afterwords.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Mega Meat - Friday April 29th

Friday is the start of Golden Week in Japan, it kicks off every year on the 29th of April for Showa day, the Emperors day. There are a few other holidays over the next week, it is a time where most of the Japanese workers are off and the schools get out. One per trip I like to arrange a met up between the Japanese and American workers to spend time in a non work environment. Burger King has just released a new burger last month. It is made of two Whopper patty's, cheese, bacon, and chicken. Totaling at 1300 Calories and 65 grams of fat we figured there could be little better to bond over. In total we had 8 people hanging out, so when I ordered 8 Mega Meat Burgers at Burger King the woman thought that she had misheard us. It took 10 minutes to put together. It took much less time to eat them, the surprising thing was they were really good and it seemed like there was more room left. So we went out and got Gyro's at a stand down the street. Not the best food night, but it was good to get out. Most people tried to 3DS, which makes you look foolish but can be fun.

Yokohama Chinatown - April 28th

The weather has just been great, not from the aspect of recovering from a sun burn. After work I headed up to Yokohama to buy a new jacket from MontBell, it is very orange. After that I tried a restaurant in China Town called Dalian, very good. They serve a Black Sesame chicken dish that is up on the list of best foods I have eaten.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

TonKatsu Yokosuka - April 27th

Well after the spread at the BBQ place Tuesday night combined with the large rain drops I decided to forgo the gym this morning. There is also a bug going around work right now that I think I picked up, so the extra sleep helped a bit.

For dinner I met up with a few coworkers and went to the Tonkatsu expert. The way that he prepares the food is a show in and of itself. Very good, sad that I have not been back in a few trips. It is very difficult to get a seat and when the place is full he is closed.

B BBQ Tuesday - April 26th

Before the sun came up it was off to the gym, you have to offset the amount of great food here somehow. By the time I left the gym the sun had come up and stayed up unimpeded for the remainder of the day.

For dinner a few coworkers and myself headed up to Chinatown in Yokohama for Brazilian BBQ of all things. It is called the Travesso Grill and is located in a building called "China Square". It was interesting to see the different ways that we approached the meal and how the Japanese handled it. For the Japanese it was a great time to get out and try a lot of different meats grilled well. For us it was a challenge, probably speaks to the weight difference between our countries. The train ride was nice and packed. I opened the window in the middle of the train and received the look of scorn by one of the passengers. Perhaps it is a challenge to see how hot and sweaty it can get before someone cracks and opens a window.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Monday - April 25th

Started the day by going over to the gym and working out. This helps set the tone for the day, and it flew by at work. After work I enjoyed some of the sun, before crashing to wake up on Tuesday for more fun in the gym.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter - April 24th

As much rain as was here yesterday was answered in sunlight. There was not a cloud in the sky the entire day. I went for a walk to find the large metal sculpture that is in Yokosuka. With a little help from Google Maps I found it. Very impressive views from there, you can see Yokohama and Fuji and the same time.

The next spot I decided to get roasted a little bit by hanging out on the beach in Kamakura. I used sun screen, however I didn't reapply it on the normal schedule. So I am slightly red currently, consequences that are soon visited. For lunch I had pizza at an "Italian" restaurant in Zushi. I was good, but different. Went to church on base and then had CoCo Curries for dinner.

A much slower paced day, which is good not sure if I could have done two Super Tokyo Tours back to back.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Super Tokyo Tour IV - April 23rd

The adventure started out like all of the previous by catching an early train to Shinagawa. The forecast was for rain and it was heavy at certain times. Leading to around the last half of the day going around in wet socks and shoes. Anyways back to the timeline.

Starbucks opened a new concept store in Tokyo to celebrate their 40th anniversary. So the first stop was the Otomesando B-Side Starbucks. The interior was done very well and it felt more like a place where you could get some amount of studying or work done over that of a traditional SB location. This location can be reached just off the main street that is by Meiji shrine entrance.

After going and enjoying breakfast and coffee the walking portion of the day began. We walked through the Meiji Shrine. There was a wedding party going around getting their pictures taken before the cermony. The rain made it such that you needed to move quickly from covered area to covered area.

After walking out of the Shrine we went over to an area that sells a lot of vintage Tee Shirts. The only downside was that the shops stock Japanese sizes and they opened at 11. At the very least you can take the private railway out of Shibuya and it is on the first stop.

We made our way to Ginza to go to the Sony building. This is basically a big showroom for their upcoming technology and the current lineup. 3D factored very heavily into all of the their strategy.

For lunch we had Katsukura, which is the same place that I had down in Kyoto. Easily the best Tonkatsu I have had. Lunch specials are also hard to beat. While walking to the train station we got caught in an absolute downpour. There was around an inch of water running over the sidewalks, hence the wet socks. We finally made to the train station and made our way to Asakusa.

A quick walk through the Shrine/Temple and it was over to Kappa Bashi Dori. One of the guys bought a Japanese knife that he got engraved. The whole area is a great place for anyone who enjoys cooking, lots of ideas you can get from all of the equipment for sale.

Then it was time for the standard Akihabara stop. Doughnut plant, Yodabashi, etc. To finish off the out of Yokosuka activities we headed down from Akihabara to Sakuragicho and walked around Landmark Tower.

After a very full and humid train dinner was at Nirvana and now its off to bed. The one major thing that I noted as I traveled around was that lack of people. Easily there is probably a tenth of people out in the normal places. A lot of electrical things have been shutdown to support the lowered production capabilities of the TEPCO. It all is very interesting.