Japan Travel

Quick recap

Today was a lazy day, because I decreed I needed one (only left the house for a quick jaunt to 7-11 around dinner time). Good day for it, cool and rainy. Cleared out magazines, hung posters, continued to set up my new laptop and generally puttered around the apartment. Not much going on right now, and future plans are still firming up, so I’ll take this weekend to look back at June.

Or actually, all the way back to the end of May. Since I worked the entire week of Golden Week (beginning of May), and had plans in Tokyo for both May 31st and June 5th/6th, I cleverly decided to burn two vacation days and take the entire week in Tokyo.

View from the Park Hyatt, 41st floor

Sunday, I had gotten us tickets to see seiyuu Kiuchi Hidenobu and Tsuda Kenjiro in Naka-Meguro. I really hadn’t been sure what the event would be like, but it turned out to be a very entertaining talk session. And I got a nice call-out from Hide-san, who ended up having to explain to folks that while I live in Fukuoka now, I’m originally from the U.S. Since he hadn’t seen me in almost 4.5 years, I was happy, even if we only exchanged like two words. (I am guessing Okiayu alerted him to me coming, since the only way Hide-san could’ve known where I live is via him.) After, it was a nice day, so we wandered around Naka-Meguro, back to Ebisu, and then to Ikebukuro for a visit to J World.

Monday was a down day of TV and video games. Tuesday I dressed up and headed into Shinjuku to meet up with Riko for tea at the Park Hyatt. Expensive, but worth it. The view is amazing, the teas and food excellent — and as much as you wanted of both. I tried an Uva, a blend, and an herbal tea made with rosemary. We chatted for an hour or two, and then I headed back into Saitama for Hawaiian food for dinner. Finally got to try ahi poke — tasty!

20150602_141149Wednesday I was sluggish, and it was rainy, and I should’ve just taken another day of rest. But since I’d originally planned on Nikko, I figured I should go do something. So I headed to the Tokyo Art Center for their Magritte exhibit, which was excellent. I only know his surrealism paintings, but there was quite a variety to his art, both in subject matter and style. Would like to see another exhibit of his works at some point. Had an amazing lunch of rockfish sauteed with butter and almonds at a bistro in the museum, then walked to Nezu, for the Nezu Museum. There I enjoyed their “Edo Dandyism” exhibit (decorative sword hilts and medicine boxes) as well as several others. It’s a small, but exquisite museum. Will definitely go back.

Thursday was another down day, mostly napping and more video games. Until evening, when it was time to meet Yi Lin and Yi Ting for dinner with Nancy. Had a tasty meal at a cheap izakaya near the Animate in Ikebukuro, where we were joined by our friend Michelle. Made plans to meet the sisters in the morning, when we would be lining up for ROUND GR FES goods.

Garden, Nezu Museum

Up bright and early, I made it to the venue around 8:00 AM. The sisters were a few minutes behind me, and, amusingly, a new friend I had planned on meeting was all of 3 rows in line behind me. We had time after goods to go in search of lunch, and since there’s rather a paucity of places around the station in Sendagaya, we ended up walked to Yoyogi, where we found a little tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet) place, which was perfect. We were joined by a friend of the sisters’, and we made a coffee and sweets stop before heading back to the venue to meet Nancy. Where, of course, it started to rain.

Made it inside before getting soaked (that happened getting back after the show, alas) and found our seats,which were 7th row, off to the right. Good spot for viewing … and getting spotted, as it turned out. The show was lots of fun and I was revved up for day two. No early morning start for day two; we all met up for lunch and then headed over. Our seats for this day were dead center, but about 25 rows back. And the show was even better on day two, featuring several collaborations between acts, making me wish we’d had the seats from the day before.

That Sunday was spent getting to the airport and getting home. And then running errands. It went too quickly. Tomorrow, will write about last weekend’s whirlwind trip to see Kumamoto Castle.


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