Thursday, Friday, Saturday

So, like I said, Thursday we moved out of our apartment and into our hotel room. The move out process was surprisingly easy. The representative from Sakura House turned up on time, she was French and basically just checked things off of a list before handing us our deposit in cash. The cash was handy since, as I mentioned before, Jermaine and I were running out of money.

When we got downstairs we called Kai on the phone and let her know we were heading out for Shinjuku. She said she’d meet us at the train station and we took off. Finding Kai turned into more of a problem than we’d thought it would be with all of our stuff. We ended up calling her on from a pay phone and having her meet us where we were instead of trying to find her, which is kinda like finding a needle in a needle stack.

Kai found us and escorted us to the Nishi Shinjuku Hotel which would be our home for the next two days. The hotel was NICE! Our room was small by American standards, but after spending nearly a month in a room that was around the same size as the entrance to our apartment in Seattle, it seemed spacious. The bathroom was totally luxurious, with a full sized tub! So amazing. Plus, the bed was actually sort of comfortable. We were very excited to spend all our time there.

After we got ourselves settled made sure Kayoko understood how much we appreciated all her help, we set out for lunch at an Indian restaurant around the corner from our hotel. The food was good, but Jermaine and I were mesmerized by the huge flat screen monitor they had playing non-stop Indian music videos. Indian cinema is so much more over the top than American cinema.

Once we left the restaurant, we decided to set out for Tokyu Hands, which is sort of like Japan’s version of Target, but much cooler, because Kai needed to buy a new bike lock. Tokyu Hands was located inside a large department store, and after we’d purchased the bike lock, on our way out of the mall we passed by the bag section and ran into where the LeSportsacs were located. I love LeSportsac. I’ve wanted one for a long time. They are so cute and sporty. The store had the new designs out, some of which were only available in Japan. Now, I may have been able to resist a bag that I could get at home, but there was no way I was going to be able to pass up a bag no one at home could get. I love having things no one else does. Love it. I bought a small purse and wallet/keychain in grey with pink octopuses on it. It’s adorable.

As we passed through the jewelry section we also saw jewelry made of plastic and jewels to look like cakes and danishes. Japan is so full of the adorable, it’s hard not to feel like I’m going to explode all the time. When we finally managed to make it out of there, we headed to an electronics store to try to find a digital picture frame. However, though they are popular in the US, they’re not in Japan. We found some, but they weren’t the kind we were looking for so we headed back to Tokyu Hands to see if they had some, but they didn’t so instead, we just shopped for more souvenirs.

After we finished all that business, it was time to eat again, so we headed to the Yoyogi park area to visit the Italian restaurant Kai used to work at, Il Chianti. This was an intimate, candle light restaurant with a low ceiling and a bar that offered a view of the kitchen area. There was a wine fridge that looked like it was very well stocked in the bar section. The instant we entered the restaurant, Jermaine and I were excited to try the food, it looked really good. We’d been planning to meet up with Yutaka again and Kai had called him to invite him to dinner with us. While we waited for Yutaka, we ordered beers.

Yutaka showed up with another messenger he worked with, Ako. She was nice, and reminded me and Jermaine of someone we know here in Seattle. She’s a vegetarian, which surprised all of us (besides Yutaka). I’ve never met a Japanese vegetarian. At least, not a native Japanese, living in Japan. Vegetables and fruit is so expensive, plus meat is such a way of life in Japan, it’s really unusual. She talked to us about how hard it can be, that she now eats some fish because it is so hard. She’s been vegetarian for 10 years, ever since she worked on a farm and couldn’t kill her own meat. She decided, if she couldn’t kill it, she couldn’t eat it. I liked her reasoning. We were pretty good about ordering things that she could eat, sort of. We didn’t know she was vegetarian when we ordered, and Kai ended up ordering some vegetable pasta dish that wasn’t on the menu for her.

We started with salad that had prosciutto on it which was excellent. It came with the house dressing that is made fresh from scratch every day at the restaurant. If I could have, I would’ve smuggled some home with me. It was totally excellent.

Salad and salad dressing:

Jermaine and Yutaka:

Me, Kai and Ako:

The wine we ordered to go with our food was really good and we ended up ordering two bottles of it by the time dinner was over.

After the salad, we had basil pasta:

Next, we had Cheesy Pasta!:

This is the Garlic Chicken, or what was left of it:

After that came the vegetarian pasta, but no picture of that or the pizza we had after the salad. Oh well.

Here’s the berry sorbet:

And, the tiramisu:

We sat and talked for a while after we were done eating. When we left, Kai walked us back to the train station and we found our way home, fat and happy.

Friday we spent the whole day inside our hotel room, only leaving to eat lunch and dinner. For breakfast, I went out by myself and picked up some bread and drinks.

When I got home, I found Jermaine in the robe provided to us by the hotel:

For lunch, we went out for curry at CoCo, predictable. Dinner, we went out for yaki niku for the last time at the same place we’d had it for the first time. The food was alright, but it wasn’t as good as the first time we went there. Oh well, the bed was nice when we got home.

Saturday we gathered up all our stuff and checked out of our hotel room by 11am. We had the hotel staff watch our luggage while we went to breakfast together. Then, we picked up our bags and met Kai at Shinjuku station. We mixed up our information and Kai thought we were eating with her, and we wanted to hang out with her for as long as we could before taking off for the airport, so we actually ended up eating spaghetti lunch right after breakfast.

Lunch took a little longer than we’d thought it would and we had to rush to make it to the platform on time for our train. As we pulled away from the station, Kai waved goodbye to us. I hope to see her again soon. She’s planning a trip to Seattle next March, and she’s staying at our place.

The airport was efficient and we made it to our gate on time. Once again, Jermaine had trouble sleeping even though he’d taken a Zannax. He even had a couple of drinks this time and still nothing! Still, we made it home and through customs. Jermaine’s dad picked us up at the airport and took us home so we could drop off our stuff before heading over to Jermaine’s parent’s house for breakfast.

Jamal, Sarah and Eisley (their brand new baby girl) came to eat with us. This was the second time we met Eisley, who turned 1 month that day! She’s such a cute baby.

Here is Eisley with her grandma:

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One Response

  1. She is VERY cute!! Grandma looks so proud, as well she should be!!

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