Friday I traveled to Hitachinaka north of Tokyo, the only trip I took by train in Japan. The politeness of the Japanese always gets me... whether you're walking to catch a train, or down the sidewalk or anything, always polite. Here is the train platform before we left Tokyo, obviously not rush hour.
This was lunch, we stopped at a noodle restaurant. I got curry, I almost always pick the spicy choice. there was a slice of pork in it and I got 5 fried dumplings as well.
This was on our way to the Komatsu factory, this picture doesn't really show it well, but the fence on the left side of the road there was pretty torn up and twisted. That is the remnants of the tsunami last year after the earthquake. The worst damage was in Sendai about 200 km north of this, but the Hitachi factory here had 3 feet of water in it and it tore this fence up.
That night for supper Mike and I were on our own. Mike did not want "any raw fish, or anything else" and since neither of us knew any Japanese our choices were limited. We did find this restaurant that had English on the menu, turns out it was a Taiwanese restaurant. The food was good and the beer was cold. While I did not get the dish in the menu below I would have certainly tried it if somebody else had. In fact I might have had it before!..
This was what I did get, Tofu with spicy meat sauce. I have decided I like tofu in Japan and China, have never had it anyplace else where it was even remotely good! This was excellent!
Then Mike wanted to see the Ginza, Tokyo's high end shopping district. It wasn't as crowded as I have seen in the past but a lot of walking round, I'm not sure how much buying is going on there.
And I didn't get a picture but as we were heading back to the hotel (another story I'll get too in a second...) we were standing on the corner talking when this guy in a black suit and a black trench coat said "Hey... you guys want paradise?" Wait... what? "Paradise... you guys want?" Um, no. Thanks... Or as Mike said "My paradise is back in Indiana." That about sums it up. I like getting to go these places, meeting people and seeing the friends I've made, and making new ones, but I always love coming home. My paradise is in Indiana.
So, I got Mike to the Ginza, not by my normal route, and we were walking and decided to head back to the hotel, and i hate to back track. So we kept walking... and I realize I don't have a fucking clue where we are. Good thing Tokyo is so safe! I need a landmark! Tokyo tower... high above everything, once you can see it between the skyscrapers.... Once we gt there we were close. I knew the right direction to go, Mike was not so sure till a nice Japanese guy decided to help the foreigners outs and point us in the right direction. "You sure you want to walk? It's a loooong way!" No problem, 25 minutes later we were back. The not back tracking thing has led to some interesting trips before but I'm getting tired and it can wait for another time.