Monday, 25 June 2012

He Ain't Heavy

He'd be away for three months from Australia, backpacking around Europe. At the end of all this he decided to take a week extra to see me in little Tokyo. It's not often that I get family coming to visit. While there are ways cheaper than the Narita Express, I thought it'd be the simplest option, and with a Suica pass, not too bad.

His first words, "concrete jungle".

Unfortunately because I didn't take any days off, I wasn't able to meet him. With a detailed explanation and Google Maps, he managed to find my apartment. First night we went into Shinjuku for a quick look around and a nice and simple, sushi train dinner.

Tuesday, we had typhoon number four passing Japan so we were lucky that I finished early. It would've been better though if they announced it before I completed my kids classes. I made a nice Yakiniku-style dinner that tasted pretty, damn good!

For my day off on Wednesday, I thought it'd be nice to take him to one of my favourite places, Yokohama's Minato Mirai. It was the most windy day I've experienced, possibly the remnant of the previous day's typhoon.

Because it was on the way, before and after we went through Shibuya. He's an avid photographer, so plenty of photo ops, including a young J girl jumping in frame and asking him the universal "Where do you from?" We ate Shabu Shabu at Nabezo. I didn't eat as much as I usually do.

Friday I took him through Ginza. He wasn't that impressed with the most expensive place in Tokyo, but he took a few photos at the International Forum in Yurakucho. Leaving him to start work I let him go on to the Imperial Palace area and Akiba.

Saturday night I proposed drinking in Shibuya. We were going to have a combini drink, but somehow a "lost in translation" moment, he thought it would be Shinjuku. When we finally found each other, I took him to Hidekaya, a place that serves a quick, cheap feed.

I thought it'd be nice to take him to Tasuichi, the first bar I went to when I arrived in Tokyo. To my disappointment, the beers are much smaller and four hundred yen now. Still the same ordinary J girls looking around for foreign guys. I was totally put off by the bad gaijin who thought it intelligent to steal someone else's potato chip while the staff was serving it. Terrible. Time to go. We went to my usual bar. It's better than Tasuichi, but the smoking still gets to me.

Finally on Sunday I took him to Odaiba. We walked across the Rainbow Bridge. I brought my Nikon lenses. I swapped lenses between his Tokina 11-16 and my fisheye. Apart from the obvious barrel distortion, I found them fairly similar. I had my 18-200. I'm thinking about leaving my manual lenses on for a while.

For dinner we had Italian. He bought some Uniqlo shirts and Vans shoes, and I was tempted by a ¥4,000 pair.

So, what did he think of Japan? He said the Japanese were friendly. He stands out as a tourist, a curiosity and an opportunity for English practice brings that out. He wanted to see more traditional Japan, and remarked it was similar to Sydney.

Maybe that's the illusion of Tokyo. But with all the places to go, he loves Yodobashi Camera. Thanks for coming.


Limo said...

OK, I think I've waited long enough for an update!

What's happening Jimmy?

Jimmy In Japan said...

You're right. It's been a while. I needed a break. I plan to update soon.