Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Japan, quickly

Before I pass out from all the delicious sake:

1. Perhaps even better than a hotel room robe is a hotel room kimono, especially if it's green with a dark purple tie.

2. The guide books to Tokyo are all wrong. They should just say this: Look, you will get lost. Take the subway to such and such neighborhood and just walk around. We won't bother suggesting any particular restaurants because you will never ever find them. Nor will any cabbie, so don't bother going that route because you will just embarrass him and frustrate you.

3. I have seen signs for no smoking while walking and no putting on make-up on the train. These are smart people, the Japanese.

4. Restaurants tend not to give out napkins with dinner, although they do give you a heated, warmed towel, which they do not collect. So, I guess you are to keep this on the table and wipe your fingers on it if they get sticky. Laps remain unprotected, however.

5. At the izakaya bar we happened onto after dinner this evening, they offered various grilled things. For less than $2 you could get a couple bites of the following, grilled: onion with cheese, tomatoes with cheese, Kyoto pepper, wheat gluten, rice ball, leek. We tried all those and they were all delicious. I love a bar that offers interesting snacks, especially in inexpensive, small portions.

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