JAPAN '08 PART I
And I'm back!
I have a very happy cat snuggled up on my lap, which makes it tricky to type. I brought my Mouche home after a week of him visiting my parents' house (and to see if he was over whatever shit was bothering him with Bourdain). They met up great fresh out of the carrier, Bourdain sniffed him out and all was cool like Fonzie. Til 2.30am. Of course. Now it seems they are both responsible for the hating, and lots of research on Why My Two Cats Suddenly Hate Each Other is enough for a whole other post. Later. (And kudos to Julie Gong on her recent post claiming non-sexual worship of Anthony Bourdain).
We left the house at 3am (holy fuck, 3am! We must like this country) for a 5.50am flight. Jesus. But we got into Tokyo at 1:20pm (the next day) which is much earlier than the usual 5.00pms. And boy does it make a difference. Not on the immigration line, mind you, which was tedious as fuck. And yes, we did get photographed and fingerprinted per the new immigration procedures (it's the same here, I noticed on return, for foreigners). And not just our love of the place, but rather our (okay, my) patience at the time would have prompted me to, as my mom eloquently suggested, drop trou had they requested by that time.
But everything else was a breeze and we got to our hotel, Hotel Villa Fontaine, which I highly recommend (the Tokyo Mita location) as it's centrally located on the Yamanote Line and five minutes from Tamachi station (the main JR line, no subway shit). Plus it's a bitchin' price. (Though I can talk shop on some of the nicer locations, this is a faboo spot). Should you ever fly to Tokyo, just so you know, add three hours to the time your flight lands, and that's about when you can expect to be setting foot in your hotel. Assuming you're staying in central Tokyo...
So we checked in around 5pm and headed up to the room. Once out of the elevator, you were back outside with an inner zen garden in the center of the hotel. It was only bright orange in the evenings/night.
Ours was slightly pricier as it was a "healing room" and had a view of Tokyo Tower (but which is 20m taller than the Eiffel Tower, fyi). Our view!
Smallish, but more than enough.
Sexy bed cover. With big, long complementary nightshirts there on the corner.
"Healing" means it has a fairly painful foot massager (which I used from time to time regardless, because OMG, my FEET AND LEGS, OWWWWWW, after each day of FUCKLOADS of walking which never bothered me when I lived there and baffled me when people visited) and a bathroom fully stocked with bath goodies. I did not raid the maid's cart on our last day, either, I have no idea what you're talking about. Ok, so maybe four bath bombs went missing, it was not I.
AND it had FULL, LARGE bottle of shampoo, etc. for the using, not those pissant bottles usually stocked in US hotels fit for I don't know, a cat's toe?
Did I mention goodies?
This may be an overshare, but there is nothing sadder than coming home to a toilet with a cold seat. So many of those babies over there are heated (the Western ones, obviously). And there's nothing like it, as a lady, I must confess. Even better are the buttons. One day, I'll have one of my own.
Also, the hotel vending machine had beer. This is good. (See there, on the left? why can't all vending machines be this way??)
For dinner, we hit my trusty meat staple, Don Don's, in the Kabukicho (red light, ha ha) district of Shinjuku. Meat and beer so good. And veggies not bad, either...
Oh, beer, your sweet healing powers...
This is the magic portal that tranforms the meat. We came back here our last night and I guess ordered so much sweet fatty meat they had to change out the grill. I've only seen them have to do that a couple times.
Over so many years I have prided myself on ordering the weird stuff. Not too weird, mind you, no small bowels or whatnot, I don't give a fuck if that little symbol means the chef recommends it.
But I think I know my favorites so solidly I can just go in and order those from now on, who am I trying to impress? And they have a new English menu, which I noticed last year but did not get a snap of. One of my favorite categories:
It never fails to crack me up. I only eat well-informed meat. I mean, I can't even imagine a potential correct translation, you know? But god I love that place.
Went back to the hotel and watched some Ninja Warrior and passed out during one of the nineteen instant replays. Let it go, already, damn. More adventures to continue....