Feb. 26th, 09 · 10:32 pm
I’ve been to prison twice in the past 7 days. It’s not that I’ve been smuggling drugs through Asia on some Brokedown Palace type stuff, I’ve just been hanging out!
Last weekend, I went to Alcatraz which is a theme bar in Shibuya. The Japanese love theme bars which are pretty eccentric. They range from a ninja bar where the waiters dress as ninjas and do tricks (we’re going soon) to a “Christian” bar where the place is decorated to look like a church. Alcatraz was up there in weirdness and had a wacked out prison hospital theme.
Truthfully, Alcatraz had terrible food. As an izakaya, it served mainly bar food but it was bad bar food. No matter, we just wanted to drink and experience the craziness.
The highlights of the evening included drinking from test tubes and urinals, getting served in bedpans, being “scared” by deranged inmates, and having our friend Matt get carried away on a stretcher for some dinnertime “entertainment”. They basically wiped him down and injected his ass with a huge syringe. Not for real, but I guess I didn’t have to tell you that.
All in all it was cute. Definitely a one time visit though. Fuchu Prison up next
Jan. 25th, 09 · 6:02 am
Nomi-hodai. Key word for the weekend. Nomi-hodai is the “all you can drink” option offered at many Japanese establishments. We did it two nights in a row and paid for it dearly after day one.
Friday: Went to lame ass Japanese Law class and then headed over to our new favorite restaurant, some Korean BBQ spot. Can’t tell you the name of it because it’s in Japanese, which I cannot read, duh. Anyway, it was our second night in a row going there and the waitress who served us was totally surprised that we came back so soon. We had to though. We’ve been craving some really spicy, seasoned food. I’ve got to be honest with you, Japanese food isn’t that good. There are but so many noodles and so much rice you can eat, ya know. The meats are all boiled and soupy. Not very good. You can hardly find vegetables to eat in anything! So finding the Korean spot was great because they have the meat you can grill at the table and very spicy, flavorful stews and soups. Anywho… since we went back the second day, the waitress brought us out some complimentary kimchi style pickles and then finished off our meal with green tea and chocolate ice cream! We’re so going back. Wonder what she’ll give us next time?
After the restaurant, we made a pit stop at home then headed out to Ebisu where we met folks from school for an all you can drink deal at a place called Zest. We walked in and the restaurant was HUGE. It was kind of like bizarro world though cuz there we were, a bunch of Americans in Tokyo, at a giant Mexican restaurant. FYI, we’re totally going back to Zest for dinner because I’ve been craving Mexican like you wouldn’t believe. Realizing that we only had two hours to cash in on our nomi-hodai special, we set to work ordering whisky, scotch, tequila, pitchers of beer and margaritas. Let me be clear, okay… these servers at Zest did not play. When we ordered shots of tequila, they just brought over like 10 glasses and two ice cold bottles of tequila and left them on the table. NO WAY would they do that in the States. Just leave the entire bottle of liquor on the table for you? In a restaurant? That’s against most liquor laws because there’s no way to regulate how much folks are drinking, ya know? Continue reading →
Jan. 11th, 09 · 3:06 am
So yesterday we went on an outing to Shibuya. Before we got started, however, we stopped for lunch at a Japanese spaghetti shop. The staff were really nice, as they provided us with English menus as soon as we sat down. Guess they could tell from how we were just pointing at pictures. LOL. Anyway, the pasta was super good. Now, while you might be thinking it’s strange to go to Tokyo and eat spaghetti, let me tell you that part of the Tokyo experience is tasting all of the wonderful food they have to offer. Tokyo has restaurants and cuisines from all over the world, including the best French restaurants in the world outside of Paris!
Anyway, after lunch we took the train out to Shibuya, a neighborhood popular for shopping and entertainment. It was afternoon, so we just walked around and observed people, did some window shopping. When we first stepped outside of the station, we were overwhelmed by the amount of people out there. Someone said that Shibuya was sort of like the Times Square of Tokyo. We could totally see what they meant. Tall electronic billboards, throngs of people, folks handing out handbills in the street, music blaring from stores, oh, and a huge Starbucks.
Predictably, we grabbed our Carmel Macchiatos, Lattes and coffees and began to stroll up and down the streets. The feeling of the area was very upbeat and lively. The sun was shining so we felt good about that. We rolled into some department stores and noted all of the women at the makeup counters. By the way, Japanese women LOVE makeup. We went to a bathroom in the subway station and noticed every single woman stopping at the large mirror to apply blush, lipstick or mascara. That subway bathroom stop was also notable because HR was freaked out at her bathroom stall. While the stalls on the left had regular toilets, the ones on the right had squat toilets, basically a hole in the floor! I’ll do a separate entry later on Japanese bathrooms, but you can just imagine the look of horror on her face. Continue reading →