Monday, August 30, 2010
My old friend Nick, a fellow ex-GEOS teacher, visited back in early August. While he had lived near me in Ishikawa Prefecture for a year, he had never managed to visit Tokyo. So when he visited, a couple of days in the capital were our first stop.
And the first stop in the capital is always The Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku. The building itself is plenty impressive, and the views of the sprawling megalopolis below are always staggering. We were lucky to have a nice clear day, and could see all the way to Yokohama. The boxy building in the center of the above photo is the Yokohama Landmark Tower, the tallest building in Japan, and currently the third tallest structure.
Sadly, the area around Mt. Fuji was wreathed in clouds, and not visible. That darn mountain has hidden its face from me each time I've been in one of the many observation lounges that dot Tokyo. One of these day's I'll get it on 'film'. It owes me after the typhoon business.
Dinner that night was shabu shabu, one of my favorites and a dish Nick hadn't tried yet. The basics are similar to fondue or a Chinese hot pot. This strips of meat, chunks of tofu, veggies, and noodles are cooked in a pot of boiling water. They are then dipped in one of two sauces, the tart soy and vinegar based ponzu sauce or the creamy sesame based goma sauce. With the pot of boiling water in the center of the table, shabu shabu is more suited to a cold winters day, but washed down with plenty of iced beer we survived.
All that was left to do in Shinjuku was explore the bustling area under the bright city lights that make Tokyo nights almost brighter than Tokyo days.