Strange raccoon pet

Strange raccoon pet

A neighbor of the ceramic studio adopted a pet raccoon eight years ago, and walks him on a leash. He doesn’t seem completely tame since the owner wears a thick glove and has shown off some scars. Apparently, he is the type of raccoon who can poop coffee beans. Fortunately, my Japanese is not good enough to ask his owner if he forces his pet to do that trick. I can, however, ask permission to take a photo.

Curry and coffee

Curry and coffee

Food in Tokyo is delicious. With the exception of Mexican food, you can eat any cuisine, most of it deliciuos and with superlative service. I am confused, however, by the strange twists that Indian food has taken here. Who wants “curry and coffee” as this local place near our home offers? Or “European curry”? Or “curry and cake”? And what is the witch adding to the Indian cuisine? Any suggestions of where to go for good Mexican food in Tokyo are most appreciated.

I <3 (heart) Nakano

Nakano Broadway Coffee

It’s great that Japan celebrates the first day of spring as a national holiday. I celebrated with a trip to Nakano Broadway and Sun Mall for a coffee and some ramen. My favorite coffee shop in Broadway serves an amazing cup of cold-dripped coffee (水出し) served with the cutest mini-carafe of sweetner and tiny tin of cream. For serving the most amazing coffee, with no pretension, I salute you sisters!

Equally exciting, I visited the new Sun Mall ramen shop in a cool, metal-clad building. The shop is paneled in wood, and serves delicious pork-broth Kyushu ramen. Best of all, all six male staff wear white towels on their heads, each tied differently. Friendly and tasty! I’ll be back.

Nakano Sun Mall, new ramen shop

Nakano Broadway

Nakano Broadway

Ah, Nakano Broadway! You have your own mascot Pipi, just like the Police, the Post Office, and every other institution in this lucky nation. While your showing your age, more or less the same as this author’s, your low-ceilings, lack of windows, and hundreds of tiny shops catering to local, national and international otaku (nerds) make me happy to call Nakano home. You never fail to provide an abundance of shopping, from boy-band memoriabilia to fujoshi comics, costume shops, and the home-roasted coffee from the always immaculate sisters. And the crowds you attract make me feel down right understated.

Do you have any new year’s resolutions? My number 1 resolution is to get fat. I’m also trying to improve my Japanese, learn some more about ceramics, and explore the many charms of Nakano.

Our friends Jennifer & John visit

on the Chuo line

Our friends Jennifer and John are visiting us from San Francisco. They arrived just in time for Shu and his parents’ gallery show’s final day, and selected some ceramics and paintings, including the cool cats from the invitation. Here they are on the Nakano platform of the JR Chuo line. We’ve shared the final days of sakura season, curry rice, tofu, ramen and tempura meals, the coffee shop run by the sisters for 37 years in Broadway Nakano, and long walks through Meijijingo Park, Harajuko, Omootesando and Shibuya. It’s their first visit to Japan!

Coffee shop in Nakano Broadway

Coffee shop in Broadway Nakano

Just discovered this coffee shop tucked away on the second floor of the Nakano Broadway shopping center (steps from おたく heaven). Two sisters have been running this coffee shop for 37 years. They roast their own beans, use cold drip syphons, and are true coffee afficionados. As serious about coffee as the newest SF roasteries such as Ritual and Blue Bottle, but without the youthful hipster vibe. Love it!!