I like this old skool Chinese restaurant in Nakano, with bar seating, fake brick, and cooks in caps and uniforms. Plus the hot guy turning to face the camera seems interested in my photography.
I laughed many times seeing curries sold in Japan as “European curry.” What a ridiculous idea, like a Swedish taco. I later learned that this term refers to the original curry in Japan, imported by way of Britain during the Meiji period. You can find it in many nostalgic 1970s style “western” restaurants that are distinctly Japanese, and it’s also evolved into many supermarket take-home mixes and fast food joints. The Muji label makes this comfort food seem somehow modern and new. This one scores just 3 out of 5 chiles, and is beef based.
As I’ve joked before, Tokyo has more than its share of strange building names, which seem to only increase in senselessness with the poshness of the neighborhood. I’ve ridiculed Movements, Zesty Minami-Koenji, Decent, and one of my favorites Cram Place.
This is a lovely modern apartment tower, lots of exterior raw concrete, beautiful balconies and views, a kindergarden on the ground floor, near good restaurants and mature trees, a place I would love to live in.
Yet, passing that name every day would be too much, right? “Selfista” reminds me of too English words: selfish, and self-fister which sounds like the master of an extreme sexual practice.
Wow. Thanks to a very heterosexual Japanese internet business person on Twitter, I heard about a website (and probably mobile app) that allows you to find restaurants and bars in Tokyo by searching for attractive staff. It’s called Kanaban Danshi for male staff, and Kanban Musume for female staff (Japanese only). Has anyone tried this out?!
“When I die, I want to be buried with her in my arms.” So says Nisan about his love Nemutan: a photo print of a X-rated video game character decorating a large pillow. They go on normal dates, including car-camping, karaoke, restaurant dinners, and photo booths.
It’s a little creepy that Nemutan is about 10 or 12, and that her otaku human lover is 37 and has adopted the name “nisan,” which Nemutan calls her older brother.
The New York Times Sunday Magazine author Lisa Katayama, blogger at Tokyo Mango, cites three potential explanations for this extreme moe behavior: the high number of Japanese virgins (25% of men and women between the ages of 30 and 34; a movement led by Honda Toru against “romantic capitalism” whereby love is seen to have been commercialized that looks and money have replaced pure feeling; and one Japanese behavioral economist who compares 2D love to “becoming a Buddha.”
The article fails to explore what ladies who have given up on 3D love are doing for their fantasy and fulfillment. Maybe they are busy reading Boys Love, and fantasizing about female-created man-on-man love. Ahhh, Japan. Ever so frustrated, imaginative and perverse 😉
What seems like an ancient wood residence sits incongrously on the main street of Akasaka. I visited this central Tokyo neighborhood twice recently for work. Each time I was amazed by this particular house, directly next door to an up-to-the-last-minute McDonalds, dwarfed by a few street trees, and modern high-rise towers. The owners must have turned down many offers for developing their land.
Here’s another view of this small home next to fast food modernitee.
The street contains a Metro station and a number of buildings from the 1960s to this decade. My favorite is the one in the middle of the next photo. The glass facade looks like shards jutting in and out for 15 stories.
Akasaka has a wonderful mix of the slick newest building styles, the banality that you see everywhere in Tokyo, and bits and pieces of old Tokyo charm.
My work colleagues took me into an ugly mid-rise building where there was a restaurant that looked like a throw-back to the 1960s. We sat on a tatami mat, with no floor cut-outs to make sitting easier, and the stout and friendly proprietress served up delicious bento box of sashimi and tempura for me, aji-don for my new friends. The per person cost, including service, was $11.
On a smaller side street, I saw two fancier restaurants with interesting gardens. The first is incredibly simple and mostly obscured by the wall.
The second is wonderfully fussy, including the bamboo hat that is both decorative and a means to train a pine tree.
Last night was Shu’s mother’s birthday, and we went for an amazing meal at a restaurant called Sanukiya in Koenji. We had the tasting course that started with udon and sakura ebi (translucent mini shrimp), then spring vegetables, sashimi, tempura, two types of udon, and beef. Most courses had three or four small bites. Wow! Afterwards, we had delicious cakes that Yoko picked up at Isetan’s basement food market.
Review of restaurant in Tokyo newspaper (in Japanese): http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/gourmet/food/trend/20080410gr09.htm