Going Elsewhere

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Saturday was a fun day. We woke up bright and early to start wandering around.

My main focus was trying to see the Imperial place but I didn't get there until Sunday.

We took the train down to the general area of the palace and wandered around for about half an hour or so before we decided to head back to the hotel and regroup. Lee's GPS was sort of failing us in finding the palace - one of the few times that it REALLY didnt' want to co-operate.

We walked mainly through Roppongi :

We got to see so many quiet streets. It was so early in the morning that not many people were around and not many shops were open. Mind you, it was 9 AM when we got off the train in Roppongi.

We thought heading back to Shibuya and visiting Tokyo hands for more luggage would probably be a good idea. We got to Tokyu hands and picked out a carry on for Lee but, when we got to the counter to pay, our credit card wouldn't work. I totally couldn't understand why! We pay for the luggage in cash and head back to the hotel where we have Skpe set up on my laptop to call teh credit card company.

This was the only spot of drama for the entire trip....

I was planning on using my corporate card for all my purchases since we had cash for our personal expenses and when I paid for my hat purchases the night before with my own card - it put a hold on our account. I used my debit card BUT I hadn't called the bank to let them know I was traveling. Lee had called the bank to let them know that HE would be traveling but I had not, so the flagged our account for misuse when the charge came through for my hats :( .

You at least need to see the cool hat. Here's a shot of me in Tokyu hands prior to the luggage purchase being silly in their Halloween section:

Here's some more daytime shots of Shibuya - right outside of Tokyu Hands.

This was the COOLEST parking I have ever seen. You drive in and the building puts your car in s parking spot for you. When you retrieve your car, it gets backed out and then turned around for you so you can drive straight out again. Lovely!!

These pretty girls were a small portion of the fashion plates running around Shibuya in Saturday morning. they all looked like they were ready to go to their Senior prom in high school. So pretty and over dressed for a Saturday morning.

More of Saturday to come later.... It was a really long day!

sorry to leave you hanging....

reall life got int he way of me posting for awhile, but now I'm back on the job. :)



So Friday was more training at the office and then we spent some time in Shibuya afterwards. Dave and Lindsey hung with us for a little bit but broke off to go eat by themselves.

We got rained on, the only part that wasn't a blast!

Husband's back and a rainy Shibuya:

For some reason - I have tons of photos of the back of his head - mostly I think because he kept walking whenever I stopped to take a photo.

Tokyu Hands is the BEST STORE EVER!! They literally have everything from bikes, to craft supplies, to wood, fabric, toy models, suitcases and a couple of restaurants. It's 8 stories and packed with people, but we visited several times and bought lots of stuff. I wish they had one in LA. Husband and I were drooling over all the hardware and craft supplies . I would kill for this store in LA. Sorry for the blurry shot, but I was so excited to be at Tokyo Hands and all the cool stuff they had, I didn't want to stop.

We went to the Cospa shop right across the way and spent a wad of cash on t-Shirts and sundry anime goodies.

Below is a shot of Mandarake:
They have a really neat entry way but the store is in the basement. They are basically the half price books of comics in Japan. You can buy and sell old anime books and toys. They are really neat.

Dinner on Friday night was a place that did tempanyaki - you make it your self at the table. They had all sorts of make it yourself dishes, Japanese style omelets to just meat brought to you at your table.
Husband - looking very displeased that I wanted to take his picture:

The place was kinda grungy but it was so much fun. It was cheap and they had an English menu - can't argue. I gotta say, even the scrungiest places we ate never upset my belly and the food was always pristine when it was brought to the table.

We had chicken, prawns with vegetables and the boy got potato, cheese and bacon as well.

I bought several hats that friday night. They came in handy as I was tired of my hair being wet from all the rain. I may show you the hats later in a catalog of our purchases.

Next up...Free for All Saturday....

Dinner the 1st full day in tokyo

I didn't realize the restaurant the Japan team was taking us to was so nice - so like a schmuck I wore a t-shirt and jeans. Everyone from the Japanese team wore what they wore to the office so I didn't feel too bad, but wish I had dressed up more. We went to a very nice restaurant in Ebisu, called Man Yo Tei. I've tried to find reviews on line, but have not been very successful. At this point, I will be stealing photos from Dave's flickr - because I didn't bring my camera (dumb dumb dumb).

This was the main decorative feature of the restaurant - a fountain with umbrellas and seasonal foliage. I just wanted to take my shoes off and run through it!!

Man Yo Tei is a traditional home style Japanese restaurant. So after we took our shoes off, I got all prepared to sit cross legged and our hosts fussed and said to put our legs under the table. My feet fell down.... Anyone who as a visited a "traditional" style Japanese restaurant in the US is about to feel REALLY ripped off and pissed!! The low tables that sit a foot off the floor - in Japan THEY HAVE A PIT IN THE FLOOR FOR YOUR LEGS!! Seriously! I was completely shocked! I actually ate comfortably and didn't have to keep excusing myself to stand up and stretch my 34" long legs! YEAH!! (we went to several restaurants of the next few days with the same feature)

All the food was excellent!! Except - I have to admit - the appetizer had a partially cooked snail with it, which I couldn't handle. It was the only part of the meal I couldn't eat all of. Lovely spiral shelled snail - unfortunately I'm really good at getting the whole snail out of the shell. The top part was throughly cooked - not so much the bottom. It was slimy. It took all the manners I could muster, not to gag. I just didn't touch the 2nd one. Husband managed to eat both of his but had the same reaction I did. I can eat anything but slimy food, I don't like gritty food, but I can eat it. Slimy makes me want to gag.

It was so much fun to try home style, yet traditional Japanese food. It's so different than what they serve here in the states. Here it's all sushi and teriyaki. but we had all sorts of fun stuff. There was this seared chicken (literally only the out side was cooked) that was a snack kind of dish. It came with several things to spice it. You took a piece of chicken, placed the additives on top, rolled it with your chopsticks and ate it. Yummy - I didn't think I would like barely cooked chicken, but it was good. We sampled all sorts of food, most was a blur. We had some sashimi and some different types of pickled foods, rice, some fried potato and meat things, all of it yummy.

Dinner was winding down and several of the Japan team were very, very drunk so started playing with the fresh wasabi that came with the sashimi. They ground a bunch into a small bowl and mixed in a litte bit of soy to make it soupy and drinkable. The bowl started to go around the table. This is me after my first try with the bowl:

It actually wasn't bad!! It was hot, but fresh wasabi tastes soooooo much better than the crappy paste you get with your sushi here in the US. Husband knew better than to try it...

Here is Dave after his first try:

Ha Ha!!

Dessert was a sampling of different ice creams served on an tray of ice. So guess what we did? We made snow men out of our ice!! I made one that becky got a picture of, but this one belongs to some one else:
We had such a nice evening!! Here's the whole table of us and the JP peeps:

(clockwise from the photographer) Dave, Lindsey, Husband, Me, Becky, Uta, Mike, Fumi, can't remember (sorry) , Nobu, Justin, Eriko, Makoto, and Osamu


Office - Day one

I can't tell you anything specific about what I did training wise with the Tokyo team, but I can tell you they were very nice and learned quickly. To appease curiosity - take a gander at the photos of the building...

Escalators going up to the lobby:

Main Lobby:

Main hall way of the floor we worked on:

The Conference Room were we spent the majority of our time in the office:

Break Room!! Soo much nicer than the kitchens at my location:

I'll post external pictures of the building later...

Next up: Dinner with the Japanese team....

First Dinner in Tokyo

Everyone was tired - travel is hard on you.

We were all in a slightly weird mood and wandering around the area at 9 PM didn't seem like fun but we did wander a little. We came across the Sapporo Beer station and decide it would be fun and funny to see the Japanese take on a Beir Garten.

It was fun! Since we were there in October - guess what?!?!? They were doing October Fest!!

We picked some things from the menu - of course our server didn't speak English but they did have a menu we could read. Yeah!! I felt like a blind person asking for a braille menu. The food was odd but good - German with a Japanese twist.

I ordered potatoes with Chicken:

And The Boy got Schnitzel, although he said it wasn't really schnitzel, but really yummy with the sauces and Japanese kraut.

Becks paid the check and we headed back to the hotel to sleep REALLY hard and be up for the first training session in the morning.