Daniel in Japaniel

Thanksgiving in Tokyo (part 1)

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Japan, rising sun and all, would of course make me a day ahead (in case you haven’t caught on yet). With that it’s the proud holiday of turkey giving already.

I’m writing from Wired 360, an internet cafe sitting on the top floor of the Au Design building. This sort of semi-spherical glass covered structure is at the intersection of “Harajuku St.” capital of high school girls, frost highlighted business men and the tired “bohemian” types looking to meet up with their friends at Starbucks.

From the 360 view you can see the cue for the new H&M of Harajuku. This is where I would make a facetious comment about H&M in the fashion trend-spot Japan, but I really can’t. I went in and bought a green sweater. It was eighteen bucks, and I am happy.

And on this Thanksgiving day, although I found some dozen turkey serving, American catering establishments, I am somehow in Harajuku, 15 stops from the hostel, getting text messages about working when I return to Kyoto and calls apologizing for not coming out tonight.

All is well, of course, Julian is still in the vicinity, and I am sure we’ll end up eating. It looks though to be a rather quiet night.

Last night was spent in the “Red Light” district of Shinjuku, which was relatively tame really. It was Wednesday after all. There were several chances meetings that perked up the night (Julian has been down that he missed out on the take over of Thailand’s airport… which happened 2 hours after he departed for Japan). 1, ran into a couple sales people for an Italian watch or eyeglass whatever whatever and enjoyed some Sho-Chu and Cow tongue and heart at a standing bar (a perfect marriage, remarked one of the guys). 2, looking for a club or bar or something that wasn’t dead, we got picked up by Sayo and her friend Harumi, she invited us to join them for drinks at a VIP bar, which was really this charming fourth floor suite with a professional-hipster clientele.

We all ended up hanging out, bar to bar until the morning trains started up. Julian and I got back to New Koyo at 6 or so in the morning.

As for Thanksgiving, it would be fantastic to be home, with family or with any one friend from home, really. Holiday seasons have that tendency to make you want to love something. It’s hard to really get into the mindset of November and turkey however, while “Thank God it’s Christmas” blares out of technicolored aluminum trees.

To quote a good friend though, “hunger is the best chef”, and if anything, being away from everything creates an even greater sense of graciousness.

To everyone reading this, Happy Thanksgiving! Give someone a hug, eat some Tofurkey, drink some SoyNog, and pass out with family.


Written by Daniel

November 27, 2008 at 9:48 am

Posted in food, shopping, wandering

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