MM: Hello? Yes, I'm back with another installment of MM Does Japan.
Readers: Finally, we've been waiting like for-ev-ah.
MM: Yeah, yeah, I know. Quit giving me grief I get enough of that at home.
Readers: Later girlfriend!
MM: Wait, wait! Come back.
Readers: (chirp, chirp).
MM: Shoot. Now I've burned the blogger bridge, too. (sniff, sniff) Who else is left? LinkedIn. I'll try LinkedIn. No one knows me there.
Yes, it's been awhile, so if you need a Japanese refresher go here , here, and here.
I'll begin Part 4 as we bid goodbye to the big city in search of a more traditional Japan.
Just as we got the hang of navigating Tokyo's Metro system and communicating with the natives (in spite of knowing only six Japanese words), it was time to leave the big city for Kyoto.
We were sad to leave the omnipresent masses behind:
(what's up with that?)
The above three photos are of Akibahara aka "Electric City"
At which point a gender-specific dressed cleaning crew descended upon the train like swarms of ants in search of a candy bar. In uniforms of pink and blue they carried their neatly packed plastic supply totes and swiftly made their way through the cars.
At 12:30pm the crew departed and we were instructed to board. Not even during NYC rush hour have I seen people move so fast. In an orderly and efficient fashion, commuters carrying briefcases and bento boxes stashed their totes in the rack above, hung their suit jackets on hooks, and settled into their assigned seats.
At 12:32pm EXACTLY the train pulled out of the station as businessmen pulled pork cutlet sandwiches and sushi rolls from their cozy packages. It was like watching a perfectly choreographed ballet.
Not to be made to feel like tourists, though "DUH" just look at us,
Where did we get all these goodies? Glad you asked.
Why, in our favorite place to eat in all of Tokyo - the department store - of course.
Yes, the department stores in Tokyo all have huge, glorious gourmet food markets on the bottom floors. This ain't your typical California mall food court, this is epicurian HEAVEN. Chocolates, pastries, cakes, fresh breads, bread rolls shaped like rabbits and turtles, gigantic fresh produce, prepared lunches, salads, meats. It sounds tacky but, more than once, we purchased a customized smorgasbord for four and brought it back to our hotel to eat (no seating areas in the store - probably too messy).
The kids picked up on her anxiety right away and being that we were touring yet another palace, the whines and groans started immediately. She did manage to
"This is a bridge. Take picture now, please."
So I did.
On our way out of the Imperial Palace, I could no longer avoid what I had been dreading for weeks:
I had to pee.
I could tell from the restroom's exterior that I had reason to fret. The moment of truth had arrived.
I opened the stall door and was faced with my nightmare:
See you next time!