Day 4 started with M discovering just how fabulous electronic toilets are:
I could actually hear sighs of ecstacy coming from M as his bum was washed, massaged and dried by our washlet toilet.
One big difference between hotel classes in Japan is the size of the bathroom. You’ll get everything from roomy bathrooms like the one in the Century Southern Tower, which also had speakers in it so you could listen to the tv while in the bath:
To teeny, weeny OMG-how-the-hell-do-you-get-into-it? things in cheaper hotels (you’ll be seeing one of those later…)
I started the day by admiring the gothic -looking Docomo building out the window:
And checking the handy view description provided by the hotel:
After our obligatory Starbucks coffee, our first port of call was Tokyo Mid-town in Roppongi to meet my boss’ wife for lunch. We hopped onto the Oedo subway line which had a station about half a block from the hotel.
The Oedo line is one of the newest subway lines in Tokyo so it has slightly smaller trains, lower ceilings and the stations are often quite deep underground – like eight stories down in some cases- because they had to build under existing tracks and stations. Because it’s new it also has everything written in English and all the announcements are in English as well as Japanese. Although, according to M, having things written in English still doesn’t help him know where he is.
While we waited for the train, M amused himself by snapping pictures of random girls wearing boots and the ice cream vending machine on the platform:
We arrived with a bit of time to spare so we took a walk through the Fuji film square and wandered outside to check out the art installations. It was the first anniversary of Mid-town and there was cake to celebrate:
Then we met up with my boss’ wife and headed to the restaurant for lunch, wandering past the live bamboo inside the mall on the way:
We had quite a yummy lunch at Hal Yamashita and obviously numerous pictures and videos were taken. Hal Yamashita is quite famous for its fusion Japanese and M and I enjoyed a lovely chirashi zushi while my boss’ wife had beef stew and rice. Unfortunately, the camera card decided to die and we lost all of the photos so you’ll just have to use your imagination. Fortunately, M had five other cards and once we realised what had happened, switched cards and captured our post-lunch cake extravaganza at Toshi Yoroizuka.
We finished lunch at about 2pm and went to Toshi’s to see what the wait was like. Because it was 2pm on a windy, rainy Wednesday we were told the wait was only an hour and if we came back at 3pm we’d get seats. So we went to…yep, you guessed it, Starbucks and had a coffee and a chat while we waited. We went back to Toshi’s dead-on 3pm as we were told in no uncertain terms that if we were more than 5mins late, we’d lose our booking.
There were quite a few people waiting when we arrived:
I’d wanted to go to Toshi’s since I’d read about it in numerous Japanese magazines and on the web. It’s a tiny ‘restaurant’ that seats 10 people and the only thing on the menu is recette – desserts that are prepared in front of you while you watch.
On this day, we were fortunate that the grand patisserie Toshi himself was in attendance and he obligingly posed for photographs:
I ordered the Mille-Feuille aux Fraise – layers of light flaky pastry with custard, strawberry sauce and served with pistachio ice cream:
And M ordered the Pamplemousse de sumatra, which was layers of cheese & orange souffle, with a grapefruit glace, hazelnut wafers, orange sauce and served on cointreau cream:
Out the front is a take-away shop with many more cakes on offer:
After our huge lunch and yummy cake, I’d booked us in for all-you-can-eat crab at a restaurant back in Shinjuku, so we said goodbye to my boss’ wife and took the subway back.
The crab place was unfortunately on the other side of the station to our hotel so it was a little bit of a hike. When we arrived they were totally booked out for what turned out to be a taiwanese tour group and they wanted us to take a traditional table on the floor. This was another time that speaking Japanese was useful and I explained that we needed a table *with seats* otherwise we would dine elsewhere. After a quick wait they moved some of the tour group settings and we were seated with seats and a menu.
I’d brought a coupon that gave us a $40 discount as long as we arrived by 6pm, so for $80 for both of us we had all-you-can-eat crab for 2hrs and several side dishes. Our first plate of crab came out and it was a bit daunting:
But we were given the necessary tools, so the only problem was how much was going to fit into our still-full tummies:
There was half a king crab, a whole snow crab without the body and an entire hairy crab that kept staring at us with angry eyes:
That sucker was soon not staring at us though:
After about an hour of steady eating, we’d managed to clear the plate and the waitress came to clear the shells and asked us if we were ready for our next plate. Yep, Japan….home of the all-you-can-eat.
Unfortunately we were so full that we didn’t even make it to our second plate. The side dishes included butter scallops and an egg and rice porridge and that was all that was fitting in. I was also thinking about the melon bread & cannelets that I’d purchased within 3 hrs of landing in Japan that were waiting for me back in the hotel room, but that I hadn’t had a chance to eat yet.
Back to the hotel we went and after M had dozed off, I settled in to watch some tv and nibble on my much-longed-for melon bread.
So much food and so little time! Ahhhhh!
Part 3 to come…