Went to Okutama in the mountains to check it out for our EOY team building event. Nice place!
Saturday was a good day. Headed down the now familiar highway 15 to Yokohoma to meet up with Yuta Horie and his very good looking Triumph Tiger 800. We spent a bit too much time at Naps motorcycle store but still managed to have a nice ride along the south coast of Japan from Zuishi to Enoshima. Our final destination was the Enoshima shrine, a ginger ale (BAC limit in Japan is 0.0) and a squashed octopus cracker. It was a perfect ending to the ride. From there we blasted back home along the express-way and I was quite proud of the fact I navigated the entire way home without the iPhone. Those express-ways are pretty scary to navigate!
Sunday was not a good day. I had no plan and ended up sleeping in and procrastinating heavily. It was 2pm before I realised. So I did the right thing and grabbed my ‘Drinking in Japan’ guide and got pro-active with my camera and notebook. I walked around a big loop from Tsukji to Nihonbashi and back again. Half-way through I was thirsty and really looking forward to a beer. Although I must have walked past more than 100 places, I didn’t find one that looked tempting or a single place from the guide. That is Tokyo. So much choice that it is over-whelming and if your looking for a particular place – extremely hard to navigate.
I did manage to find the Latin bar I had seen before, and bookmarked it for Ange’s visit. Like so many others on a Sunday afternoon though, it was closed. I also perked up my spirits when I found another little local grocery store that had meat and veg and was open! I resolved to fixed myself a delicious meal of spaghetti bolognese to make myself a little happier.
Finally, not more than 500m from home I lowered my standards and headed for a beer in one of the small places hidden amongst the Tsukiji fish markets. The proprietor immediately barred his fore-arms in a cross and giggling told me what essentially meant “I’m a racist bastard and I’m not even going to pretend this place is closed, I just don’t want your lousy gaijin ripped jean shiorts in my place, even if your money is good”. A Japanese couple walked past me and sat down at the bar. I was extremely disappointed.
At home I cracked a lonely beer and made a delicious slow-cooked spag-bol with the works – bacon, mushroom, beef mince (apparently) and even some spinach and mozarella cheese. It was a huge meal topped off with chocolate covered pomegranate. Tasted fantastic.
Four hours later, I woke up shivering and shaking and my sides ached. Another hour and I was sitting on the lovely warm toilet seat, but I had banked on the wrong end – I should have figured that after 4 hours it wouldn’t have been processed yet. I wasn’t thinking so straight at 3am. In a heave, I tried to throw myself off the seat and twist my head towards the bowl in one movement. I didn’t get the height I needed and my testicles got squished against the seat. I did manage to get most of the delicious bolognese into the toilet bowl. I resolved after a little while to really cut down on my portion sizes.
After the initial bout of vomiting I was leaning over the bowl with my fore-arm unwisely pressed on the Toto arm-rest control board. I heard the whirring noise but wasn’t prepared for the jet of hot powerful spray leaping out at me from the bowl. Lucklily I had flushed the last lot down already. After the initial shock I lept (more like leaned probably) to the side, and took most of the jet in the shoulder before I toppled over and hit my head on the bath-tub. My bathroom really is pretty small. The jet of water from the arse cleaner continued to squirt well into the kitchen before I could turn it off. The toto is an amazing device and to be fair to its creators it is probably not designed to deal with these situations, still some kind of anti-forearm press shouldn’t be too hard to design?
A shower and a day in bed and I still feel ridiculously weak and sore. Another night and hopefully I’ll be back to normal. The moral of the story – don’t eat the mince in Japan.