Monday, September 17, 2012

Tokyo ~ Shibuya & Swallows

On September 7th, the Camacho's, Goodwin's and Quinn's embarked on an adventurous journey to Tokyo. Our first stop - Midori Sushi inside Shibuya's Mark City.  I had passed by this sushi restaurant many times during sales calls in the building for years and noticed the long queues of people waiting outside.  We arrived shortly after opening and waited a short while before enjoying our gastronomous lunch.

The ladies settled for the lunch specials ~ 2 ladies' lunch and 2 regular specials. The first course was salad. The one on the left was seafood while the one in the square bowls were crab miso.

The lunch plates were delicately arranged.  This was the ladies' lunch one with Japanese pudding (like flan) in the small bowl.  Everything was fresh and so yummy!

The shrimp was large and the uni was buttery. I even liked the chives.
The men enjoyed their sushi and beer as well, but I think our ladies' special was nicer.
This was the regular special lunch. The anago was tender and sweet.
A major highlight of our Tokyo trip was having Miwa chan, my dear childhood friend, join us for the weekend events.  She met us at the hotel and we all walked over to Mark City.
After lunch, half of the group stopped by the infamous Hachiko statue.  According to wikipedia, Hachikō (ハチ公?, November 10, 1923 – March 8, 1935), known in Japanese as chūken Hachikō (忠犬ハチ公 "faithful dog Hachikō" ['hachi' meaning 'eight', a number referring to the dog's birth order in the litter, and 'kō', meaning prince or duke]), was an Akita dog born on a farm near the city of Ōdate, Akita Prefecture,[1] remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner, even many years after his owner's death.
Hachiko's statue is a popular meeting site in Shibuya, which was the center of where we stayed.
Shibuya has lots of shopping malls and stores.  One of our favorites is Tokyu Hands, 21 floors of goods, ranging from cookware, luggage, toiletries, stationary to costumes, hats and watches.
Yes, Russ bought these glasses which we'll likely wear for a future costume party.

The Shibuya Granbell Hotel is located in the Southwestern part of Shibuya, just a 3 minute walk from Shibuya station. The hotel was remarkably quiet and the rooms were small, yet comfortable.
After buying some takeout food at the basement of Tokyu Department Store, we walked 40 minutes to Jingu Stadium to watch the Yakult Swallows play the Tokyo Giants.
Efrain and Martha also enjoyed their first Tokyo baseball game.
Our friends from PIC Phuket/Saipan, Shoji & Chikako, joined us at the game.
Shoji shared some nuts and fans with us.
What a fun time!
The Swallows mascot and cheerleaders encouraged their team to "gambare" but the Swallows played horribly.
The Swallows fans opened small umbrellas when their team hit a run.  We didn't really understand the significance of the umbrellas, except that maybe they were trying to protect themselves from bird poop (swallows are birds, right)?
We bought Belgium beer, smoked oysters, yakitori and gyoza as our snacks for the evening.
We were happy when the Swallows scored runs.
By the 4th inning, the Swallows were behind 2-4.
There were two foreign players on the Swallows although they didn't play very well that night.
We were lucky to see the Swallow's last night of fireworks for the summer!
It lasted quite a while and the explosions were grand!
Toughman, one of the sponsors. What a strange logo.
Only young Japanese women sell draft beer from backpack pony kegs.  They must sell a lot of beer.
We left at the bottom of the 8th inning when the Swallows were losing so badly.  Despite the fact that we were sitting in the loser's section, we had a fun time watching the crowd, cheering and experiencing a true Japanese ball game.

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