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Back for a week in February, just Tokyo. During this trip I kept notes in two places, and was unable (or just too lazy) to consolidate them.

Feb 14

Out over the Pacific, afternoon breakfast, final meal on the flight: Tes, air travel is wonderful, but is there anything more degrading in modern life than the meals? We bend our heads and eat the mystery food mixtures from the little containers on the tray, thinking thoughts far and away from gustatory pleasures.

Later, back at the Sumisho Hotel. Was reading Capote at the nearby 100-yen kaiten sushi and a fellow gaijin tried to make contact - "Interesting place." I shoulda responded with more'n a nod.

Back inside the Sumisho at Ningyo-cho -- had mechanical sushi at the place I couldn't re-find last time -- cheap, should go back.

Feb 15

Down inside Ginza station. Poster:
Good Manners are more attractive than your makeup will make you
Walking down Chuo-dori at evening, "Batman Beyond" anime on the big screen at the Warner Bros store. Big Buddhist shrine in Tsukiji after great sushi breakfast, then in the evening una-don at Shimbashi.
Day began promisingly at Tsukiji, then seemed to deteriorate, @ TIC, with phone, and across the river (no earthquake museum) but after retracing my steps, through Sendagi (Asakura Choso Museum this time open) things clicked back into play with great stroll down Ginza with eel dinner after.

Feb 16

From the sublime to the ridiculous, breakfast this morning at Yoshinoya, replete with natto and raw egg. Gate clarification at Asakusa, though. Later, inside HMV and HUB and 'sghetti at Ducky Duck. Doesn't seem like much was accomplished today, as I sit wearing Fukudaya yukata and think of the morning's Yoshinoya/Mr Donut breakfast, but I did shop at Loft, and Muji (involuntary in-store comment, "look at all this great shit!") ate a MOS burger and tarako 'sghetti, even bought a book at Good Day in Ebisu and peered into the lobby of Mr Jeekins. Just wish my head wasn't so congested.

A new "wow" -- they stop talking, just music, late night TV and during the wee hours.

Feb 17

The wee hours, jet-lagged and watching the telly: a voice-over-free Blackpool travelog. They have double-decker trams too - who knew? Another day which seemed to start poorly, but got better and better, especially after lunch, after the Temari Museum. I explored Daikanyama, the new town on the Toyoko line, one stop after Ikejiri-Ohashi. Then the sento after sushi at Sushi-Daidokoya, currently my favorite mechanical in Shibuya - it's on the way, up the hill. More congestion, runny nose at Denny's. Shibuya shopping @ Tokyu Hands, Fujita Vente history @ Yoyogi, lunch at the cynical Sato's counter, then out to Setagaya for the Temari Museum at Kominoge, after pause at Tower to read Friends of the Swastika, then returned via Nakameguro (Y100 store) and Daikonyama (trendy new mall with lights, then pause at Sushi-Daidodokaya and finally the sento down the hill (other side) from Hotel Fukudaya. URL of note: http://homepage2.nifty.com

Feb 18

During the day, out to Saitama for the museum. Later, on TV, transnational star of 1982's "Revenge of the Ninja." The audience, all the girls wearing consecutive interstate numbers, just touching him as he passed slowly by.

Proletarian Yoshinoya cho-shoku, Ikebukuro Toyota AmLux so what, brief Omiya walkabout, John Lennon Museum, Shinjuku Hilton cake buffet pig-out, view from Metro Gov't (city hall) tower, more Shinjuku walking.

Feb 19

Shinjuku, morning in the Tateshina, listening to the English AM 812 besthitsvariety.com, which greeted me with Garrison when I checked in yesterday. Talked to Mar, and found the Gibson! Later, in the Nezu ryokan. Morning, even more Shinjuku walking, located the Shwier and it's still the great deal, and then after luggage stow over the Takashimya Times Square for Tokyu Hands shopping. Over to Takadanobaba for the bookstore (where I interviewed an English teacher about job satisfaction), wandered through Big Box, then had a pizza in a restaurant which played only Beatle songs in continuous random rotation. Back in Shinjuku, back to Yanesen for Yamanaka Ryokan, swell lodgings, swell neighborhood, there's even a sento down the street.

Feb 20

SunKus and the "Just Spot" kombini (c-store) with its 'thumbs up' logo (in Ueno). Lounged around the ryokan's shoji room until almost checkout time, eating kiwis and finishing the Truman Capote. Thence off to Ueno, walking along the park's perimeter, then entering at a shrine or temple where I scored a traffic safety charm. After stowing the bag, rode down to Shimbashi for to ride the new Yurikamone line out to the reclaimed land of Ariake. Delicious tonkatsu lunch at the Tokyo Fashion Town (where I caught the silly hourly fountain show that evening) and internet access (w/ Netscape 6) at the Telecom Center Bldg. Back into town for another stroll the length of the Ginza, beginning with the traditional visit to Maruzen bookstore.

Feb 21

Strange dreams this morning, dreams with David, and another involving a horrid little Spanish child, induced no doubt by glimpses of the Brazillian "Central Station" on the television last night. I've convinced myself a return to Kappabashi's required, for the cast-iron egg crate (Takoyaki cooker).  
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