The weather was a bit iffy in the morning and by the time I walked over to Tsukiji Market the heavens opened. With the heavy rain coming down I decided to keep my visit to the outer market. After wandering around I bought myself some new knives, a Yanagiba and a Deba. I also bought a super fine mesh skimmer,which had mesh finer than I could get at home.
The rain cut my visit short so I dropped my purchases at the hotel before hopping the train out to Omiya.
I had planned on eating at my usual restaurant but when I entered I thought I had gone to the wrong place. All the retro kitsch was gone and the lovely old people who ran it were nowhere to be seen. The new owners are a very pleasant couple of similar vintage to myself. Gone are the olive green banquettes and no more Karaoke. The place has been given a new life and a new name. I had my usual, Kari Raisu, served with a small salad with a cheese croquette, crumbed fish and miso soup. A small chocolate marquis and tea was also served.
Then it was time to hit the second hand shop across the road. By now the rain had finished and blue sky was peeking through the clouds.
Note to self: big suitcase must be practically empty when departing Australia. You would think I would have learnt by now wouldn’t you. It was 13kg when I checked in at Sydney, but obviously I need to put less in it next time. Or fly Qantas over and JAL back( 2 x 20kg suitcase with JAL).
After a first walk through, I picked out a set of lacquered fan shaped serving plates, some fabric offcuts, two white and blue plates and two little chawan with lids. I paid for my purchases and then while waiting for them to be wrapped I spied a bronze vase with a frog on it. The body of the vase is matte and the frog has been polished, umm it sort of jumped in to my hands. I couldn’t pass it up. So that was a successful expedition, although I was hoping to buy a regular sized chawan or a mizusashi, I just couldn’t find any that spoke to me. Next time maybe.
Then back to the hotel again where I unloaded my goodies and headed out into unknown territory, the other side of Shimbashi Station.
I have only previously looked down from Platform 6 to the other side of Shimbashi, so this was a new adventure for me. The lights were all starting to come on as I arrived and people were starting to pour into bars, izakaya and restaurants as their week came to an end.
I strolled around ducking and weaving through the crowds taking photos here and there.
I found a whisky bar and headed up stairs to find 2 now rare bottles of whisky, The Hakushu and The Yamazaki 18 Year Old. At Y2400 per glass, the rarity factor was too good to pass up. I think I impressed the barman by ordering my whiskies straight with a glass of water on the side, of which I then put two drops in the whisky. Guess he was expecting me to go with onzarokku.
I decided to head back to the tracks and try my luck for some thing to eat. I found a great place downstairs, noisy, smoky and lots of activity. Even though the menu had photos and I was happy to just pick and point they bought me an English menu.
I think I may have overdone it though. Pickled shallot, grilled chicken skewer with Ume paste, pork belly with negi, Mozzarella korroke, spicy chorizo skewer and karaage chicken. So much good food!! My drink of choice was plum wine with soda. A big glass came out which was quite surprising, I am used to a more genteel sized glass being served.
With my hunger sated I waddled back out in to the night and the sad realisation that the next day would be my last full day in Tokyo, my Shiny town.