Japan Trip Report Part One

Oct 22nd, 2004, 07:22 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 480
Japan Trip Report Part One

Wanted to thank all the folks that helped us plan our trip and let everyone know how it went!!

Day 1
Luckily we arrived a few days AFTER a typhoon blasted through Japan ? not inconveniencing us a bit except for the fact that our plane was PACKED.
We took limo bus from Narita to Hotel ANA and grabbed a Cab to our hotel ?Mansions at Roppongi?, the cab driver had a little trouble finding it even though I gave him a map and it was only a few blocks away, the hotel is in little alley off the main street. The hotel turned out to be great ? all high tech including the toilet? , washer and dryer, balcony and our room was a little bigger than the average studio.

After settling in we wandered the neighborhood and
Ate at yakatori place with a cool wooden façade called Ganchan, food was great and the guys working there were entertaining, whenever we asked what some of the strange vegetables we encountered were he used a electronic Japanese to English dictionary to try to translate, which did not always work right.

On the way home we encountered a few (north African?) men trying to get us to enter their ?Clubs? which are obviously gentlemen clubs. This took us off guard a bit ? but no big deal, I new Roppongi was a nightlife district. (more on this later)

Day 2.
Could not sleep past 4:30 am today, my wife did not have any problems sleeping. So I go up took a shower and went out to get some coffee. Stopped at the AMPM (the only thing open besides bars) to see all the interesting things that Japanese eat from a convenience store. Not able to really recognize much I bough a small bag of croissants and went back to the hotel. Several people were still out partying and another person asked me to check out his ?Club?? (Dude ? I just woke up??)

After having some coffee and rolls, my wife was ready so we headed to the Tokyo Fish market, Man was this place crazy ? I have never seen some of the creatures for sale here. Quite an interesting experience. After exploring the stalls and almost being run over by many motorized carts we headed out of the market, we decided to look for place to try some sushi. Another (tourist) couple wandering the market saw us fumbling with our guidebook and asked if we were looking for a sushi place. We found little a place and had a fantastic assortment of sushi (mostly tuna),
After the market we headed to Hama Rikyu ? which was nice but really not that impressive, then walked to Ginza and went though a few department stores ? the food levels of these places are truly amazing ? the Japanese LOVE to eat.

In the afternoon we took a tour with JTB (the Tokyo Afternoon tour)
The tour started at the World Trade center building (or Hamamatsu Bus terminal)
We went to the top of the building to get a view of the city; we then headed on a bus for a boat ride down the Sumida River. At this time it started to rain, so visibility got worse, we were still able to see all the different bridges tough and the boat had a glass roof so we did not get wet. We then landed in Asakusa and walked (in the rain) to Sensoji temple were we walked around the souvenir shops and viewed the temple, afterwards we rode the bus to the imperial palace since it was raining we could not see much of the grounds ? but the black pines are very cool. It also amazes me that in a city where space is SO valuable they would reserve such a large private area for the imperial palace and emperor, especially since there is a parliamentary government not a monarchy.

That night we ate at a fantastic teppanyaki place called TEN (at least that?s what the guy at the hotel said it was called ? the name was in Japanese), this was probably the best restaurant we ate in Japan. We had the set meal (6 or 7 courses!!) and they gave us SO much food I was going to explode. I tried so great things I have never had before (my favorite was this cooked pork salad plate). After wards my wife tried unsuccessfully to tell them that the meal was fantastic using her phrasebook, so We just pointed to the phrase in the book. Which then amounted to all the employees in the restaurant having a fit of smiling and bowing that followed us out into the street (in the rain). They even tried to help us grab a cab. This is about when I realized that the Japanese are probably the most polite and gracious people on earth. And to top it off the meal at this restaurant was only 7200 yen for BOTH of us (with a few drinks).

dgruzew is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2004, 01:45 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Wow ! A great start of a trip report. I'm so happy you had such positive experiences with the Japanese food and the people so far. Hope to read the rest soon.
kappa is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2004, 02:27 PM
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dgruzew: I was concerned about you and your wife that weekend, as I thought you were leaving on Sat. and landing on Sunday and the typhoon hit Sat night. I am glad you missed it as I know flights were stopped at Narita on Sat. The pictures looked pretty wild.
I am definitely going to TEN w/my son, if we can find it!! 7200 yen for two is great, and it sounds good.
MORE, PLEASE!!!!!! I love the details.
emd is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2004, 05:35 AM
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We were really really lucky - We arrived in Tokyo on Monday(left sunday) the Typhoon hit Saturday. Then on we left the next Tuesday at 6:00pm (in the pouring rain) and I think the Typhoon came through the next morning(or mabye even overn night). We are very lucky we did not get stuck - Kansai airport (where we left) is build on and island - I not not even sure if the trains would get off off the ilsand during a Typhoon.

dgruzew is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2004, 05:41 AM
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Great report! More please!
mrwunrfl is offline  
Oct 24th, 2004, 05:45 PM
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Can I ask dgruzew for more details on the restaurant "Ten" you went to? The closest thing in guide books I can find seems to be "Ten-ichi"? E.g. there is one on the Frommers web site, but it says it is something like $83-$150 per person for dinner?
echeng25 is offline  
Oct 25th, 2004, 05:46 AM
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I've also been googling tokyo tempanyaki and "10 or ten" and I did find a remark about a good place "next to lot 10" in a shopping area. Dgruzew, any idea where the place was, what area of Tokyo at least, or what it was close to? I'll be staying in Yokohama, so my hotel concierge might not be that helpful in finding this place in Tokyo...
emd is offline  
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