Saturday, November 5, 2016

Postcard from Japan: Saturday, October 29, 2016

Water access for the fire department.
I'm back in Tokyo and it's Saturday so everyone is out shopping and fathers, especially, are holding little kids while Moms are pushing the strollers.  I realize that there are a lot of manhole covers I haven't photographed so here is a sampling of the most interesting.

Electrical access
Compass indicating north.
The last one is not a manhole cover but a compass located on a corner in my mother-in-law's neighborhood.  Not sure why a compass would be needed there, but there it was.  The arrow points north.

I found my way to Tobu Department store in Ikebukuro, 10 to 15-minute train ride from where my mother-in-law lives in Narimasu (only 247 yen, about $2.50 right now).  I decided to go to the anmitsu dessert restaurant that Mariko-san had taken me to just to see if I could find it.  I was so surprised I could locate it among all the exits and entrances and people and crowds in the station.  It's located in the first level down (B1) in the back of the food and Omiyage (gift) section.

Oshibori is the wet napkin or cloth
that you're given before eating to
refresh your hands.  In expensive
restaurants or on planes, it's often
hot rather than cold.
Since I love Ocha (green tea), I ordered the Ocha Anmitsu.  Along with a cup of Ocha, I'm also given an Oshibori to wipe my hands.

Anmitsu with green tea ice cream

It's Halloween time so the right-hand menu offers
pumpkin ice cream and anmitsu.
As usual, I didn't think about taking a picture until I've eaten part it.  Sorry about that!  The presentation of food in Japan is part of the delight--- sometimes it's so beautiful you don't want to ruin it by eating it.  But, of course, I do.

Almost all restaurants display their entire menu with pictures as well as descriptions.  Personally, I always am able to make a better decision when I see the picture or the actual food, so I appreciate those picture menus.  You can also just point to what you want!

I wanted to find a book store that had novels written in English.  I needed a long book that I could read on the plane going home since I am assuming I won't sleep.  (My first find was a book store in Hammamatsu-cho on the way back from Haneda Airport.  I found JK Rowling's newest "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child."  Excellent book.  It's 17 years or so after the Deathly Hallows book, he and Ginny Weasley are married with two sons who are going off to Hogwarts, and the problems that the youngest child encounters.  It was written as a script for the London theater production.)  After much asking about book stores and directions, I discover Junkudo Book Store in Ikebukuro and its 9 floors of books!  The books in English are on the 9th floor.  I chose Jojo Moyes latest novel, "Me Before You" but I found a lot of other books I take note of so that I can get them when I return to Michigan.

I'm exhausted but I feel thoroughly accomplished when I return to Mama-san's apartment.  Of course, I stop at Seiyu Department Store's grocery section for food for the evening meal.

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