A Whirlwind Trip To Tokyo, Japan
Wednesday - Hachioji
The strip comes alive at night with a tremendous amount of neon and activity
- looking much more enticing than it does by day. The feel is both alien
and benign - you feel safe, and the crime statistics back that feeling
up. There is not an obvious police presence (we found one small storefront
with a few officers - their bicycles parked outside), but the areas we've
been to did not seem threatening... at least to me.
Wednesday was a dreary, rainy day spent entirely in the office.
The upside was that it was very productive, which will make it possible
to finish our work tomorrow ahead of schedule. This should give the
three of us remaining (one left today for Taiwan - we cautioned him not
to read the newspaper before getting on the plane) an opportunity to wander
downtown Hachioji a bit before leaving.
This evening, we took our Japanese partners out to dinner at their choice
of restaurant. The place selected offered a tatami room (ttraditional sunken
dining room), shoes left at the threshold, of course. There were about
six courses; we started with thin slivers of sushi, followed by some sort
of chunks of boiled beef (I think), something that tasted amazingly like
matzoh ball soup, rice cooked in a sterno-powered fixture - one setup per
person, and much more. All in all, I found it pleasantly unfamiliar. And
again, I was something of a curiosity for showing interest in Japanese
This evening, we got back to the hotel on the early side (9:30 or so),
in time for a little bit of work on the phone, as New York wakes up, and
then to bed.