Hey guys, it's update time: a week in Tokyo has given me a whole lot of things to report, so I'm gonna share some of them.
Peeps say Tokyo is an expensive city, but I'm not sure they're right. Movies are pricey ($18 or so in big city center theaters), but then again, I don't see too many theaters around. Maybe they're all in the suburbs? Scarcity/sample size may be to blame for the seemingly outsized cost. And coffee is ridiculous (like the back of your head). A small cup goes for $3. On the other hand, though, little Starbucks shot-style chilled espresso/latte drinks (the sort that would cost an arm and a leg in the States) are on sale in every convenience store for $2. Soooo . . . odd.
Other than that, it seems like visiting here should be no more expensive than vacationing in someplace like NYC. One big thing to keep in mind is no tax & no tipping. So a big bowl of pork belly miso ramen or a generous teryaki bento box will run you $8.50-$10, and that's all-inclusive. If you want to eat cheap, there are plenty of options.
Which is to say I've already blown a shitton of money.
I think I told one of you already (or maybe it was Mom), but I tried a Big Mac here. It costs $4.00 or so. And it was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. The eeriest thing? It came out of its box looking just like the ad.
Sushi breakfast at the Tsukiji fish market is just insanely good. Dear, sweet 8 pound, 6 ounce baby Jesus, yes.
Japanese chocolate? Yes, please. The $1.25 Meiji milk bars taste smooth and fruity, sort of like Lindt but with a little more character. Ghana's good too. That's another brand--I didn't take a side trip to Ghana.
Japanese whiskey? I'm not a whiskey drinker, but I was lured by the sight of liquors unavailable in the U.S. and bought a 500 ml bottle of Nikka From The Barrel. Damn. I say, DAMN. If I were liquor stores, I'd be buying it retail from European liquor stores and selling it at an inflated price. Here, my bottle cost $26 or so, I think.
Oh, incidentally, there's an almost unsettling amount of liquor in Japan, Pee-Wee. Convenience stores stock a whole beer-by-the-can wall, and even small grocery stores maintain an awfully comprehensive booze section. Hence my whiskey purchase. It felt like it ought to be part of the experience.
I've done a lot of walking and exploring and visiting and perusing, but my best adventure so far has been a trip to see a "new half" (that's the Japanese catch-all term for trans folks) dance show at Roppongi Kingyo. And then I got a picture with the cast! I'll try to photo the photo and post it on here.
Okay, I've got to turn over my laundry, so I guess this is goodbye for now. Start posting, Will, you motherfucker. Say what you want to say on Facebook here instead; it's mentally healthier. I want this blog to turn into a conversation between us all. Think a text version of the television talk show we totally ought to have.