Trip Report: Japan 2012 – Day 11 – Travel Day Return to Tokyo and Sushi at Kyubey

And good morning. Taking advantage of the outside onsen in the early morning.

Morning Onsen. Image Credit: T.

We decided to request the Western breakfast this morning. Presented with no less aplomb, it really suited our sensitive palates well: corn soup, a salad, tako slices, and assorted beans and mashed potatoes that looked like rocks ensured that the meal retained its Japanese-y character.

Ryokan Western Breakfast. Image Credit: Ryan.

But what we want you to focus on is this basket of bread. Look at it. Long for it. It was absolutely the best. We ate the whole basket and contemplated asking for more. That good.

Ryokan Bread Basket. Image Credit: Ryan.

A moment to contemplate. They actually changed the flower arrangement when we were out the day before.

Flower Arrangement. Image Credit: Ryan.

Okay, we couldn’t afford to stay at the ryokan our whole trip (or, indeed, even an additional day), so it was time to move on. But, first, a coffee at the bar. And, next, our return to Tokyo.

Ryokan Bar View. Image Credit: Ryan.

After making it down the mountain and catching the Shinkansen back to Tokyo, our first stop: Ganso Kujira-ya in Shibuya. Note: this section of the post might be somewhat controversial, because kujira means whale.

Kujira-ya, Shibuya. Image Credit: Ryan.

Thar she blows. Grilled whale steak.

Grilled Whale Steak, Ganso Kujira-ya. Image Credit: Ryan.

And whale sashimi. Tasting note: the sushi is very… bloody, fishy, sharp. Not our favorite. But the whale steak was delicious.

Whale Sashimi, Ganso Kujira-ya. Image Credit: T.

And since we’re back in Shibuya, a reunion with a relic of American music retailing: Tower Records. Actually, the largest store devoted to music retain in the entire world.

Tower Records, Shibuya. Image Credit: Ryan.

Hawaiian music is fairly well represented there. Which makes sense because you have to fill a 7-story music store with something.

Hawaiian Music Section, Tower Records, Shibuya. Image Credit: Ryan.

We returned to Asakusa to be greeted by the Golden Turd.

Golden Turd, Asakusa. Image Credit: Ryan.

Actually, this is the headquarters of Asahi, called the Asahi Beer Hall (which is supposed to look like a mug of frosty beer or something) and the as-of-yet-unopened (now opened) Tokyo Skytree (at 2080 ft, the tallest tower and second tallest human made structure in the world).

Asahi Beer Hall and Tokyo Skytree. Image Credit: T.

We were there to ride in a boat to gaze at the cherry blossoms along the banks of the Sumida River. Lots of boats. Lots of cherry trees. But, combined, it didn’t make for the greatest of experiences. Frankly, it was kitsch, which was expected. But exactly how kitsch, that was the surprise.

Cherry Blossom Boat Ride. Image Credit: Ryan.

The little bento they gave us as a snack on board.

Boat Ride Bento. Image Credit: Ryan.

And the highlight! This fake geisha (and by fake, we don’t mean Maiko, or apprentice geisha, but a hostess dressed in a kimono) appeared for a dance.

Fake Geisha on Boat Ride. Image Credit: T.

For 700 yen, the fake geisha would also pour out cheap sake into plastic cups for members of your party. We elected to not pursue this option.

Fake Geisha with Fan. Image Credit: T.

Okay, on to dinner. Sushi at Kyubey, Ginza (Tabelog Top 5000).

Kyubey, Ginza. Image Credit: Ryan.

This particular building has 5 floors. The higher up you go, the more powerful and influential you are; the peons eat on levels 1 and 2. We ate on level 2. Regardless, since this was the honten (main branch), I was hopeful of a greeting from the master chef, himself.

Kyubey, Ginza. Image Credit: Ryan.

Dessert: more coffee and mattcha and cake.

Dessert and Coffee after Sushi. Image Credit: Ryan.

And now we’re here at the Roppongi club, Abbey Road, to see the Parrots, one of the most famous Beatles cover groups in the world.

Performing: The Parrots! Image Credit: Ryan.

We had damn good seats for showing up so late.

The Parrots on Stage. Image Credit: Ryan.

Each guy can sing. Each guy can jam. And, at the time, this is one of two Beatles bands that performed in the area – right down the street there was The Silver Beats playing at The Cavern Club (since closed). 

The Parrots on Stage 2. Image Credit: Ryan.

Best of all, they still sell Zima here. Good night.

Zima Lives! Image Credit: Ryan.

 


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