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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

PaGA 2017: Day 16 Snowfall Over Pearl's Gold Koi

Last night on my way home from Azumi's on the Chuo Line at 10:30 PM, I noticed that everyone in the train, except me, was actively doing something with their smart phone, even those standing.  In a way, this says a lot about the Japanese.


This morning I took the Azusa from Shinjuku to Matsumoto:


Weather looks good here, but it was raining when I left Tokyo, is continue to rain above....and at the end of the afternoon when I returned to my hotel, it was raining even harder.

The weather has been confounding me these past two weeks, and today, I was stunned to see.....SNOW!  As we approached Matsumoto:


So when I arrived at the station, I asked the information desk how safe it was to walk to Matsumoto Castle.  Clearly, I asked the wrong person, as she said it's no problem at all.  It's just that I was not dressed to walk in a blizzard.  My shoes, for one, was of a cloth material and I worried about slipping.  In any case, I thought, why not and enjoyed what will most probably be my most adventurous and gratifying activity for the whole around the world trip.  

Well, it was not  exactly comfortable.  I've never used an umbrella in a snowstorm before, and my hand was freezing trying to hold it.  Then, the great moment.  I walked up to the castle moat, and....no gold koi.  So, disappointed and cold and wet, I thought I might as well walk around the moat.  Then, there she was, and the white specks are snow flakes.  All by herself.


The Sakura flowers are just beginning bloom.

Exhilerated, and, in fact, euphoric, I enjoyed my final train bento back to Tokyo:


Twenty years ago Pearl and I went to Ryutenmon, the Chinese Restaurant at the Tokyo Westin.  The scallop soup was so expensive that I never went back, until tonight.  I ordered Shanghai Soup Dumplings with garlic fried bok choy.  Also had a Tsingtao beer, while the small bottle of Yamazaki Single Malt was provided by the Tokyo Westin.  

At 15% off, the total cost was around $50, with the vegetable about twice the cost of four dumplings.  Although obscured, that is Robuchon's across the street. 

Fook Lam's Shanghai Soup Dumplings are far better than Ryutenmon's.  However, this dinner was very satisfying.  

Tomorrow, I'm on to Bangkok.


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