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Thursday, October 19, 2017

FABULOUS FALL FANTASY: Day 6--Nagoya to Tokyo

Another full breakfast at the Marriott Nagoya:

I didn't realize free beer came with the free breakfast.

My Shinkansen to Tokyo:

Hardly anyone on this train.

I've been through at least a hundred tunnels through six days of train traveling.  Pardon me, but I can't help but philosophically think about my Tunnel of Life, and whether I can aleady see the light:

Will I have a choice of tunnels?

Is this my light?

Or this?

Or this?

Any of those lights would omen well for me, as my current belief level is that it will be eternal gloom, or no light at the end.

With those thoughts, I did pass through Shibuya Station and had to go see Hachi (full name Hachiko, for which an entrance is named):

He's in the extreme left above almost covered by part of a tree:

Hachi is an Akita.  There is a 1987 Japanese film with Tatsuya Nakadai and a 2009 American version with Richard Gere.  Rotten Tomatoes audiences gave the former a 95% rating, and 84% to the latter.  I'll guarantee you'll stop by to pat Hachi after seeing either of these.

I thought about lunch, and was amused that I had not yet had even one meal in a restaurant for which I paid.  Among the executive clubs, free hotel breakfasts and train bentos, I have had no need to eat elsewhere.  I wanted Italian and looked at the board for the Top of Yebisu, the adjacent building.  At the very top, on the 39th floor was Boccacio.   Looking at the presentation, my sense was that this was one of those upper crust venues.   I glanced at myself with fake Croc slippers, and wondered if they would allow me in, as the Japanese are picky about these things.  Anyway, up I went and was somewhat stunned to see what looked like a fast-food establishment.  I can't imagine how they could pay the rent with such a great view.  I ordered a spaghetti agli olio with salad and red wine.  The efficiency was amazing.  Shame you can't see the view, but it was pouring rain.

The pasta was perfectly al dente, but the sauce was red....and outstanding.  Sometimes my lack of  understanding Japanese has benefits.  No tax, no tip and a cost of $15, about what the train bento meals cost me

Having had a real meal, back to the Tokyo Westin Executive Club for my dinner, where something has happened, for everything better.

That was good enough for me.  But I then noticed there was a sushi chef:

So I had two maguro (ahi, yellow-fin tuna) cone sushis with corn soup, beer and sake.  Fabulous.

I've been wavering whether to leave early or not for fear of Typhoon Lan.  I've never been in a hurricane before, and this might be my final chance to experience one in the safety of a sturdy hotel room.  However, if Lan ever gets up to Category 5 and rolls through Tokyo, who knows how long it will take to recover.  Hurricane Maria was only a Category 4 when she destroyed Puerto Rico.

Back into the Tokyo Westin, I chose safety, and worked out an arrangement to leave Tokyo on Sunday instead of Monday.  This was not a slam dunk effort.  It took two hours of negotiations with United, Thai and ANA, plus the Tokyo Westin and Sheraton Grand Sukhamvit.  All this was accomplished by Chiaki Matsuura, the concierge.  I could never have made these arrangements without her help.  Even under these emergency conditions, airlines still will charge you for any adjustment.

You want to know why I took the conservatively secure pathway?  I was caught at Narita Airport on 12March2011, the day after the cataclysmic Japan earthquake/tsunami/nuclear tragedy.  Read about my experience.  Also, if you're into disasters, here is my HuffPo on this event from which Japan will take a very long time to recover.  This could well have been one the longest Huffington Post articles ever published.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 160 to 23,158, another all-time record.  Go Trump!  I'm in the process of creating a Haiku involving appropriate personal orifices and Trump tweets.

Tomorrow, I'm off for Niigata.  Why?  Not sure.  But I have made reservations to dine at Robuchon's for dinner.  I can see that French mansion right below my room.

If I had not made the adjustment, my encounter with Typhoon Lan would have been tense.  Analyzing current projections, just about when my plane was supposed to depart at 6:25PM on Monday, Lan is currently predicted to affect Tokyo :

While the current expectation is a weakening from Category 4 status, just think if Lan fools weather experts and slams into Tokyo as a Category 5.  The path is unusual, for rarely does a typhoon here maintain a track over water for landfall over Tokyo.



Maka Point said...

there is a greater light at the end of the tunnel, Eternal Life. we can talk about if you want to. cannot wait to play my first round of golf. starting to hit the driver a bit straighter 10% of the time. good thing a friend gave me a box of old golf balls. I have one more lesson with Casey.


Hope you're right. Looking forward to our first round.