Thursday, September 2, 2010

It's That Time Again

The year has flown by, and I find myself back in Tokyo, ready to begin another whirlwind tour of Japanese baseball. Our five games in six days begins tomorrow, when Marc and I meet the rest of the JapanBall tour group before boarding a train to Sendai, north of Tokyo. 

I had a little bit of my Japanese baseball fix on the plane, as I watched the sports segment of the news.

The Chunichi Dragons defeated the Hiroshima Carp 9-3.

Marc and I have already had a day and a half to hang out and acclimate ourselves to the drastic time change. It hasn't helped; for the first time in my ten trips to Japan as an adult, I am suffering from jet lag. Usually that doesn't kick in until I get home, but I crashed early last night and have been awake since around 2:00 a.m. Yawn. Grrr.

That doesn't mean we haven't enjoyed ourselves. Shortly after checking into our hotel, we walked to Akihabara, the renowned Electric Town, to find a replacement for the cell phone charger I lost. I'm sure I'll find it when I return home. Anyway, we made our purchase at Yodobashi, which has everything any computer and gadget geek would ever want.

The charger replacement was a success, so we stopped at a konbini near the hotel to fill up on Japanese junk food. There's nothing quite like a bento with chicken karaage, inari zushi, boiled egg, a tiny piece of hamburg steak, fish cake, etc. It's yummy stuff.

Today was spent writing and walking around the super-charged neighborhood of Shinjuku, where we had lunch at Yanbaru, an Okinawan restaurant. We ate bowls of thick Okinawan soba noodles with a side of pork tamago (an egg dish in which the "pork" is actually Spam). And yes, I love Spam; don't judge me!

Interior of Yanbaru
Bingata, a traditional textile of Okinawa, at Yanbaru restaurant

Yanbaru's menu, written on a likeness of Okinawa's Shuri Castle

Yanbaru's menu featuring the shisa, a lion dog


Only the bones remained

I have just enough time to squeeze in a nap before we have dinner at the JapanBall Hall of Fame. Looking forward to reporting more good times.


Dan said...

Dave and I are super jealous!

Root hard for the Carp for me. If Akihiro Higashide is back in the lineup, be sure to root for him, but don't forget Kenta Kurihara either.

Oh man, if you get to see Kenta Maeda pitch...

Hope you and Marc are having fun!

shrinecastle said...

Thanks, Dan! Don't worry - I'll root for your Carp. Maybe we'll see a Spider-man catch.