x every day: Japan day 10

17 April 2008

Another travel day. Woke up early (6am) to catch the train at 8:04am. Three hours to Osaka, changed trains, three more to Tokyo. Once at Tokyo Station it was like pulling teeth to figure out how to get to Asakusa station and then find Sakura Hostel, next to the amusement park. Much to my horror, it was a traditional hostel, the kind I've never liked. I don't like groups of people and I'm not good at mingling, especially once I'm in a foreign country and encapsulated in my bubble. And bunk beds-- ugh. At any rate, they have an all-you-can-eat breakfast of toast and jam and coffee, which we had this morning and is a LIFE SAVER. Yes, I ate four pieces of toast this morning. And I think I grunted in excitement when I saw that there was margarine (rather than butter). Coffee here runs $3 for a tiny cup, so the 315\ is a great deal-- warm toast also beats out room temperature surprise-filled onigiri, hands down.

But back to yesterday.

After excruciatingly finding the hostel, we took the trains to Sundegai to meet up with the brother of a friend of Aspen's (or his dad's?), Tony. He showed us the tiny alleys and original wooden buildings of the neighborhood, showed us his home, and then he and his wife and son took us out to eat. I definitely had some not-vegan vittles although the pretense was there. Grilled tofu (delicious) with bonito flakes heaped on top. A vegetable and tofu soup, with a hunk of what looked like pig knuckle that I only later saw floating in it.

My time's almost up on the internet, but we also went out to a jazz club for drinks (I drank shochu with oolong and then sour lemon). It was a great place-- record collection lining the walls-- and we stumbled home exhausted.