We had a very enjoyable day today, meeting up with the parents of our Daughter in Law, Yuki, for lunch. Our lunch was at a very nice restaurant in the vicinity of Nezu Station called ‘Hantei Nezu’. It was a place that Yuki recommended as having good food and being easy for both her parents and for us to find.
To get there we had to walk down to Shinjuku Station and find the Toie Shinjuku Line which has its entrance right at the southern end of the station. We caught one train from Shinjuku for six stations and then changed to the Chiyoda line. This meant taking an escalator at the end of the platform, walking along an underground passageway for about 250 metres, going in and out ticket gates and then a set of stairs down onto the platform at the Shin-ochanimizu station. (I know that ‘shin’ in Japanese means ‘new’. I don’t know, however when Ochanimizu became new – probably 300 years ago!). We were glad that we had topped up our Pasmo cards before beginning.
It was very easy to find the restaurant using Yuki’s Father’s map and his instructions. It was situated in an old building that was constructed in in 1706 as a merchant’s storehouse. At the time it was built It was situated on the banks of a river, or creek, but this has long since been encased in a pipeline and is now flowing under the roadway. The meal was a Japanese form of a ‘Tapas’ menu with lots of very delicious small plates and the food served on skewers. It was a very good recommendation by Yuki.
We spent the time over lunch chatting about grandchildren and families – all of us very happy to have a new grandson in the family.
It was a pleasure travel back to Shinjuku on a nearly empty train – especially as compared to the one we were on last night. Japan is a ‘full service’ country and it is very hard to escape from all the gratuitous safety warnings as you travel around. The stations are noted for some quite funny signs (in a mixture of English and Japanese known as Japlish. However, his very stark safety sign on a pillar at the station needed no translation.
Before returning to our hotel, we visited the handicrafts floor of the Takashimaya Department Store at Shinjuku. This store seems to be very classy and a bit similar in style to the David Jones store back home. We were intrigued to find a special department that sold lengths of cloth for making kimonos. Some of these were priced as high as $9,500 but we couldn’t determine whether this was just for the fabric or for the made up kimono (probably just the fabric). I guess that these would have been bought for very formal occasions such as the twenty-year old Coming of Age Day – a very big event for a young Japanese men and women. Jill was as much in ‘heaven’ on this floor of the store with all of its fabrics and sewing paraphernalia as I am in an electronics store. I was just as bored as she is in an electronics store!