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Published: March 24th 2018
The perfect day for a sleep in greeted us the next day. Top temp of 7c, rainy and windy. Mal and I had a 2 sec meeting and decided that brunch was the only option. Finally emerged from the hotel complete with coats and hotel umbrellas. Mal’s need for a pancake meant that we ended up in the first restaurant with a pancake picture. Aunty Millar’s was very good and with full bellies we headed off into the miserable weather. Negotiated successfully through the train station and wandered around the streets, in and out of shops. A comforting thought for women around the world is that we are all used to standing in queues and Japan for its sophistication and brilliant ideas, is no different to any other country when it comes to underestimating how many women always seem to need the toilet at the same time. So while Mal was doing his usual ‘wait in the hallway’, he decided that lip balm would be a good idea. We found a chemist and purchased lip balm that would make his lips ‘very kissable’ in the flavour of creme brulee! I just know there’s going to be comments and questions asked about this – so please direct them all to Mal. We decided there wasn’t much to see in the business area so made our way back through Shingawa Station. Mal wanted to have another look at the train line map so we could see how far away our little home for 5 days would be….low and behold it was on the same line (believe me there are about 10 different lines at the one station…pretty much like any other major city) and only 3 stops away!!! So for $3 we jumped on the train and then followed our instructions to our apartment in Meguro Park. It was so easy and in under an hour we were back at our original station full on confidence we would have no trouble lugging our luggage back there in 2 days time. Decided we deserved a coffee back in the restaurant at our luxurious hotel however, $12 for 1 coffee was just a little tooooo luxurious for our Albury/Wodonga pockets. Decided the chocolate shop with $5 coffees was more appropriate especially as they also offered free lollies….or so I thought until I had taken the wrapper off and popped one in my mouth only to discover I was eating a sugar cube. Yes, Mal thought that was pretty funny and called me a yobbo. He laughed so much that after finishing his coffee, left me to pull out the lonely planet guide to think about what we would do after the tour had finished while he recharged the batteries. He won’t do that again! That meant I had all 5 days sorted, plus somewhere picked out for dinner that night. Advised him that I had found a Japanese pub a 20 minute walk away that served up okonomikayai (cabbage/vegetables, seafood/meat pancakes with delicious sauces). I assured him I had the correct directions and also that we wouldn’t need umbrellas (even though it had been pouring all day. Imagine my surprise when he queried that statement and rolled his eyes exclaiming that if I’m going to call that and it is true, I would be his hero! As my family and friends can attest to, my sense of direction is legendary. Pam you will be happy to know that Mal has been playing the same game you did on the ship…….’just stand and wait till Kaz figures out she’s heading in the wrong direction’ game. Anyway…….I set off confidently leading the way (as I always do in the wrong direction) and with my screen shot directions, led us out into freezing cold Tokyo without our umbrellas. We arrived at our destination, which happened to be in the same area we had walked during the day, to find a queue of at least 20+ people waiting to be seated. Again Mal was skeptical of whether it would be worth the wait when there at least upteen restaurants we had passed without a queue, but I remained stubborn (again not surprise to many of you) that this was the true Japanese experience and a double wammy to experience what we women go through all the time with a sense of urgency! So we chatted and moved along until finally seated at the long table where to our delight we were able to watch the chefs cooked their delicious meals. The meal was delicious, the atmosphere fantastic, and we even felt there was a place for this type of eatery in Albury-including a whiskey bar of course! The chairs even had little cupboards to store your bags and coats – ingenious! All in all a perfect free day and can’t wait for tomorrow’s surprises!
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