Saturday, February 23, 2008


Way cool! -5 degrees!

We spent the weekend up in Tokyo again this weekend. We ate teppanyaki the first evening, and had Wellington's night with our friends David and Ginny, and Brendon and Aska. Being February, it was a Romance theme, with pink champagne, and an assortment of romantic choices. Melody had the quail, and I stuck with the filet of beef. It was all excellent, as usual. We even had the private party room, which was a nice touch.

We spent the afternoon wandering around a nearby park, watching the ducks and dogs. We saw a Schipperke (the first time I've seen one in the fur), and decided that it looked like a small black bear cub or a pig. Really cute. The highlight of the park, though was a cormorant that ducked down in the water and came up with a big fish in his mouth which somehow, he choked down. Wild Kingdom couldn't have done better...all we needed was Marlin Perkins there to narrate.

We also sat a while in a Segafredo's coffee shop. We started outside, but it was quite windy, and the yellow dust from China seemed to be drifting our way, so we adjourned inside. We had a nice conversation with an Indian lady and her three year old son about US politics. I think we sometimes forget that the election is not just important to Americans, but others around the world, since what we do as a country has wide ranging impacts. We were on different sides of the debate, but had a good time chatting. Then, back to the hotel for a nap, and eventually downstairs to Wellingtons for our reservation.

After supper, Brendon, Aska and I (Melody fell asleep) went out to the Ice Bar, as seen above. Really cool place, made entirely out of ice that was imported from Sweden. It was an Absolut-ly interesting and fun (if freezing) experience.

As you walk in, you pay your Y3500 for entrance, which includes a big poncho with a furry hood, and gloves hanging off the end. As you go into the -5 degree Celsius room, entirely crafted from ice, you belly up to the bar to place your order. Vodka drinks were the order of the day in various shades of green, purple, red, and a myriad tastes. I opted for the Absolut Boogie, a banana and berry flavored drink. The bartender fixes it and hands it to you in your glass, also made from ice. Then you put it to your lips to sip the delicious concoction, and then try to get it unstuck from your face. Remember the movie A Christmas Story? that.

It didn't take too long for the experience to go from cool to "geez, what do you say we get out of here? I can't feel my feet!" So we headed back to the hotel, I tucked Melody into bed, and drifted off myself.

This morning, we met another bunch of friends for brunch. Toshi came up with his daughters Miri and Akane, and Ed and Kersten and Mike from work all came. We had a great time just relaxing over good food and lingering in conversation...these are things we'll miss about living here. We'll have one more opportunity in a month or so...then, it's back to the US.


life_by_grace said...

are you serious, clark? the whole thing made of ice? well, i'll be doggone. what'll they think of next? guess i ain't never been nowhere! bet they don't have a place like that here in shelby county! heh heh heh! i sure could go for some good sushi....y'all let me know next time y'all come into b'ham so we can go out. :)

Dave and Melody said...

Yep, all ice. The floor wasn't, but I think that was just a safety measure, since you'd have people falling all over the place, and that's just not good for business. But the seats, the walls, the bars, even the glasses were all ice. From Sweden. No kidding...they brought it all in from Sweden. And every six months, they rebuild it.

We'll be back soon...find a good sushi place with some Nihonjin (Japanese) working there, and we'll dazzle you with our Jozu-ness (skill).

Mame wa soto ni arimasu...

life_by_grace said...

Sushi it is! And we'll bring my Japanese (now American) friend Masumi....who literally has forgotten how to speak Japanese. It's pretty funny. But she still has a taste for some pretty weird food. And loves beer. Y'all would love her.

Love you guys! LT