Exploring Tokyo (Ginza), Take 2 (along with Shinjuku and Golden Gai
As I raced back across Nagoya, I ended up making an earlier Shinkansen train back to Tokyo. I guess since last time I had passed Mt. Fuji I only saw the bottom, Mother Nature seemed to think that today I needed to see the top. Damn, that's one hell of a volcano.
No need to be paranoid about missing Mt. Fuji. You will see it if you're on the side of the train with the side with the row of two seats.
Managed to find my cousin in Shinjuku station (which is CONFUSING-- we never ended up coming in or out of the same exit twice) to get to our hotel. Shinjuku is super convenient because all the lines centrally meet up here, so if you're visiting Tokyo, this is the place to stay. We met some old family friends for dinner-- two guys who did business with our grandfather (who arguably, was very Japanese for a Singaporean man, and really really loved Japan, which always seemed ironic to me given that Japan had committed lots of atrocities against the Singaporean people over the two-year occupation).
These uncles were so funny because they told us to tell our friends that we went to eat sukiyaki in Ginza! (Which, was amazing.)
And then, after doing some walking around, I took my cousin to the most authentic Yakitori restaurant I had chanced upon so far (but was way too intimidated by the lack of English signage to go into by myself). There was nothing to worry about because there was an English menu available. This place smells amazing (reminds me a lot of the BBQ I ate in Vietnam), is sort of like a local pub, and you're literally right under the train tracks. The whole thing felt super authentic.
I guess even in Japan, you can find a diner.
Right next to the amazing kit kat display at Don Quixote (which, the prices here are pretty comperable to everywhere else, including the airport), we met Josh, who also happens to be from LA. He just came from going to the robot restaurant (yeah, that was something that I definitely wasn't interested in going to). Anyway, Don Quixote is an awesome store and has a lot of merchandise you can't find anywhere else! (Like elephant boxers complete with a trunk sewn on, or super mario ties, or eevee pokemon footed pajamas.)