Friday, December 09, 2005


After I finished shopping for Christmas presents, I decided to head to Shinjuku to buy myself a book to read on the flight home.

The bookstore that I usually go to is near the Takashimaya department store. With Kinokunya bookstore offering a weath of literature, Takashimaya purveying a plethora of fine, high-class products, and Tokyu Hands supplying every imaginable product from playing cards to popcorn machines, this entire area attracts a flock of shoppers every weekend like the falcon hearing the call of the falconer.

Come December, it gets really busy.

Despite only 1% of Japanese identifying themselves as Christians, the Christmas spirit is every bit as alive here as in any country. Both the ground-level sidewalk and the third-floor walkway are adorned with a dazzling display of Christmas lights. People shopping for fashionable Christmas goods as well as more traditional New Year's supplies love to marvel at the display that stretches like a luminescent tunnel of white, blue, red and green.

After picking up my reading material for the plane, I got hungry so I decided to head around to the west side of Shinjuku Station for some sushi. My favourite sushi place in all of Tokyo is here. This particular shop is unique in that it has no seats. Customers crowd around the counter, clamoring for that little taste of heaven. They watch and marvel as the sushi craftsmen pepare their delightful morsels with the casual ease of someone who clearly both loves their work and has been doing it for longer than they can remember.

The sushi is ftastic. The scallops are satin smooth and bursting with flavour. The silky bintoro tuna almost melts in your mouth. Even something as pedestrian as the sushi-style omelette is cooked perfeclty al-dente, with just enough sweetnes. What's more, it's cheap. Most of the sushi on the menu are only 75 yen apiece, with the finer ones rarely exceeding 200 yen apiece. In a city where such quality ordinarily goes for double the price, and can even exceed ten times that much, this place is an island of affordable delicacies in an ocean of overpriced ostentaciousness.


At 1:21 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blain, Good stuff. I know that Okonomiyaki shop..You introduced it to Tracy and I. That is a unique place. Good pics, keep up the good work!!! keep posting other interesting stuff from Japan

At 11:17 p.m., Anonymous Strip Poker said...

It still that?


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