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Japan Diary, 1 May 1983 - 15 May 1983

Anohito

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Again, no markings over long vowels and some names have been changed. The numbered comments and comments in brackets are my contemporary comments.

1 May 1983 (Sun): I didn’t make hot coffee this morning because I didn’t think I had time to do so. That was quite correct, as it turned out. Having showered and dressed (in slacks, sport shirt, & tie so I can have supper at Lohmeyers) and only taken a couple of minutes for canned coffee, I headed for the station. I got a kaiso tokkyu, but didn’t get a seat until Kamiooka. I had had the foresight to take my book from my briefcase at the station, so I had something to read while I was standing. I arrived at the Kabukiza with about 15 minutes before the doors open. I wouldn’t have had that time if I had made hot coffee. I went across Harumi-Dori to the restaurant I saw yesterday, Hinode, and discovered that they have a wide selection of sushi bento (I hadn’t noticed this yesterday). All the benches outside the Kabukiza were full, so I went into Bunmeido for a cup of coffee. Once in the Kabukiza, I ate part of my bento before the program started and the rest at the meal break. It was quite a good bento. The performance didn’t quite run on schedule. There were at least two delays. Still, it was another excellent show. I finally got to see the villainous Nikki Danjo on stage after having seen pictures of the play in which he appears(1). I also got to see a "ghost" play. Because of the delays in the performance, it isn’t quite as long until supper time, but I still stopped at Toa for a cup of Kilimanjaro and a chance to make notes. I still intend to eat at Lohmeyers, unless I think of something fascinating. After the coffee, there was still some time until 1730, so I took a look in Nishi-Ginza San-Ai. It doesn’t have much for me in the way of shopping, but it has a couple of restaurants, particularly a tenpura-ya that appears to be worth trying. By the time I investigated Nishi-Ginza San-ai, it was past 1730, so I went to Lohmeyer. I was tempted by the Wiener schnitzel, but I decided to see what they did with the slightly cheaper sausage specialties before trying a standard entree. All of the sausage specialties include sauerkraut, but it turned out to be mild and not the strong type for which I have to be in the mood. The entree I ordered was the jagdwurst, which strikes me as a more finely ground, mild Polish sausage. I saw pea soup on the menu and had to have some. The bread was expensive, but includes good pumpernickel and rye. All in all, it was an excellent meal and Iツ’ll definitely return some time when I’m willing to pay a bit more for a meal. I didn’t see any desserts on the menu, nor did I see a dessert cart, so I went to Cafe Latin for a blueberry crepe. Since I needed to do laundry back at the barracks, I they returned directly to the barracks. I managed to get the correct ticket on the first try.

(1) Part(s) of Meiboku Sendai Hagi by Nagawa Kamesuke and others

2 May 1983 (Mon): I wasn’t adventurous today. At least not at lunch. That was at the tried & true Genroku Sushi. I wanted a quick lunch because I wanted to go to Seiyu afterward (it took me a couple of minutes to recall why I wanted a quick lunch). I went to Seiyu for kocha. I was a bit adventurous in that I bought Assam tea. The first time I tried Assam, I didn’t like it, but I’m reasonably certain that was Twinings. The Nittoh Darjeeling was excellent, so I thought Iツ’d try their Assam. After work, to Yokohama. I thought there was a tonkatsu-ya in Porta and there is one. It was practically the last restaurant in the corridor, so I was wondering if my memory was inaccurate by the time I reached it. I had a jumbo fillet katsu dinner. It was good, but should have been better. The katsu was lean and of good quality, but something was interfering with/hiding the taste. Itツ’s possible that the breading had some sort of flavoring or sauce and that the addition of sauce over it was too much. Iツ’ll try the place once again and first try the katsu with no sauce. Perhaps the katsu is best without sauce. I still had a few minutes after supper, so I went back and bought a tsubu orange for "dessert". Then, by bus to the meeting. After returning to Yokosuka, I found a place to get ice cream after meetings. My former favorite coffee shop, Amigo(1), seems to be open until at least 2200 and has some desserts on the menu. I had a chocolate parfait. And so, back to the barracks.

(1) Amigo, in Wakamatsucho 3-Chome across the street from Chuo Station, was where I learned what good coffee could taste like and got started drinking coffee, in 1976.

3 May 1983 (Tue): I was hungry for Chinese soup noodles today. Since Chuka Hanten(1) had cleaned and painted their front, I decided to try their soup noodles. I had the ten shin men, which was quite good. Iツ’ll use it [Chuka Hanten] for further lunches. Then, grocery shopping at Seiyu for tonightツ’s duty day supper. I saw something interesting in the prepared vegetables section and bought it. My experiment (actually, Iツ’ve had it or something like it before), a tako & wakame (?) "salad" was quite good.

(1) In Odakicho 1-Chome on one of the two streets parallel with the western end of Dobuita-Dori, almost to Chuo-Dori or on the corner

4 May 1983 (Wed): Lunch was a semi-experiment and dessert was an experiment. I went back to Hippo and had spaghetti with Italian sauce & meatballs. It was excellent, so Iツ’ll be returning to Hippo sometime. One of the reasons I haven’t tried Mr. Donut yet is that it had only occurred to me in the evening when their stock would be depleted. Today I thought of trying their donuts (it wasn’t so much that I recalled their existence as that I walked right past the place) after lunch. They had a couple of my favorite kinds–French crullers and chocolate [cake]. They were very good, so when I’m in the mood for donuts, thatツ’s where Iツ’ll go. Iツ’ll also try the muffins/tarts. After work, I came to Kinugasa despite wondering if everything would be open during Golden Week(1). It is. Kinugasa is basically another bedroom community such as Kurihama a bit down the pike. There is more shopping here. Not many new buildings. This is the slightly older Japan, as is Asakusa. Individual shops (some) are "modernized," but the basic look of the place is Japan of the 1960s or 1950s. As in Zushi, only after exploring a bit did I find an interesting restaurant. I wonder if this is the tenpura-ya about which Sakamoto-san told me? I have a box of matches from the restaurant, so I can ask her tomorrow. I had an excellent tenpura teishoku. I may well return. Afterward, I came into a coffee shop I hadn’t noticed earlier (how did I miss the Key Coffee sign?). They don’t have straight coffee, so I had/am having Wiener coffee. Itツ’s quite a pleasant place and the coffee is fine. Oh yes, the name is Green House. After coffee, I went to Monteyamazaki(2) in the arcade and bought some goodies. Then I went to the station and back to Yokosuka. The machine where I previously bought the Sangaria cream soda was out of it, but I found another machine down the street that has some. So that I wouldn’t have to go out of my way, I bought milk at the little store in the Honcho. Next time, Iツ’ll go out of my way. That store charges 250 Yen for a liter of milk. It only costs 200 Yen from the machine. And so, back to the barracks.

(1) A series of Japanese National Holidays that occur within a relatively short space. It is a popular period for taking vacation.

(2) A fairly common chain, at least in the Tokyo area. I found the general quality level to be higher than most chains. One of my favorite items was their "bar-none" cake, a rich dense cake (rectangular loaf).

5 May 1983 (Thu): Something of a dry spell at Genroku Sushi! They didn’t have any saba, kohada, anago, or hamachi. Still, I had a decent lunch. The reason I had lunch at there was to make sure I would have time for shopping (I was more in the mood for Chinese food). First, I went up to 4F in Seiyu to buy another diary notebook. Then, down to the B for coffee sugar. I also bought some almond Pocky. I don’t recall haveing tried it before. Itツ’s pleasant tasting, but I prefer the strawberry Pocky. I had also intended to buy another expenses notebook, but the shop where I buy them was clsoed, as was kangaroo. It must be because of Golden Week. In addition, today is childrenツ’s Day. I was slightly late leaving the base, but that was because I left work early to run errands at the Laundry & NEX. Supper was at Pinocchio. The salami pizza and crab salad are still delicious. After supper, I decided to take a walk down National Highway 16. So far along the way, Iツ’ve seen a promising French restaurant, La Pomme de Terre, and a coffee shop, Takahashi. That turned out to be a serious shop. I hadn’t intended to stop this soon, but I thought I should have one now, before it became a bit too late for coffee. Also, it might fortify me for a long walk, if I decide to make it a long walk. The coffee wasn’t bad, but Iツ’ve had better . I only walked as far as Yasuura Eki. Most stores and shops were closed, so I thought there wasn’t much sense in walking any long distance. Once back in Yokosuka proper, I stopped at Fujiya for some juice and sodas and then headed back to the barracks.

6 May 1983 (Fri): No experiments at lunch today. I had the hon jitsu no osusume hin at Kujakuen [most likely the arcade branch]. I just made it to Chuo Station in time for the 1657 kaiso tokkyu. I had in mind the restaurant where I wanted supper, and so after a stop at a kiosk for a newspaper, I headed for the restaurant, which is named Italian Quarter [Yokohama Station area]. The dish that had caught my eye in the display case turned out to be for two people. That undoubtedly means that the layer of rice is thicker that it appears to be in the sample., so I didn’t order it. After perusing the menu, I decided on the canelloni, a kani/wakame salad, and corn soup(1). Everything was very good, but the portion of canelloni was a trifle small. I may go back, but I think Fujimori is more promising for Spatalian food. I still haven’t seen a place in Yokohama where I can get nasu gratin. After supper, I went to Art Coffee for dessert. The cake was a trifle ordinary, but not bad. I put a trifle too much sugar in the coffee, but I could tell that it was very good coffee, so Iツ’ll probably go back. When I do, unless I have only coffee, Iツ’ll try one of the ice cream or purin desserts. After that, since I still had a corner or two not completely full in my stomach, I decided to try an ice cream cone from the nearby ice cream stand. The apple sherbet is very good. I wondered what I could take home in the way of goodies and thought of Hirota. I couldn’t remember for sure, but it seemed to me that there was a Hirota counter in CIAL. There is. I didn’t see what I wanted for a minute or two (they were around a corner). Anyway, I bought a box of Napoleon crepes. By that time, I thought it was time for me to return to Yokosuka, so I did. Even though I had taken a taxi to Chuo Station, because itツ’s Friday night, I decided to be a big spender and take a taxi from the main gate (it has been raining since lunch time).
(1) The use of seaweed in the salad & the corn soup are, of course, very Japanese and are not Italian.
7 May 1983 (Sat): I’m glad I remembered the dim sum at Kujakuen [main]. They were out of the two items I ordered, but the items I ordered to replace them were excellent. I thought the item I ordered for dessert would be small coconut gin doi, as the item I ordered the last time turned out to be small gin doi. Well, the only coconut was on the outside, and I don’t know what the filling is, but they were marvelous! Absolutely scrumptious(1). From there, I went to A-33. They were out of the stereo I wanted. I found another one I liked, but it was no longer on sale, and the regular price was more than I wanted to pay. There was another stereo at a good price, but it has poor bass response. Iツ’ll wait until later, when they might have the other one I liked on sale. When I had gone into A-33, it appeared that it might rain soon, but when I left, the sky had cleared. I went to Yanase for supper. The coating is a trifle thicker than other restaurants, but the pork is of excellent quality (fillet katsu). The sashimi was excellent. I could tell from looking at the Japanese menu, that it has very few more items than the English menu. The next time I go there, Iツ’ll try the tenpura. Nearby there is a restaurant upstairs that seems to be worth a try. Now I’m in New St. Louis for a chocolate waffle and Wiener coffee. (End of entry for the day)

(1) Gin doi, a term used in Hawaiツ’i and possibly not used in Japan, are deep-fried balls of pounded glutinous rice ("mochi" rice in Japan), usually with a filling, such as sweet bean paste, shredded coconut, or egg. I don’t remember what the filling of these were, but it must have been something other than the three I just mentioned, because I must have encountered all three in Hawaiツ’i.

8 May 1983 (Sun): Before I left the barracks, I called Hardy Barracks to see if they had/have a vacancy for tonight. They did/do, so I made a reservation. That will enable me to see the evening kabuki performance without the necessity of hurrying back to Yokosuka afterward. At Chuo Station, the kiosk had both the Daily Yomiuri and the Japan Times. I bought the Yomiuri, figuring I could get the Japan Times in Tokyo. I did, at the kiosk in Shinagawa Station. I arrived there about 1032. I looked around the restaurants on the JNR side to see if there was an interesting coffee shop. There wasn’t anything particularly fascinating, so I continued to Shibuya. By the time I arrived there, I knew that it would be past 1100 by the time I got to Seibu, so I didn’t stop for coffee. In Seibu, I chose Buitoni for lunch, although I seriously considered Edelweiss. I was in the mood for nasu gratin and Buitoni has one (called maranzana). I also had the Milano salad (vegetables–served with French & Japanese dressings, not Italian, although the French was more like Italian than French), minestrone, frutta palla, and coffee. The dessert was good, but a shade overpriced. Well, perhaps not, considering the slices of fresh melon, grapefruit, & orange. It was an excellent meal. I was expecting a tax, but they didn’t charge one, even though the bill came to 2760 Yen. After lunch, I thought Iツ’d stop in stationery for red and green Hi-Tecpoint pens. When I got there, they were out of green and it occurred to me that I already have a red one. I considered buying some other pens, but decided that I didn’t need any. And so, to Hardy Barracks to check in. I also got the new Tour Companion. After a quick look at Tour Companion, I set out for Shinjuku. Rather than go to the exhibit at the Crafts Museum (it seems intriguing, but I probably don’t have time to do justice to it), I decided to shop for books at Kinokuniya. Before going there, however, Iツ’ve stopped at my usual serious coffee shop in the Subnade [Nire?] for a cup of Blue Mountain (todayツ’s Special). The money I saved by using the subway all the way to Shinjuku has been applied to the coffee. The restaurants in the Subnade are still crowded around 1400. Then to Kinokuniya. I found the sequel to Winds of War. I didn’t see Keeneツ’s book of plays. However, I did buy another Dazai novel and a restaurant guide that seems to include some out-of-the-way places that might not appear in Tour Companion. Then, to the Kabuki-za, where I bought a ticket. I bought a bento at Hinode across Harumi Dori (I had trouble deciding between fish and chicken). And now I’m in Bunmeido, having a cream soda and waiting for the doors to open. The play, or at least what is being presented of it, is somewhat episodic and seems an obvious abridgement of the novel if you have read Genji Monogatari, but it is nevertheless interesting and well done. Also, it affords a glimmple of the ancient ceremonial court dances. I’m glad I saw it. While there, I tried another of the goodies offered (sold) as snacks, some small cakes in the form of heads of Kabuki characters. The only one I recognized was Sukeroku. At first I tried them dunked in tea, but they are very tasty as they are. Afterward, To Roppongi. I wanted Indian food, but I decided this would be a good time to try one of the other (than Hosyo) Chinese restaurants. I saw the name of the one I tried (Hoh... something), but Iツ’ve forgotten it. I had the Peking style noodles, which turned out to be a variant of hayashi ramen. I was expecting something cooked. It isn’t really my type of dish, but it was tasty & filling. Iツ’d go back for a late-night snack since it appears to stay open relatively late. And so, back to Hardy Barracks, with a stop for coffee and orange 50 (good!) At the Suntory machine.

9 May 1983 (Mon): Before I checked out of Hardy Barracks, I called the office. They seem to think I’m on watch today. I didn’t disillusion them. I did learn that the uniform changes Wednesday rather than tomorrow and also that I have a post card. After I checked out of Hardy Barracks, I took the subway to Shibuya, using the Hanzomon line from Omote Sando so I could go to the coin lockers in Shubuya Hanzomon line station without a "detour" out of the Ginza line station. Then to Seibu for lunch at Edelweiss. It was alright, but I don’t think Iツ’ll be returning. The cream chicken with rice was tasty, but short on chicken. The Swiss-style soup was mediocre. I wanted dessert, but didn’t want it there. The snack shop on the mezzanine didn’t appeal to me (no display case!), so I went down to Green spot in B1. The strawberry tart was quite tasty and the coffee was good and strong. From there to Bldg. B, 8F for the Space Art exhibit, which was quite interesting. Not all of the items were in color in the catalog, but it was only 1500 Yen (and probably still is!). I thought K***** would enjoy one and I doubt that he can obtain anything like it in Little Rock. I also bought postcards. On the way out of Seibu, I stopped by the "bath shop" to look at towels. They have some attractive goods. Just before I actually left, it occurred to me that it wouldn’t hurt to try to buy Yen. In contrast to other stores, they weren’t the least bit confused by my lack of a passport. I was in the mood for another cup of coffee, so I made my way to Melitta (with an inadvertent detour caused by a wrong turn) for a cup of Mocha. On leaving the coffee shop, it occurred to me that I might as well look at Tokyu across the street. While looking around, I checked stationery, but they didn’t have any Hi-Tecpoint pens (I even asked). This store (the main store) seems to be devoted mainly to imported items. The Edelweiss here has more interesting items in its display case, but I probably wouldn’t go to this store just to eat. I can get white grape juice here if I can’t get it anywhere else. On my way out, it finally struck me that the posters I had been seeing were advertising an art exhibit. By checking the posters and Tour Companion, I determined that it was indeed an exhibit by an artist named Okuda. I had time, so I went back up to see it. I’m glad I did–itツ’s an excellent exhibit. The catalog is color all the way through. After that, it was indeed time to head for Yokohama, so I reclaimed my bag and caught a Toyoko line kyuko to Yokohama. Once I get there, Iツ’ll check the time to see if I have time to continue on to Sakuragicho and Kannai for supper at one of the restaurants in my new guidebook (I know that Scandia, at least, still exists–I saw it on my trip to the Silk Museum). If I don’t have time to continue from Yokohama, Iツ’ll have supper around Yokohama Station. Goodness knows there are plenty of good restaurants from which to choose. I stopped at Yokohama more because I didn’t want to carry my suitcases around. It took me several minutes to find some coin lockers, but I found some in the subway sation. Then, I began investigating restaurants. I wanted to try a Japanese restaurant and eventually settled on Hageten (I took a bit more time choosing a restaurant than I had intended). It had a substantial course featuring tenpura and sashimi. It was quite a good meal. Perhaps I should have chosen one of the restaurants serving meals featuring exotic tidbits, but the meal at Hageten did give me an opportunity to try a new type of sashimi, which I enjoyed very much. I still had room for dessert, but not a lot of time, so I bought an ice cream cone at Alte Liebe. They were surprised that I wanted two scoops. I don’t know why. The ice cream wasn’t hard frozen, but I was able to eat it fast enough to keep it from running. The service at Hageten was quick, though, so time wasn’t a problem. Once I had finished my cone I reclaimed my bag and set out for the bus terminal. In actuality, I was ahead of schedule and arived before the 1735 bus. There was a long line, so I dallied at the vending machines. I saw something new, a "rosella drink," so I tried it. Tasty. After the meeting, I got a ride back to base. I remembered to stop at the office for my mail. And so, back to the barracks.

10 May 1983 (Tue): I didn’t want to take the time to go off base for lunch, so I ate in the barracks. I didn’t have much to eat and now I’m hungry! The first period of "guard duty"(1) didn’t go badly, but Iツ’ll probably be good and tired by the time 0600 rolls around. At 1800, I went directly off-base. I’m never keen on wearing blues, but I didn’t want to lose the time it would take to go to the barracks and change clothes. Since I expect to eat Wednesdayツ’s lunch off-base, I couldn’t think of any reason why I should to grocery shopping at Seiyu. Therefore, I didn’t. I was very hungry, so I went to Ryu-En, where I knew I could get a substantial, delicious meal. I ordered the pork w/ peanuts. They gave me pork w/ cashews. It looked so good (and it was!) That I didn’t complain. They only charged me for pork w/ peanuts, so I felt even less like complaining. I went to Fujiya for dessert–a chocolate parfait. Since my daily expenses were turning out to be unexpectedly small, I used daily money for a package of plum candy for Mother. I also bought her a can of the muscat/peach nectar from the Daido machine, and a can of Guarana soda for myself. Then back to the barracks where I mostly wrote postcards while waiting to go back to the hospital.

(1) This involved an American service-member who had been convicted of a drug offense in a Japanese court and was serving his sentence in a Japanese prison. He required medical attention for something (I was never quite sure what that was all about), and went to a Japanese hospital. Since he was still technically a member of the US armed forces, there was a requirement, probably in one of the US-Japan treaties, that at least one of his guards in the hospital be a member of the US armed forces. Somehow, I got assigned as one of the guards. My "post" was outside his room, in the hallway, and I didn’t even have to stand up while on duty. It turned out to be a very easy assignment. If whoever made that assignment had known how easy it would be, somebodyツ’s "favorite" would probably have gotten the guard duty.

11 May 1983 (Wed): I made it through the night easily. In fact, I was tempted to wait until 0700, get my uniforms from the laundry, and head for Tokyo. However, after a few moments reflection, I was sure that the lack of sleep would eventually affect me. I didn’t stay in bed very long, only until 1000. I made coffee, dressed, got my uniforms from the laundry, and headed out. For lunch I decided to try Gurabatei [near Seiyu, perhaps on Chuo Dori], the place where Sakamoto-san got the curry (w/ grades of spiciness from A-F) she had mentioned some days ago. I had the chicken curry with B "Indian" sauce. The curry is more expensive than Bengalツ’s, but better. For one thing, it had chunks of actual chicken. The restaurant has a variety of other items on the menu, and lunch specials as well. It will be another good place to have lunch. There is a promising restaurant next door that may be useful for supper as well as lunch (the restaurant where I ate today will be primarily a lunch restaurant). From there to Chuo Station. Once in the station, I realized, too late, that today would have been a good day to go to Aburatsubo and Jogashima. But, that was no longer feasible (I didn’t have my bus guide with me), so I went to Yokohama. I didn’t actually have any clear plans for the day, and once in Yokohama, briefly considered continuing on to Tokyo. However, I resisted that idea and headed for Motomachi. The Yokohama branch of Tower Records is across the street from the south entrance of/to Motomachi. It is a scaled-down version of the Honolulu operation, or rather of the non-classical part of the Honolulu store. Nothing of interest to me. In Motomachi, I saw a Caravan Coffee Shop. I can’t see a name, even on the bill, but "Caravan Coffee" is all over the place. I’m having a German Roast (of course I stopped for a cup of coffee). Well, I’m glad I went to Motomachi. Not far down the street from the coffee shop, I found a book/stationery store where I bought some pens (green and purple Hi-Tecpoints–I bought a red one yesterday, not having previously bought one after all–and a blue Pigma). Next to the Motomachi Plaza there is Patisserie Boul’mich, where I had a delicious blueberry/fresh cream (whipped) crepe. After a quick look through Motomachi Plaza, I set out to the Foreignersツ’ Cemetery only to learn that it is not open to the public. I don’t know if that is a permanent state of affairs, or only on certain days(1). Anyway, I came on over to the Harbor Overlooking Park [this sounds like a literal translation from the Japanese] to look over the harbor, read, and make notes. I also checked the location of some of the restaurants in my new guidebook with my map of Yokohama. Sparta and El Matador aren’t really within walking distance of here. Also, I have quite a lot of time to kill before it will be time to eat supper (at least two hours). Well, what I did was go to Yamashita Park and sit by the bay and read. I considered going up in Marine Tower but knew that I would probably be paying a fair amount for supper (no 750 Yen specials), and didn’t want to spend any more money before supper. I did look through a small shopping/restaurant plaza next to the tower. After reading for a while, I headed for Scandia, where I had an excellent meal. It took me a few minutes to learn whether or not the asparagus in the asparagus salad was fresh, but it was and I loved it. The Danish open-face sandwiches were also first-class. The cheesecake wasn’t New York-style, but had muscat raisins in it and was quite good. Rather than return to Yokosuka via Yokohama Station, I took the subway from Kannai to Kamiooka and the Keihin Kyuko from there. Once back in yokosuka I wanted to buy a bento for lunch Thursday, but no place was open. Then I realized I could eat a late lunch and buy a bento for supper. And so, back to the barracks.

(1)The last time I had gone to see the Foreignersツ’ Cemetery, in 1976 or -77, I had been able to get in with no trouble.

12 May 1983 (Thu): For lunch I first went to a restaurant I had noticed previously. However, it was not open. I wasn’t in the mood for sushi (the sushi-ya part of it was open), so I went to Victoria instead for a "Mix Fry" set. Very tasty. I considered having dessert there, but decided to wait until after I had shopped for supper. I went to Seiyu, but the supermarket was closed. Iツ’ll try to remember to check next Thursday. So far I haven’t kept track of the closings well enough to determine a pattern. Iツ’ve been there at least a couple of times in the past when the supermarket was closed, but I don’t remember on what days. So, I went to Saikaya. It took me several minutes to find the counter that sells bento. While I was looking, I saw a tenpura counter that will be of use when I’m buying food for a weekend duty. After buying an Osaka style sushi bento and some inari (5 pieces, so I could share with the [Japanese] guards), I went to Mary Chocolate to buy some things for Mother. On the way, I passed the Ariake counter and decided on the spur of the moment that this would be as good a time as any to try their wares. At any rate, I bought some, although it may be a couple of days before I actually try them. From Saikaya, I went to Fujiya for dessert–an "old-fashion pancake set" with kocha. Then, back to the barracks. The sushi wasn’t bad, but I would prefer something from Seiyu or even an Edozushi bento. In return for the inari the japanese shared their senbei and individually wrapped slices of castella with me. I only ate one of the senbei. It isn’t my favorite snack.

13 May 1983 (Fri): The first thing I did today was stop by A-33 to check the sale. The items I wanted were on sale, but the line was so long I didn’t want to wait in it. I took the record and tape (for sound checks) back to the barracks and went out to lunch. I didn’t really know where I wanted to have lunch and in my wanderings went past the Chinese restaurant in the building with the "outdoor" elevator(1). I looked in the display case and there was a dish that seemed to contain walnuts. I thought it would be worth a try, so I went in. Well, I was disappointed. The walnuts tasted stale. After I picked out the walnuts, though, the dish was quite good. The menu didn’t seem too much different from Ryu-En or Kujakuen, so I doubt that Iツ’ll go back. After that I went to Seiyu to see if they had any stereos I might buy in case A-33 sold out quickly. Seiyu had a couple of possibilities. After that, I fiddled around outside the arcade trying to decide whether I should have dessert or head for Tokya. One of the places (the one with the kuzumochi) was closed, but I eventually went into the other and had a a delicious bavarois a la mode. I thought I might as well see what Midoriya has. They also have a couple of reasonable stereos. Oh yes, on the way I waw a couple of Japanese dessert shops I hadn’t noticed before. After looking in Midoriya, I had great difficulty deciding what to do. For some reason, I just didn’t feel like going to Tokyo. Finally, I decided to check A-33 again. I think the main problem was dissatisfaction that I hadn’t yet bought a stereo, when I had expected to do so this AM. Anyway, the line at A-33 was manageable. I was able to buy my first choice. It wasn’t too difficult to get back to the barracks and up to my room. After putting it in working order and playing Brucknerツ’s 7th Symphony from my new Asahina [conductor] album (a disappointment), I headed out again. I went to the bento section in B1 at Seiyu, but they were all marked down and didn’t look very fresh. I went in to the supermarket proper and bought some fresh asparagus and roast chicken. Then I went to supper at the restaurant where I had first tried to eat lunch yesterday (it opens at 17:30). I had the "bento" that had caught my eye and it was excellent! They have other interesting items. At last Iツ’ve found a restaurant in Yokosuka that serves first-rate food at reasonable prices. From there, I went to yajima Music, where I bought a few records. The shop with the kuzumochi was closed, so I just went on back to the barracks.

(1) On one of the streets running perpendicular to Chuo Dori and Sennichi Dori, probably across the street from Saikaya or Seiyu.

14 May 1983 (Sat): Right after my shift [BTW, cooking the asparagus for lunch before the shift was a complete success] I went out to do some shopping and have supper. Kangaroo was closed, so I couldn’t buy any air mail envelopes [since I bought air mail envelopes elsewhere the next day, perhaps I just didn’t feel like looking elsewhere]. I bought a few things at Seiyu, but they were out of the summer orange drink I wanted to send to Mother. Iツ’ll wait a few days to see if they get some more and send the package without it if they don’t. Supper was at Ryu-En. No experiments–do what I needed to do and then get back to the barracks and relax.

15 May 1983 (Sun): I felt distinctly unambitious today, so I decided to stay in my room and play with my new toy. I did go out for meals, of course. Lunch was dim sum at Ryu-en. Once again, they were out of the spiced squid, but what I had was delicious. After lunch, I went to Yajima to buy records. Four records and 9000 Yen later, I was on my way back to base on Chuo Dori by Genroku Sushi, when I remembered that I need air mail envelopes. Kangaroo is still closed and so is Shinagawa. The closest place was Saikaya. I found what I wanted and some letter paper as well. Because of my record purchases, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on supper. I Went to Gurabatei, where this time I tried the "mixed grill," which was very good. After I left there, I fleetingly considered buying something at Mr. Donut, but didn’t do so. All of the records I bought today are excellent to outstanding.
 
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