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Japan Diary, 16 March 1983 - 31 March 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.

16 March 1983 (Wed): Today I tried the special [soup] noodles I had seen advertised at Madoca the last time I was there. They contain pork, cabbage, and other good things. Delicious. I’ll eventually try the yakisoba. It may be the Chinese rather than the Japanese type, which I can get at Bon Chi. I suppose I’ll go to Madoca for lunch only when I want soup noodles (or perhaps fried noodles), and go to Ryu-En or perhaps Kujakuen for supper. Because I have/am the supernumerary(1) tonight, I didn’t think it was safe to go to Yokohama this evening. Therefore, I did some shopping on base after work instead of going off base. I couldn’t think of anything in particular I wanted at Seiyu, so I had supper as soon as I left the base. I had unagi at Bon Chi. It was very good, but one problem with eating in Yokosuka is that I know I can get better examples of most Japanese foods in Tokyo or Yokohama. Dessert was at Fujiya–a delicious chocolate ice cream pancake. I bought some cakes to bring back to the barracks. On the way back I bought some milk to have w/ the cakes. And so, back to the barracks. Oh yes–I could have shopped for stationery at Seiyu (and/or other places), but didn’t want to spend the money.

(1) A supernumerary is the official back-up for the actual watchstander. It would have been inadvisable to go to Yokohama, because then I wouldn’t have been available if they wanted me.

17 March 1983 (Thu): Having learned how to pronounce all of the characters designating “today’s recommended course,” I went to Kujakuen for another worthwhile lunch. No dessert or goodies afterward. Although the weather cleared by the time I left work, I was wondering if I should have supper in Yokosuka rather than go to Yokohama. I had a couple of chess cards to answer, among other things. To temporize, I looked in the audio section of Midoriya to see what they had in the way of small radio/cassette players. Now I’m certain that I won’t find a stereo model worth buying that costs less than 20,000 Yen. While in Midoriya, I decided that I should do something different as long as I had the opportunity to do so and took the train to Yokohama. Rogosky had a dinner what would allow me to stay within my daily budget, so in spite of being tempted by Alte Liebe (I can try that on another time), I had supper at Rogosky. I was nervous about the soup, but if I had looked carefully at the sign w/ the sample, I would have seen that the soup w/ that service course was not borscht. It was a worthwhile meal, even if the lamb chop was a bit fatty(1) and the mini pot pie had a pronounced odor of frozen peas when opened (the odor dissipated by the time I finished). I was looking for something new and scintillating for dessert. It was a strategic error to leave Rogosky–I hadn’t actually checked the prices on the menu to see if the desserts were expensive. Well, actually, I suppose the raspberry beverage counted as dessert. Anyway, I settled for a pancake variation (fruit/yogurt) at Parlor Yokohama. Very tasty. That left me a little more than train fare back to Yokosuka, so I didn’t dawdle. And so, back to the barracks.

(1) It’s a very rare lamb chop that isn’t a bit fatty!

18 March 1983 (Fri):I wanted an inexpensive, filling lunch, so I went to Bengal for curry. I had the egg/chicken curry. The “egg” is a fried egg rather than pieces of hard-boiled egg. Anyway, it was very good. I decided that a kobanyaki for dessert wouldn’t be an unreasonable expenditure, so I had one. As soon as I left work, I got a train for Tokyo. The only decision was should I have supper in Ginza or Roppongi, and I chose Ginza. After some cogitation, I decided that it wasn’t necessary to eat a particularly cheap supper, so I went to Horikawa(1) for a “culinary experience you should not miss” (Tour Companion). It was outstanding tempura, made from very fresh, first-rate ingredients. One tidbit baffled me. It looked like the heads of some exotic type of shrimp. I examined it quickly, determined that I didn’t know what to do with it, and then ignored it(2). After supper, I had a feeling that I should call Hardy Barracks to see if they actually did have any vacancies. They didn’t, so I guess they don’t always have no-shows. I didn’t have the number for the Sanno, so I called the Kayabacho Pearl Hotel, where I was able to get a room. Finding the place wasn’t so easy without my Tokyo maps (I forget them). After some back-tracking and redirection, however, I did find it. The rooms are clean and comfortable. The beds are even big enough! After checking in, I went out for a snack. I saw a likely place nearby. I couldn’t read the name. It’s a bright, cheerful place, and I had a very tasty coffee and hotcake set. Then, back to the hotel to read the paper.

(1) In B2 of the Toshiba Building, Ginza 5-2 at this time. It seems to have moved to the Hotel New Otani near Akasaka-Mitsuke Station.

(2) In retrospect, it was obviously something to be eaten.

19 March 1983 (Sat): I was surprised to learn that check out time is 1000(1). I was only about 15 minutes late. At Kayabacho Station, I called H.B. and learned that I could have had a room if I had told the clerk that my name was on the waiting list. I had been assigned a room. Oh, well. I went to Ginza next. I nearly put my bag in a coin locker, but waited in case I wanted to go right to HB. After coffee and lunch. Coffee was a Toraja at Mitsukoshi. Lunch [again, in Mitsukoshi] was at Si Belle, the western half of the restaurant that also contains the basement Chinese restaurant. The “A Lunch” was excellent. However, I had the misfortune to spill coffee on my pants. That decided the matter of whether or not I should check in after lunch. I did stop on B2 long enough to buy a half pineapple. I wonder how many times they have had pineapple down there. I’ve always looked in the fruit section on B1. I checked into HB (after taking the subway to Roppongi, of course), and ate the pineapple (Yum!). It appears that the coffee won’t leave a noticeable stain. In the restaurant I had scrubbed at it to a fare-thee-well with my oshibori. The restaurant may not approve of the coffee on the oshibori, but tough rocks. Now to plan my afternoon. After checking in at HB, I went out again, stopping at Coffee Club Roppongi for a cup of on the way to the subway station(2). By subway to Maruzen (Nihonbashi), only to find that they only had one chess book. The foreign books floor didn’t even have any in English. So, back to Ginza for the Japan/Brazil art exhibit at Tokyo Central Art Museum(3). It was the usual highly mixed bag of paintings that occurs when many artists participate in an exhibit–some paintings not worth even a first glance, some (fewer, to be sure) outstanding. The catalog was only 1000 Yen, so I bought one, even though it doesn’t have (at least I can’t find it) one of my favorites, and the other is in B&W. From there to Matsuya to look at the offerings in their galleries–nothing fantastic, but it was free. I cut short my visit to Matsuya to make the 1700 showing of The Dark Crystal. I had been considering seeing it today since r4eading the review in the Japan Times. It occurred to me that I probably wouldn’t be able to constructively fill the time until the 1900 showing, so I went to the 1700 showing. The Dark Crystal was excellent. As has been noted, the plot is a bit thin, but this is one of those instances where form triumphs over content. The detail (amount thereof) is awesome (I’m not using the word lightly in its modern slang misapplication). After the movie I did my frequently seen act, “Where Shall I Have Supper.” I located Lohmeyer, but decided to save it for a later day. The sushi-ya(4) next to Horikawa wasn’t full, so I had supper there. The sushi is as good as Tour Companion said it is. After supper, I tried to make up my mind about dessert–should I have dessert “out” or buy it at Don Q (Roppongi) and take it back to Hardy Barracks. I eventually chose the latter course. And so, to Roppongi, Don Q, and back to HB.

(1) In fact, this check out time is pretty much standard for Japanese business hotels.

(2) Although in theory I could have used this route to go to the NE end of Nogizaka Station (Chiyoda Line), in practice, I always went to Roppongi Station when taking this route. I occasionally went to the SW end of Nogizaka Station directly from HB.

(3) On Chuo Dori (Matsuya side) in Ginza 2-Chome. My current Tokyo City Atlas doesn’t show it.

(4) The name of the restaurant is Fukusuke. “ The Ginza branch of Fukusuke is located on the B2 level of the Sukiyabashi outlet of the Hankyu Department Store. The address is Ginza Parumi B2, Toshiba Building, 5-2-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo.”

20 March 1983 (Sun) After checking out at HB, I went directly to Shibuya. I had to look a few minutes for an empty coin locker but did find one in the Hanzomon Line part of the station. Then to Bolst’s & Arora’s for lunch. I didn’t find it immediately, partly because Tour Companion’s diagram didn’t take into account one of the side streets in the area and partly because I had the directions askew. When I finally found it, I had the Keema course, which was quite tasty. I decided to have dessert elsewhere. I had Ginza Cozy Corner’s dark cherry crepe in mind, even though I knew they might be crowded since it was after 1200 by then. I looked in the Snack Center (B2) of the Tokyu Plaza Building and saw an interesting curry restaurant but no desserts that made my heart go pitty-pat. I was able (just) to find a seat in GCC, so I did have a dark cherry crepe (delicious, of course) after all. The coffee was mediocre, however. The next time I go, I’ll settle for dessert alone or have kocha(1) instead of coffee. From there to the Tobacco & Salt Museum for an interesting exhibit featuring games and amusements. I saw an example of a style or woodblock print (from the Meiji era) that I don’t recall ever seeing before. Now, I’d like to find Tower Records (I know there’s one in Shibuya because I’ve seen a sack), but I hardly know where to start. Shibuya isn’t as extensive as Shinjuku, but there are a lot of little side streets and buildings with shops(2). I looked through a few of the major streets and made a serendipitous discovery. Near the other Shibuya Tokyu there is a Melitta coffee shop that serves great coffee. I was rested enough that I walked to the Ota Memorial Museum for their exhibition and well worth while it was. The catalog they were selling (finally! They had a catalog!) Was 2700 Yen, which put it well outside what I wanted to spend on such things, but it is so substantial, being concerned with Hiroshige in general and not just the items on display (it also contains some rare items), that I definitely wanted it. I eventually bought it because I was worried that it might not be available later if I waited. While walking back to Shibuya, I saw a flowering tree that appeared to be a plum tree(3), but it’s too late for plum trees. There was a sign saying (in hiragana) “hana momo” on it. I don’t recall seeing a peach tree in bloom before. I had intended to take the train to Yokohama for supper, but the station was so crowded I decided to have supper in Shibuya. I recalled that I had been favorably impressed by the restaurants in Seibu, although Ten Ichi was the only specific restaurant I remembered. I headed toward Seibu. Even though it wasn’t quite 1600, the restaurants were crowded. I was in the mood for Chinese food, so I ate at Aster, where I had an outstanding meal of pork sauteed with hot peppers. After supper, I decided that I should get back to Yokosuka. And so, back to the barracks.

(1) Literally “red tea,” the Japanese term for Western style teas and tea blends (including so-called “Ceylon” teas, actually).

(2) I never did locate Tower Records in Shibuya. Only well after leaving Japan in 1985 did I learn where it is. Ironically, if I had been looking in the right direction while walking to the Ota Memorial Museum I might have seen it, since Tower is in a building along the Yamanote Line tracks across from where I was walking.

(3) In retrospect, even to my unpracticed eye, it should have been apparent that the blossoms on this tree were too thick, and the color was too vivid. Later I learned that this vivid color (lack of subtlety) is one of the reasons that flowering peach trees are not as highly regarded as plum or cherry trees.

21 March 1983 (Mon): Lunch was at the arcade “A” restaurant–jo tendon. Not bad, but I can probably find better. Since I have duty today (yuck), I bought groceries for supper at Seiyu. I bought a slightly more expensive type of sashimi. Very delicate flavor.

22 March 1983 (Tue): Today, I decided to try one of Victoria’s lunch specials. I had the chicken saute. Pretty good, although the service was rather slow. A Japanese at the table with me undertook a conversation. His accent was about as thick as a slab of ika. After lunch I bought a couple of note books. This time, I bought the correct size for the “diary.” I had supper at Golden Tiger. It wasn’t crowded when I went past, so I popped in. The ginisang was very tasty. The broth of the sinigang was very tasty, but they used inferior frozen fish for the lapu lapu(1). I thought I’d buy some goodies in the food section under Chuo Station, but they were closing as I arrived. I would have bought a radio in Midoriya, but I had forgotten to bring the tapes [to check how the radios sounded] with me. Next, I considered exploring the area below the base along the bay (Mikasa side)(2). However, I decided that I didn’t have the energy for that, having slept so little last night and such a hard day at work. I turned back and bought a couple of goodies at Fujiya. And so, back to the barracks (w/ a stop at the milk vending machine along the way).

(1) Both ginisang (a noodle dish) and sinigang (a soup with a tart broth) are Philippine dishes, despite the name of the restaurant. Lapu lapu is milkfish.

(2) The area north of Nat’l. Highway 16 between the bay and the base. The area closest to the highway is part of Ogawacho, and the rest is Inaokacho.

23 March 1983 (Wed): No lunch today because I had to get a haircut for inspection. I can’t depend on getting away from work in time to do it after work. I had tapes today, but Midoriya is closed, of course, this being Wednesday. I looked in Seiyu however, and saw a promising cassette/radio for 19,8000 Yen. If the sound isn’t very good, I’ll check Midoriya again, for radios this time. Seiyu has a decent solo radio, but I’ll see what Midoriya has if the cassette/radio isn’t satisfactory. The two choices for supper were Ryu-En and Pinocchio. In concluded that I was more hungry for pizza than Chinese, so I went to Pinocchio and had a delicious “seachicken” (tuna) pizza and combination salad. Pinocchio only has yogurt drinks for dessert and I wasn’t in the mood for one of those. I went downstairs to Yashima (not a notable dessert place, but close and it’s raining), but it’s been so long since I’ve been here that I’m having coffee (Costa Rica) instead of dessert. While in Yashima, I noticed a small patisserie across from the street [Sennichidori] diagonally. I had seen it before, but had forgotten about it. I decided to try some of their goodies. Their prices are medium-high, but I bought three appetizing items nonetheless (they’re delicious). I didn’t feel like walking all the way to the barracks, so I took a cab from the main gate. And so, back to the barracks.

24 March 1983 (Thu): Nothing new for lunch–sushi at Genroku Sushi. After lunch, however (during “lunch,” but after I ate), I bought the cassette/radio at Seiyu that had caught my eye. On leaving the base, I stopped in Saikaya for a goodie. I wanted something chocolate and in Mary Chocolate I found a “pain de cake” (chocolate) that fit the bill. It’s not the sort of thing you can store once opened, so you must be willing to eat the whole thing once you open it. Anyway, it was quite tasty when I had it later. For supper, I went to Ryu-En. As I had tentatively planned to do the next time I ate there, I had the cold chicken appetizer and the sparerib soup noodles. Delicious. Once back on base, I had some difficulty obtaining access to C-2 [base admin building], but I did so and got my things. And so, back to the barracks.

25 March 1983 (Fri): We got most of the day off! In actuality, it was the least they could do after making us stand out in the cold for so long (at inspection). I was somewhat at a loss as to what I should do today and for the rest of the weekend. I’m still on the waiting list at Hardy Barracks for tonight. I finally decided to put minimum clothes change and toilet articles in my briefcase and check again with HB tonight. If they don’t have a room for me, I’ll only have my briefcase to take back to Yokosuka. There are promising concerts tonight and tomorrow night at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan. However, before I go to Ueno to buy tickets, I’ll get a Tour Companion at the Tourist Information Center and have coffee and dessert in Ginza. I had originally intended to have the “today’s recommended course” at Kujakuen, but one of the items seemed heavy on the onions. I then thought of Elbe, the “resutoran”(1) at Chuo Station. I went there and had an inexpensive and very tasty “C” lunch. After taking the train to Higashi Ginza, I was on my way to the TIC when I thought I’d see if there was room in Cafe Latin first. I did, there was, and I had a banana crepe. Yum. Then to the TIC, where I got a TC and another type of Tokyo map. Then to Tokyo Bunka Kaikan to buy concert tickets. I was able to get tickets for both of the concerts I wanted to attend. Then, to one of the coffee shops around Keisei department store. I tried Compass. It’s a Toa coffee shop and the coffee is excellent. I had a Guatemala and read for a while. ON leaving Compass, I made a short trip through Keisei, but couldn’t think of anything in particular to do there. Then I re4alized that I hadn’t explored Ueno Matsuzakaya yet. On the way, I examined that side of the street carefully and saw some restaurants with potential, a tenpura restaurant in particular. Ueno Matsuzakaya is a fine store (with a large food floor), but the restaurants aren’t particularly noteworthy. I did see an absolutely gorgeous rug costing 1,936,000 Yen. A mere bauble. By the time I was through in Matsuzakaya it was late enough to have supper, so I returned to the tenpura restaurant I had seen on the way to Matsuzakaya. However, there are two restaurants on the same floor, and I wound up in the other one. I knew something was amiss when the menu, unlike the one I had seen in the display case on the street, had no pictures. I hadn’t paid much attention to the signs in the display case upstairs and so ordered one of the few things I had noticed because it seemed to be something different, In actuality, I couldn’t find it in the menu and had to point to it in the case. Anyway, it was delicious. Yamazato(2). After supper it was time to head for the concert, a piano recital by Suh Hai-Kyung. I had thought that I had heard the “Apassionata” some time in the past, but I guess not, because it wasn’t familiar. How did I manage to get this far without hearing it? The Liszt I knew I had heard before. It’s an impressive work(3). The concert was excellent, and I’m glad I decided to come to Tokyo to hear it. After the concert I called HB and they have a place for me. Before I go there, I stopped in Arcadia for dessert and a chance to bring the diary up to date. And so, back to HB.

(1) A generalized restaurant featuring Western-style food adapted to Japanese tastes.

(2) Evidently the name of the restaurant rather than the name of the course.

(3) If I remember correctly, what I heard was the Sonata.

26 March 1983 (Sat): I began the day with a cup of at Coffee Club Roppongi. The mizutake restaurant wasn’t open yet (1120), so I bought a paper and wandered over to Rasa Singapura and Moti. Both places have lunch specials. It was that gray area close to 1130 when you aren’t sure exactly what will happen. Many times a restaurant that theoretically opens at 1130 isn’t actually ready to serve customers until several minutes later. But then I noticed a sign for Rasa Singapura saying they opened at 1100, so I forthwith went up for lunch. I had the B lunch, w/ crab/shrimp/chicken rolls, and it was quite tasty. I didn’t see any indication that dessert came with it (no sample in the display case and no katakana “dezato”) and so ordered a banana fry which turned out to be superfluous. I enjoyed it, though. Then to the Riccar Museum of Art for an outstanding woodblock print exhibition. No postcards or catalog of the exhibition–too bad–the later prints are gorgeous. I decided to wait until I got to Takashimaya to have a coffee float or cream soda(1). That was a tactical error. Takashimaya is crowded and warm. I took a seat on some convenient chairs on the men’s floor to rest and write in the diary. Now to see if there is room on B2. If I don’t have to walk a mile to do it, I’ll also ditch my coat in a coin locker. Well, I traversed the Ginza Line portion of the station without finding any coin lockers. However, I did find the entrance to Tokyu. I hadn’t been in the store in ages, so I figured why not pop in. I might find a place to get something (non-alcoholic) to drink. I did find a snack shop that wasn’t full. The coffee float is mediocre, but it’s cold and sweet and I also drank a glass of water (I may have needed water also). Surprise! The coffee float was rather tasty once I had dissolved the ice cream in it. Still, it wasn’t particularly large for the price. Before leaving, I checked their coffee selection–not nearly as large as Takashimaya’s–and I bought a packet of chocolate-covered prunes and another of chocolate-covered marrons at Mary Chocolate. Then, to the exhibit at Takashimaya. It was one of the most extensive exhibits I’ve seen. I had the distinct impression that he(2) spent most of his life outside of Japan. He may also have done more paintings of women that Cassat or Degas. There was a period in the 1950s and 1960s where his style becomes infelicitous and the paintings are mildly interesting at best, but the works before and after are far more interesting and enjoyable. This exhibition made a valuable addition to my knowledge of Japanese art. From there to Ueno Hirokoji(3). I thought, “Why go to Ueno Station, walk away from it, and then go back toward it?” I was in a mood for Chinese food, so I resolved to stop at the first likely-looking place I saw (I was on the other side of the street compared to yesterday evening). The first place I saw was a restaurant whose sign I had seen from the restaurant where I had supper yesterday. The prices are higher and the portions larger than at Ryu-En, but it was excellent food. High quality ingredients well prepared, like Aster. Aster is more of a bargain, but rather far from Ueno (and the concert). After supper, I went directly to Tokyo Bunka Kaikan for another excellent concert, this time by the Tokyo Vivaldi Ensemble. Most of the works were new to me. I went directly to Roppongi from the concert. Instead of having a snack out, I bought goodies at Don Q and took them back to HB.

(1) The Japanese “cream soda” is technically a float. It has a scoop if ice cream in a sweet green (but never mint-flavored) carbonated beverage. The flavor of the liquid is close enough to American cream soda that it can be called by the same name.

(2) It would have been helpful had I written down the name of the artist. Perhaps this is the Koiso exhibit mentioned on 27 March.

(3) Strictly speaking, there is no such area. I was referring to the area around Hirokoji Station, those portions of Ueno 2, 3, & 4 Chome along Chuo Dori.

27 March 1983 (Sun): Rain again. However, from Tour Companion and the Japan Times, I concluded that I could find enough to keep me occupied for a while in Shinjuku. I took the subway to Shinjuku Sanchome station and am doing something unusual–having lunch before coffee. I didn’t leave HB until somewhat late. There is a Renown Milano in the group of restaurants connected to Isetan’s basement, and it has a nasu [eggplant] gratin, so I ate there. In addition, I also had a capri salad. My morning coffee was a cup of espresso. It was all delicious. Since it was after 1200, I knew that it was highly unlikely that I would get a seat in any snack shop, so I had a melon yogurt ice cream cone for dessert. Quite tasty. Then, upstairs to the Mucha exhibit. This was another huge one. An outstanding exhibit. As with the Koiso exhibit, all the exhibit items were in color (speaking of the catalog–one of which I bought, along with post cards). When I was through with the exhibit, I set out to get a coffee float or something. Despite the fact that it was after 1400 and hardly what I would consider lunch time, the store was so crowded that all the sit-down shops had people waiting for seats. So, I had an iced coffee at the stand coffee bar (they don’t have coffee floats there). Then, I started buying. First, some ground bean ice coffee. Second, some pineapple. Third was originally intended to be some sashimi for supper, but the sashimi was a bit more expensive than at Seiyu [it was probably better, too]. I decided to save 2000 Yen for supper at Ryu-En and the rest (above the change I had for subway and train fare) for some goodie or other. This only left about 500 Yen for the goodie, which wasn’t usually enough. After looking for a while, it occurred to me that I had only had one (at most) cup of my favorite purin(1), Morozoff. Therefore, I bought two cups of Morozoff purin and headed for Yokosuka. At Ryu-En, I considered trying something new, but eventually chose sweet & sour shrimp. Yum. With most of the Change I had left, I bought some pastries at Fujiya. And so, back to the barracks.

(1) The Japanese rendering of “pudding,” a term they apply to custards such as flan and creme caramel as well as to puddings proper.

28 March 1983 (Mon): Something new for lunch today–the new downstairs Korean restaurant(1). The set lunch is a great bargain. I had intended to have the oxtail soup or some such thing. However, it seemed that I should try the set lunch first. The only unfavorable aspect of it was that the kimchee was hotter than I like. It was a small serving, so I was able to finish it. The spicyness of their kimchee makes me wary of their chowder and noodle dishes, though(2). Genroku Sushi was full, so that eliminated it as a potential site for supper. The sample for Kujakuen’s “today’s recommended course” looked appetizing, so I had supper there and was glad I did. It contained sauteed, spiced squid and fried tofu w/ pork pieces. I was trying to avoid spending a lot of money today, but I figured I could spare 200 Yen for canned drinks. I bought one of my favorites–the muscat/peach nectar–and something new, an “almond drink” by UCC. It was warm when it came from the machine. I hope it tastes good when chilled. And so, back to the barracks.

(1) This was probably a Korean restaurant on the outskirts of the American bar district, probably on Dobuita Dori in Honcho 1-Chome or possibly in Odakicho 1-Chome. Nearby, on the same street, there was an “upstairs” Korean restaurant. I recall being told that the “downstairs” restaurant was run by people from South Korea and the “upstairs” restaurant by people from North Korea, and that people from the two parts of Korea often didn’t get along with people from the other part, whichever it was.

(2) Some of those dishes at Korean restaurants, or yakiniku-ya (grilled meat shops), could be stunningly hot.

29 March 1983 (Tue): I wish I could remember that Itosha is closed on Tuesday. I tried to have lunch there. Well, I went there only to discover that it is closed today. I didn’t try to have lunch there once I saw that it was closed. I went down the same side street and in the display case for one of the small old-style restaurants I saw a jo(1) fire katsudon and went in the restaurant on impulse. It is rather shabby, and I’d never take anyone there, but the j.f.k.d. was excellent, and I’d go back by myself. After work, I went over to Shioiri(2) to try Sasaya, but it’s closed today. Some, not all, of the restaurants on Sennichi-Dori are closed. I ended up in Se Jour, the restaurant in the basement of Botanya. The salad was basically good (except for the two asparagus spears), but definitely over-priced. The seafood doria needed a little salt, but was delicious otherwise. It was probably a bit over-priced. I wanted a coffee float after supper, but didn’t have one because I didn’t want anything to keep me awake tonight. I didn’t buy anything else because I had plenty of sweets here in the barracks. And so, back to the barracks.

(1) “Jo”, meaning “upper” or “better” or “best” to indicate the slightly better/best and slightly higher-priced example of 2 or 3 offerings of a certain type. They would have offered at least one other fire (“fillet”)katsudon, probably with a slightly smaller serving of meat and at a slightly lower price.

(2) That is, the area around Shiori Station (Keihin Kyuko line), most of which is in Shioiricho 2-Chome.

30 March 1983 (Wed): Today’s lunch was a semi-experiment. I went to Bengal and tried the egg/dry curry(1). It’s not bad, but I prefer the “wet” curries. I needed some envelopes and air mail writing paper, so I stopped at Kangaroo and bought some stationery. Then I went to Saikaya to buy a dark chocolate bar at Mary Chocolate. I got out of work before 1700, mirabile dictu, but it’s raining again, so I won’t go far. I decided not to try Sasaya, mainly because of the rain. I was in the mood for some cooked fish, so I went to Itosha and had an aji fry. Those fish are tasty, but bony. I’m having dessert out instead of in. On the way, I bought a mango at the arcade fruit store. I had intended to buy three of the smaller ones, but they were too soft for me, so I bought one of the larger ones. I’m having dessert at Fujiya–an old-fashioned pancake set. While paying my bill, I saw a pack of plum hard candy for only 200 Yen. I thought I’d try it. And so, back to the barracks.

(1) Evidently, this is something different from the dish I had there on 18 March.

31 March 1983 (Thu): I tried Madoca’s buffet today. I went there with the intention of trying their fried noodles. I was past Bon Chi when I remembered that today is the day when Madoca has its weekly buffet. I wasn’t eager to spend 1000 Yen, but figured I might as well try the buffet as long as I was almost there. It was disappointing. Not downright bad, but the food was cold and they ran out of bowls for soup. The Sunday Viking at Castle Praha is a much better buffet for only 200 Yen more. A trip to Yokohama after supper was my tentative plan, so I didn’t do any shopping after lunch, but bought some Yen on base. I did head for Yokohama as soon as I left work. No English-language newspapers in the kiosks. I had come here with the general intention of having unagi at one of the restaurants ion Lumine. However, at Yokohama Station I headed away from Lumine because that is where the kiosks are. As long as I was in the west side of the station, it seemed that I should take a look at the restaurants in Patio. It’s much the same [as the rest of the shopping areas?] except for a serious coffee shop. Anyway, having seen the display in Maharajah, I couldn’t resist a Navratni Thali Delicious. It still is, However, I had to wait at least 20 minutes for my milk tea afterward. If that sort of thing recurs, I’ll quit eating there. I decided to have a coffee float in the coffee shop, Coffee Miki. Eek! 450 Yen for a coffee float. Oh well, it’s a very good coffee float (topped w/ real whipped cream). It’s just as well that I didn’t want straight coffee. This place uses Mitsumoto coffee. Sure tastes good in the coffee float, though. After that, I passed up the counter where I usually buy Kaseiro pastries to see what is in CIAL(1). They have a restaurant w/ reasonable prices. They sell Key coffee. They have other good things. They also have a Kaseiro counter with almost as good a selection as in Chinatown. I didn’t pass up this counter! After that I had about enough money for the train and a carton of milk. And so, back to the barracks.

(1) The name is actually written with the “A” looking like an inverted “V”. In my notebooks, I wrote it the way it looks.
 
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