friends, food, and fun
Once again I seem to have far more to blog about than time. I suppose that is better than the other way around, but I sure wouldn’t mind having it balance out every once in a while so I don’t feel like I’m constantly playing catch-up.
I had a pretty busy weekend jam-packed full of interesting things and food, so I’m just going to do a quick recap today. I was apparently too busy enjoying myself to take many pictures, so the few that I took on my iPhone have to do.
I had plans for a run on Saturday morning, but when I woke up I really didn’t feel much like it. It was a beautiful day, and I did want to get outside, but the running itself did not seem at all appealing. My solution? I begged Eric to come with me.
I’ve only ever succeeded in bringing him along on a run with me once, about six months ago, and that time it was mostly his idea, but after some pleading and pointing out how nice it was outside he relented.
We skipped breakfast, as we we were both still full from pizza from the night before, and set off down the river with the plan of doing a run one/walk one method using the nine bridge crossings along the way as markers.
That worked for perhaps the first third of the run before Eric decided to show off his superior male speed. He took off ahead of me in a sprint that I could not keep up with, winded himself, and flat-out refused to run again after that.
Walking most of the path had not been my original plan, and after the turn-around I adopted a new method so that I could still get my running in despite Eric’s lack of interest: sprint full-on to the next bridge, double back to meet Eric and then walk with him back to the same bridge; repeat.
It actually worked really well. I’m not so good at making myself do speed work, and this was an excellent solution. It got us both outside for some fresh air and sunshine, and allowed us to spend time together without having to compromise our very different levels of activity. I am hoping we can make it a regular thing!
After our run we had a late brunch of leftover banana & raspberry cottage cheese spelt pancakes.
I moved Pancake Sunday to Wednesday this week because it was a holiday and I knew I wouldn’t have time to make them on Sunday, and we saved the leftovers for the weekend. I had my portion topped with mascarpone, coconut, maple syrup, walnuts, and a side of homemade greek yogurt. Satisfying and yummy as always.
After breakfast I did some photo processing, and threw together a batch of banana muffins before hopping onto video chat to say hi to my mom, brother, and dad.
My dad had just arrived that night from three months back home in Belize, and it was nice to see them all together again, though I wasn’t able to spend as much time chatting as I would have liked do to the time difference (it was after midnight for them) and our plans to attend a concert in that evening.
We left home at around 5 pm for Tsurumi Station in Kawasaki, which is about an hour away to the south in Kanagawa Prefecture, to attend a Luna Sea cover band event at which a few of Eric’s friends from various band sessions would be performing. We were running late, but decided to stop for dinner before heading to the venue.
We got off the train one stop before Tsurumi at Kawasaki Station to visit a Dim Sum restaurant called Fukueimon that we’ve been wanting to try since our last visit. Of course, we found out after the fact that Fukueimon actually has three locations in the region, one of which is in Tsurumi, so we didn’t actually have to go our of our way at all. Whoops!
The food was all really, really good. I filled up on a veggie-filled egg drop soup, big pieces of eggplant from their mabo nasu (spicy chinese eggplant with ground meat), the garlic stir fry, and a few cups of hot Jasmine tea. Eric also ordered some gyoza and sweet and sour pork for himself which I did not try for obvious reasons. For dessert we went with coconut dumplings and annin dofu (almond jelly). I was really surprised that I ended up favoring the dumplings, given my affinity for annin dofu.
Everything was very, very good. I definitely wouldn’t mind going back there again in the future, especially since their third location is in Shinbashi, which is a lot closer to home.
After dinner we headed on toward Tsurumi and arrived at the venue in time for the 4th band. When we first walked in we didn’t see anyone we recognized, but by the time our band went on (they were 5th our of 6 bands) there were quite a few people we knew from sessions milling around.
The Korean drummer, Son, who invited us to the event, is the only other foreigner we have met at the Luna Sea sessions Eric participates in (though there is a western girl who shows up to some of the Buck-Tick ones). Although we went primarily to show our support for him, I was surprised find that the band included three other familiar faces as well.
Knowing four out of the five band members really heightened the excitement of the performance, but even without that they put on a really good show and chose a fantastic set list. It was the most fun I’ve had at an event like this since the cover live that Eric participated in back in September.
We stayed and hung around with the players and audience for a while outside after the show and were reluctant to leave, but eventually had to get on the train back to Tokyo. We got home just before midnight, after a quick stop at a yaki-imo truck for dessert.
Half an hour later Jun (who you might remember from our stay in Yamanashi before the Katsunuma 10k) and her roommate Amanda showed up. They were in town for a concert of their own and, of course, I invited them to stay with us.
Jun came bearing a gift of awesome Doughnut Planty goodness. We split a Pumpkin and Pumpkin Cream bakery doughnut and Salty Vanilla cake doughnut between the four of us, chatted for a while, and didn’t get to bed until after 2 am.
Since we were up late Saturday evening, all four of us slept in on Sunday and had a leisurely morning catching up and deciding the day’s plans over muffins.
We had discussed checking out the Waseda-sai (Waseda University school festival) for a little bit, but by the time we left home it was already 1 pm, so we decided to just play it by ear.
…and our ears led us straight to Chaika for lunch.
The lunch sets at Chaika much better than the dinner sets we had available to us on our first visit. The tsuboyaki set I chose came with exactly what I would have ordered off the menu anyway: borsht, a mini tsuboyaki, bread, and tea with strawberry jam. Eric, Amanda, and Jun all went with the three item set, which was similar to my set but came with a piroshki instead of bread. I also forced the two orders of blini on the table for dessert. There were very few protestations once the blini arrived.
You can see more pictures along with Jun’s review over her blog.
After lunch we walked through Takadanobaba looking around at the various shops, then stopped into Sweet Pearls for some bubble tea (I got the Passionfruit Jasmine this time) before heading back to the station.
Jun had found a deal though coupon site Hot Pepper for inexpensive Chinese massages in Kabukicho, so Eric split off for home while the three of us girls continued on to our hour-long body and foot massages, and then did some shopping around Shinjuku.
Two scones, a lot of kneading, and several new articles of clothing later, we headed back towards home meet Eric for dinner at our local Indian restaurant, Spice 6. I plan to actually do a decent write-up of this restaurant at some point, but that will have to wait, as I only took one single solitary picture and don’t particularly feel like sorting through my files for old ones.
Eric and I split several of our favorite dishes, including the Aloo Baingan and Nuts Naan pictured above, while Jun and Amanda got dinner sets.
After dinner and chai we returned to our apartment, while Jun and Amanda set off to take the train back to Yamanashi. We’re hoping to all get together again soon, but it might have to wait until the new year thanks to our respective schedules. We may be seeing Amanda again in just a few weeks, though, as she has plans to visit Tokyo again on her own.