Shibuya Station’s ‘scramble’ intersection (the super-crowded one in Lost in Translation) started our first evening in Tokyo. [Practical info: we accepted the house in Yamato and from our train station there it will take $7 and an easy 45 minutes—four stops north then 9 stops on the Tokyu or Den-en-Toshi express train—to get to the center of Tokyo].
Chris and I met up with Tom Bergman, my friend from high school, and he showed us around the Shibuya area (above). Up Spanish Street, take a left, down another street, walk past a nondescript entryway, come back and duck down a flight of stairs and through two sliding doors and we found ourselves HERE (you tell me what that the name is) sans shoes on silk cushions eating a variety of raw stuff: raw shellfish, fried tofu, chicken stew bites, raw octopus tentacles, greens with roast beef tossed in lemon, soft tofu with onions and soy sauce, raw horse and your standard raw tuna and salmon on rice. Chris ate everything but the octopus, which was a big step for him and made me proud. I ate EVERYTHING and may bring my fam here: “smile and eat it!” as my dad always says in other countries. 🙂 That’s the tofu and octopus below (salty and crunchy, but not gritty. Think: slightly cooked carrots in texture). After that, we met some of Tom’s friends for a beer at the Elephant Cafe in Harajuku before heading to the traditional Japanese bar Toho-Kenbun-Roku for Japanese vodka (Chris and Tom) and plum wine (me). We caught the last train home.