Jump to content


Photo

Micromanage my Life - Japan


  • Please log in to reply
189 replies to this topic

#106 prasantrin

prasantrin

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 7,405 posts

Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:59 AM

I'm not particularly fond of Heian Shrine, but sometimes you can run into a large group of maiko (real ones, not the regular people dressing up as them), and that would make the visit worthwhile!

#107 prasantrin

prasantrin

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 7,405 posts

Posted 21 September 2019 - 12:02 PM

If you want to dress up as samurai or maiko 😁

https://kyoto.travel...eriencetour/135

#108 Anthony Bonner

Anthony Bonner

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 14,364 posts

Posted 21 September 2019 - 03:11 PM

Tabelog usually has a pic of the door and I generally find if you run it through translate you can figure out the floor

"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"


#109 Chambolle

Chambolle

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,716 posts

Posted 22 September 2019 - 02:41 AM

At this point, however, you might not be able to go to either Saihoji or KR since advance reservations are necessary. Looks like Saihoji is definitely out, but maybe your concierge can try to get you in?

...

KR has some availability!
https://sankan.kunai.../4201?ym=201909 ( or if that link doesn't work, start here https://sankan.kunai...ster/month/4201 )


Was told yesterday ie Saturday eve by the (second string ? but still quite good and very well informed) concierge that Saihoji should be booked WELL in advance.

Was told KR could possibly happen if I showed up in the AM cuz they do have some tix but it’s hit or miss

You advised me previously re reserving but I simply wasn’t in a position to ... and KR doesn’t fit with the program ... and getting there early is a nonstarter for me cuz I had too much early busy biz work ... sleeping better though, Pras, woke at 6.30a then again was up a bit late too ...

So the program ...

Finally in taxi now headed to Higashiyama Jisho-ji ... after wasting my time going to Kyoto Station 🚉 to change, for the second time in two days, my train to Osaka later today. First change was from 4pm to 7pm cuz I wanted the full sightseeing day. Today’s attempt was to 10pm+ cuz why am I rushing off to Osaka when I can just dine here ... maybe somewhere in the Gion ... but I’ll surely give the concierge a holler cuz they’d feel unloved if I didn’t ... I’m thinking ... they’re very needy.

#110 Chambolle

Chambolle

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,716 posts

Posted 22 September 2019 - 02:45 AM

Post Higashiyama Jisho-ji, the battle plan calls for ...

Philosopher's Walk ... for the little shops ... then cab it to ..

Nanzenji Temple
and then will I have time for ... (the answer is "surely not")
Flyby Blue Bottle, Yachiyo, Westin
Flyby a closed DUPREE,
Slip in a Style Coffee pitstop (5pm) and a Ritz flyby

Kiyomizu-dera. til 6pm. surely a cab

Walk back toward Maruyama Park, supposedly lots of good stuff to see

Yasaka Shrine & Maruyama Park

Walk around the Gion area ... dinner (but I’ll need change train AGAIN)

Surely too much to do but we can dream, right ?

Very enjoyable din din last night chez Kaji

#111 Chambolle

Chambolle

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,716 posts

Posted 22 September 2019 - 02:50 AM

JUST ARRIVED Higashiyama Jisho-ji ! Cab was 3090 y ! INVASION BEGINS ... wish me luck, Pras ! ... if you never hear from me again, please do know that I went down fighting ... eta ... FOR SOMETHING I ❤️ !

#112 Chambolle

Chambolle

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,716 posts

Posted 22 September 2019 - 01:27 PM

FUCK !!!!!!

I told you hours in advance ... it wasn’t there when I arrived one minute early from my din din that was a 2min southern walk away from the WAY ritzy Ritz (nice fully stocked bar FYI, Monkey 47 negroni worked for me ), post-STYLE cupping session, yes cupping session, you heard that right, I was wired and ready for action, I’m slowly descending the escalator with lots of HEAVY bags, woman shouting behind me EXCUSE ME EXCUSE ME EXCUSE ME runs past, I see her get safely on, esca-EFFING-later as I’m about to reach the ground, doors closed, I’m hosed, my concierge blows and I’m stranded in Kyoto with my hotel ressie with a KING size bed sleepless in Osaka

There will be HELL to pay !

[quote]
We have contacted to Bell captain and they will arrange MK taxi for your departure around
9:50pm tonight and in case, you are coming back to the hotel much later, please kindly advise us so.
[\quote]

#113 Chambolle

Chambolle

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,716 posts

Posted 22 September 2019 - 02:03 PM

Okay, nightmare over. Got the next train. In cab in Osaka

Just thought you’d get a rise out of the demise of sweet little Chambo ... all’s well that ends well ... we’re here !

#114 Chambolle

Chambolle

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,716 posts

Posted 24 September 2019 - 12:29 AM

Let's play a game called ... Name that Resto !

Assume you received the following Osaka secrets ... what might you do for din din ...

I'm thinking that izakaya might be the way to go here cuz sushi places probably aren't good / interesting enough.

 

Young concierge, who I don't have full faith in, says that Fukushima Mouri might be up my alley and hence I'm not dismissing it. I'd do a kaiseki if it's a high-probability hit

 

For the moment, it's Binbiya and Ginpei racing out in front around the backstretch ...

 

Voila ... win a place on my show and ... NAME THAT RESTO ! 

 

We have heard from our reservation team that you wish to know some our restaurant recommendations. Please kindly refer to the following lists:

Binbiya / Izakaya
This restaurant is located in Kitashinchi area where nice restaurants gathered and it takes about 5-10 min by taxi from our hotel.

Nagahori / Izakaya
Izakaya restaurant in very local area and good atmosphere.

Ginpei Kitashinchi / Izakaya
If you would like to try fresh fish, this is the place and it is also located in Kitashinchi area.

Kasui / Sushi
Not tourist and located in a hidden place, but the chef is very professional.
Course: JPY8,000/10,000/12,000
Cancellation policy: 100% on the day of booking

Hoshiyama / Sushi
A Michelin starred sushi restaurant serves high quality omakase course.
They have two time slots for dinner operation from 18:00 and 20:30
Course: JPY18,000/21,000
Cancellation policy: 100% on the day of booking

Fukushima Mouri / Kaiseki
Creative within Japanese cuisine and the atmosphere is also nice from the entrance to interior.
Course: lunch - JPY5,000 dinner - JPY10,000
Cancellation policy: 100% on the day of booking

Matsumoto Eiraku / Kaiseki Kappo
You can enjoy seeing how chef cooks Japanese authentic dishes at counter seats, of course foods are excellent.
Course: JPY10,000/12,000/15,000/18,000

Urakami / Tempura
In this place, you can taste freshly cooked Tempura right after the chef fries in front of counter seats.

Miyazakikan / Teppanyaki
Teppanyaki with Japanese high quality beef is also something you may not want to miss out.
They serve Miyazaki beef which is one of the best beef in Japan.

*Some of the restaurants above are closed on every Sunday and public holiday (Sep 23rd is public holiday in Japan)

Please let us know if you are interested in some restaurants.
For booking with those where set strict cancellation policy, your credit card is required for guarantee purpose.
It would be very helpful if you could stop by concierge desk to fill in credit card authorization form.

Should you have questions or need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us anytime.
We look forward to welcoming you tonight!

 



#115 Orik

Orik

    Advanced Member

  • Technocrat
  • PipPipPip
  • 22,284 posts

Posted 24 September 2019 - 01:14 AM

Of those options Binbiya or Fukushima Mouri

 

Some options to entertain - Jibundoki https://tabelog.com/...70106/27001808/

 

Doozono - https://tabelog.com/...70101/27006599/

 

Tonkatsu if you must https://tabelog.com/...70705/27013624/ (inconvenient to use, go early, sign up, etc.)

 

Yakitori if you´re into that https://tabelog.com/...70101/27013209/


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#116 Chambolle

Chambolle

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,716 posts

Posted 24 September 2019 - 01:26 AM

Though I might have to force you to take a day trip to Kobe just to eat at my favorite okonomiyaki place. I've been having okonomiyaki cravings lately


When I was in Kyoto, busy as a bee and doing my flybys of every little thing, I buzzed into the cute, little champagne boutique Yuhi just to have a see. They have a little 4-5 chair bar so social butterflies can sip a glass while seated but I presume their main biz is bottles to go. Krug Grand Cuvee* for > 33k yen aka over $300. I'm just babbling and mumbling to myself, flabbergasted that people actually pay crazy money like that for Krug retail ! ... it's an amazing world, our world. I mention all this not because I was getting ready to buy any bubbles but because the nice lady who was running the shop that day starts conversing with me, effectively telling sweet, little Chambo that he's sweet as honey and I'm buzzing back and forth, bzzzzz bzzzzz bzzzzz, back to being a busy bee and noting by snapping away at (click sound off, FYI) the prices. Things proceed such that I ask her where she's from and she's says Kobe and if she's the owner and no she's not, she just works here two days per week, back to back. I ask if she spends the night and she said no, she goes back and forth and now I say wow you're buzzing around towns too and I ask how far is Kobe and she says 2 hours EACH WAY by train and I said that's your commute and she said yes and I said wow that's a long trip each day so I guess you must be selling a heck of a lot of champagne, bzzzz bzzzz bzzzz, but because I don't want to be a busybody at this exact moment and ask her to show me the P&L and a revenue breakdown by vigneron I slyly switch the subject and ask if she knows about some of the special food offerings from Kobe and her eyes light up but before she can give me any beef, which ticked her off a little bit, I proceed to tell her that I have a dear deer friend whose favorite onomatopoeia comes from Kobe and I wanted to know if, to her knowledge, Kobe had especially good onomatopoeia, to which she said no not to her knowledge but but but, here's the but, but she's heard through the grapevine that Osaka has the real goods in that department. My eyes light up when I hear this and I'm buzzing about like an over-caffeinated alarm clock, bzzzz bzzzz bzzzz, and respond did you zzzay Ozzzzzaka** Ozzzzzaka Ozzzzzaka !!! That's great news ... I'm headed there shortly ! 
 
And I thanked her and just like that I buzzed out the still open door
 
 
* No, drinking Krug does NOT interest me very much (unless someone is buying and then I love the stuff) but I use it as a certain reference point because it is effectively a global commodity and how it's priced in shops and restos imparts useful knowledge
 
** Over-emphasis on the elongated, zzzzecond zzzzyllable in Ozzzzzaka
 

Though I might have to force you to take a day trip to Kobe just to eat at my favorite okonomiyaki place. I've been having okonomiyaki cravings lately


You may be having cravings, Pras, but Chambo's been buzzing around Ozzzzzaka Ozzzzzaka Ozzzzzaka and seeing and late lunching on all the good goods !
 
Crossing Dotombori-bashi, acting in front of the Shochikuza Theatre, passing a still-closed Ajinoya, praying at Hozenji Temple, putting my name down on the list at 福太郎 and being told I had a 30 minute wait, buzzing off to 黒門市場 aka Kuromon Ichiba Market to snarf down a pre-okonomiyaki takoyaki while drooling at all the uni from Hokkaido, scallops and shellfish galore and those large, large limbs of Le King Crabe ! but it very quickly was time to go back to the ok corral and plop down at the counter and savor my shrimp with okono washed down with Asahi but there was no time to be clowning around cuz I was off and at 'em again, racing thru Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shotengai on my way to move praying at the Namba Yasaka Shrine, only to head north thru chaos like you can't believe, with quick eyeball of Hokkyokusei*, ducking into Alice On Wednesday, longing for the Pop Street cone, taking in the too-trendy type in Triangle Park, streaming past the hipster-heaven of STREAMER COFFEE COMPANY before plopping down at very serious LiLo Coffee Roasters to recharge my desperately in need phone ... and I had an excellent cold brew while recharging ... and then it was off to the races again as I hit another 15+ places on my list, passing on The Pie Shop, while buying even more stuff that I'll never get around to completely eating (like lots of individually-wrapped cake-y / cookie-y things of many varieties including 1) a sweet potato-y w cinnamon mini-log, 2) honey sponge cake-y thing, 3) chestnut-y cookie-ish thingie etc at a store whose English name could not be determined**) and checking out Lilo Coffee's other, upstairs location name Kissa, being impressed with the Converse sneaks selection at ABC mart (need a new white / beige pair and I got close to ten options to choose from ... helas I've only worn my new off-white Common Ps once life to date but Tokyo awaits), reading some unexpected menu offering at Luke's Lobster, unsuccessfully trying to eyeball a totally closed Kitamura, sub-ing north to Yodoya, heading 40 stories up to check out the ultra-luxe Conrad with its ultra-luxe views and its ultra-luxe cocktails priced as high as we were in the sky (nice views though ! makes my corner room's 24th floor superb eastern and northern facing views seems like a pauper's  :( ) and then tried to walk in for din din at Ginpei at 20h30 but it too was closed (this day was some holiday), as was Binbiya where I asked my (not so hot) concierge to reserve and I was now slightly annoyed that all 4 of her recs that we discussed earlier today proved to be closed when I had specifically asked if we could confirm which will be open because I don't want to waste my time considering them if they ain't gonna be. But you know, no worries, because my lunching was way late and my on the go snacking was happening so I just decided to take a quick cab home, hit the gym for some cardio and then I had some nice green tea with my various rice crackers (the seaweed-wrapped w wasabi wins!) and with too-sweet dried fruity things and a few other odds and ends as I actually had some work to do ... and wound up nodding off at my desk for a few, before realizing twas just past midnight, went to sleep for real shortly thereafter and, annoyingly, was up a bit past 4 (like 4 hours ago!) ... but the very happy part is that at a quarter past 5 I saw the sky begin to alight because The Sun Always Rises in the east ... and isn't it always pretty to see so ... and so it goes and so it goes ...
 
But I'm telling ya, Pras, I did enjoy my onomatopoeia and my buzzing around and, indeed, my okonomiyaki
 
If there's better out there***, and I'm sure there are, that's also a beautiful thing ...
 
Gotta get going, Pras, gotta rise and shine, coffee and cookies await, then a castle to conquer ! and maybe a moat, not sure at the moment as i'm researching
 
I'm about to draw up battle plans for the day ... and it's my last full day here ... so holler if necessary !
 
 
* but the Kimchee Princess told me this is (might be?) the original omurice place, even as she was telling me to have an omurice bfast in Tokyo at kissa you cuz it tastes better, if lacking the substantial charm of Hokky housing
 
** because the 3 women working there had no idea how to use my A-Z keyboard and as they attempted to phonetically sound / spell out the name it wasn't working and I couldn't get it to come up in Goog Maps but here it is just south of Lush ... is it any good, Pras ? or just for pathetic tourists like me  :unsure:
 
*** but OKOMUSU, the joint in the Marais (Paris), is a total comparative joke as I surely knew when considering the tourists they cater too



#117 Chambolle

Chambolle

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,716 posts

Posted 24 September 2019 - 01:38 AM

I walked right by Ichimatsu after my flyby of Ginpei last night ... Ginpei's entire building was locked up, gates down, lights off ... all 10-ish places within were on holiday

 

Quite frankly, I was fine without din din last night ... but that's unacceptable tonight

 

Already sent concierge a message re Bin and Fuk (and Gin). Probably go with Bin if avail ... and all 4 of yours are PM-only so they can't even qualify for lunch tomorrow

 

Is there strong reason to believe your list of 4 are clearly better than Bin or Fuk ... don't want to drive concierge crazy ... but don't really care either at this point ... and I'm not gonna do the inconvenient one ...

 

Castle awaits ... gotta get the eff out of here ...



#118 Chambolle

Chambolle

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,716 posts

Posted 24 September 2019 - 03:28 AM

Binbiya. Counter. Done. Thanks

All 3 were available

#119 Chambolle

Chambolle

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,716 posts

Posted 24 September 2019 - 03:33 AM

Being a good (bad?) little tourist right now.

Blew off the castle (for the moment) and continuing “ok” research chez Fue à la Netflix

Figured the castle will always be there but this place could go bye bye or up in flames 🔥 at any moment ... and better to lunch it early and re-build an appetite for later

#120 Chambolle

Chambolle

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,716 posts

Posted 28 September 2019 - 02:28 AM

Not a yearn but a YEN for yen
 
I have seriously misjudged the need for cash in this country
 
What's with these folks ?
 
For context, when in NYC, I'm scratching my head to remember if I used ANY cash whatsoever ... and I'm coming up blank at the moment ... I carried < $100 in my pocket cuz that's all I needed ... and I still do
 
When I asked the Kimchee Princess about a won - euro currency swap when meeting in NYC* she said she didn't have any won cuz she doesn't need any won when returning to her homeland (one day prior to my arrival). I said NONE ! She said NONE. I still don't believe it cuz I believe in backup plans for backup plans ... but that's a Chambo peculiarity
 
When in Paris, I use very very little cash, but some. At the market, my fruits and veggies are usually cash but I have many f&v vendors right there ready to accept my Visa. There's a coffee shop here and there who prefer cash for txns less than 10e, but in a bind no worries cuz Visa is most everywhere you want it to be
 
In Spain, pretty much the same
 
But NOT in Japan !
 
Ahiru Store, cash. Back to Ahiru post-KY, cash. At least Fuglen, post-KY post-Ahiru takes my credit when I say gimme a Gimlet ! But Noodle heaven #91 (look back a page) yesterday, cash. Taxis, more than you'd think, cash only (and I refuse them and send them on their merry way cuz I got a cash problem). Lunch two days ago, cash. Fue for my excellent, better-than-the-first "Netflix" onomatopoeia (sp? or maybe okonomiyaki ?), cash. Street food, cash. My first A-ok "ok" in Osaka, you guessed it, cash. And we're talking north of 2k yen for all these txns except that one street food one.  And on and on and on ... wait, one more ... get this, the Pasmo card aka their metro card, you must load the effing thing with CASH and/or COINS ! No credit cards ! Are we in the effing Stone Age !!! **
 
Fortunately I had a modest amount of euros that I was able to exchange a couple days ago, in truly impressive Buy Low Sell High Chambo style which I hope to Show and Tell you all about (including illustrative pics so you can watch Chambo IN ACTION and be sure he's NOT making shit up, as do others) one day***
 
But now I got no more foreign currency cash ... and we arrive at reason for this post ...phewwwwwwwww ...

 

1. Is it possible for a Chambo-like character, who is a US passport holder with a 90-day Temporary Visitor visa stamp and who is in possession of a month-long lease, to open a (yen-based) Japanese bank account ? I believe that the default answer is no and that it is required to have a Japan Resident Card but I was curious if there is any way around this

 

2. Have you ever used / heard of NIHONEX who are mentioned in this very detailed and useful article about money changers in Tokyo ? A quick read seems to imply that NIHONEX does exactly what I desire ... that is, wire them Euros / $s and they give me (even deliver to me) yen. Sounds a bit scary, frankly. I'll need to check the gory details but their Euros rates, for example, are within 1 % of the international exchange rate. But would I dare to wire this unknown entity funds ???

 

3. On the US-side, I can easily turn $s into yen and pay exactly 1% for that service (I do this for euros often and I know I can do better if I weren't lazy). I'll effectively have yen sitting in my account in the US and I can freely wire it anywhere. But I need to wire it to Japan to a reputable, low cost place and receive cash yen ... hence the desire for a bank account (plus I'd have a yen-based debit / credit card which would be quite convenient ie no need to sign each txn as with my US cards). But is there someone else who is trustworthy and can receive a yen wire and hand me yen cash and do this very competitively ?

 

4. Anything better than a US bank debit card that supposedly charges an all-in 4% charge (3% foreign currency charge + $5 per txn) and credit cards that seem to charge a 5% cash advance fee + interest

 

I'm willing to pay 2% and since I'm in a very tough position, I'll grit my teeth and bare it at 2.5%

 

FYI I did the currency exchange two days ago at LESS than a 2% delta from the international rate ... and we are talking small sums here 

 
Today's status ... I can't afford a big meal that doesn't take my credit ... and I GOT a big meal tonight ... I re-confirmed yesterday that Visa is valid so no "down in dungeon and throw away the key" for me quite yet ... and this joint is not some namby-pamby nonsense, no no no no no ... but something serious ... SO serious that's inscribed on The Magic Scroll ! SO serious that even an Imperial concierge service couldn't call and get me in ... so I made a real-time detour immediately upon receiving that electronic bad news back then and burst into said serious sushiya, w/o so much as a should I and on little shuteye, to have yet another face-to-face unrolling of The Magic Scroll and then a zen master to zen master mind meld among strangers but both realizing rapidly that we were cut from the same material that materialized in its current form billions of years ago. Not a word was needed before we were both nodding in appreciation of each other and the palace doors were then opened widely for Chambo to walk thru and pick and choose the time and place of his chewing and that is why the final paragraph of this prior post specified ONCE AGAIN ... every word is there for a reason...
 
So as we clearly see, the impossible can be made possible when you have The Magic Scroll at your disposal, when you believe in it and trust it and let it guide you through life and when you do that, you too will have, as I do now ...
 
THE POWER 
 
 
* cuz she was on her way to Spain after London ... is there now ... did Barca ... now in Valencia ... loving life following Chambo's every command for eating, drinking, potting, arting and biking ... while WhAping me plenty of cool videos of her Turia riverbed ride to the beach past Calatrava Calatrava Calatrava etc etc etc. Got them and responded at 4am my time with her worried WhAP "shouldn't you be sleeping" ... I told her "Yeah, but I'm love ... no time to sleep ... and time is rapidly running out .. and I'm worrying about that non-stop ..."
 
** But then you enter the system and they're telling exactly where to stand and place your feet, where each car is going to arrive blah blah blah and enter the car and in multiple languages you know everything you need to know (assuming you're paying attention but I'm usually not) and Goog Maps is telling you which # car of the train to get on for optimal exit (and you know opto-Chambo loves optimizing) and what exit # etc etc etc. That's well into the 20th if not current century in my book ... but the nonstop cash is cleaning me out !
 
*** and I hope to tell you this story NOT because there are CLEARLY old men among us with clenched fists (at least one, for sure) who I hope to enlighten since they seem to prefer to doggedly hold on to incorrect ideas and refuse to accept or understand the truth because they'd rather be wrong but "right" in their mind and it happens so frequently all over the place that it's hopeless to hope for a change at this point because you truly can't teach certain old dogs new things ... the real reason I hope to tell you this story is because I believe that there are others out there who might appreciate how Chambo would put into context egregious charges that some cards charge and further share his perspective on the subject. People would benefit by understanding this stuff well ... many already do ... some may not fully ... so let's all be in the same boat of full understanding ... yen-less Chambo, yearning to tell all one day, over and out