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Dr John Hawkins

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Posted on 2006/06/04 14:19:09 (June 2006).

[Sunday 4th June]
We spent today in Tokyo following a vaguley Turkish (well, Middle Eastern) theme, and thus the rather awful title. In fact it is not hugely applicable, but I enjoyed this play on words so much that it seemed a shame not to use it.

Initially Chie went out by herself, around lunchtime, to do the regular shopping trip to Shinjuku. I really didn't feel like it, so instead stayed home and tried to catch up on email etc. Around 3ish though I started to tire of the computer, and felt like a bit of an outing. So Chie and I arranged to meet up on her way back from the shops, and go for a bit of a wander together.

The previous today we'd been surprised to pass a mosque on the train - it really stood out as a rather attractive and interesting building, something of an architectural oasis in the somewhat aesthetically barren landscape of Tokyo. Chie worked out it wasn't actually that far from our apartment, and so we decided to try and find it on foot. It was very easy to find, and we must have more or less passed it a couple of times before without noticing it somehow. We didn't stay long, just a quick wander round the perimiter and a quick peek inside. It was very nice though - so good to see a building in Tokyo that was actually pleasing to the eye for a change.

This instilled in me something of a Middle Eastern frame of mind, and I developed a sudden taste for Turkish/Lebanese/North African food. So with the help of my mobile's internet acces, we set out on an ultimately futile quest to find some kind of Middle Eastern restaurant. The first place we got to looked very closed indeed. The second was open (although the staff did seem a little surprised at the prospect of customers) but after sitting down and examining the menu we realised that there wasn't anything even remotely vegetarian there - usually Middle Eastern food seems to be fairly good in this respect. The place however, specialised in things like camel meat. After a quick chat with the waiter to confirm our suspicions, we made our apologies, and slightly embarassed we got up and shuffled out.

Just round the corner was a Belgian bar we'd been to once before, so we popped in there for a quick drink and some frites, and to think about what to do next.

Eventually the plan was just to give up and go back home. Still, we remembered we had some cous cous in the cupboard, and I knocked up that dish of broad beans (and runner beans this time) in a very rich olive oil and tomato sauce. It came out rather well, and was probably more satisfying that anything we'd have found in a restaurant - our previous attempts to eat Turkish food in Tokyo had been a little disappointing.

Comment 1

OK, forgive my inebriation here... I can see exactly where you are coming from with these pictures. An unusual part of Japan... Probably unseen by many. A view of the reality of the minority... excellent!

Posted by Nigel at 2006/06/05 22:09:15.

Comment 2

Nigel, I wish I had as noble a purpose as you make out!

In fact, the motivation for taking and posting those photos was really just based on my sheer amazement at finding a single attractive building in Tokyo, which has to be the ugliest city I've ever known.

Posted by John at 2006/06/06 05:13:12.

Comment 3

I didn't know that they had a mosque in Japan at all... Surprising... What part of Tokyo is that?

Posted by Lox at 2006/06/06 11:19:44.

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