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Dr John Hawkins

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Thursday in Tokyo

Posted on 2014/11/16 07:41:32 (November 2014).

[Thursday 6th November 2014]
Got a very early shinkansen from Hiroshima to Tokyo in the morning, leaving the main station in Hiroshima at 6:40, which meant getting a local train from the station nearest to Chie's parent's place not long after 6, since they aren't that frequent a that time of the morning. Interestingly that local train was still actually quite busy.

Frustratingly en route I realised I'd forgotten my company badge, which made actually getting in on arrival at the office in Tokyo a real pain. Still, I managed in the end.

Spent the afternoon then working at the office, and in the evening I met up with my friend Andy. He came to meet me at my hotel, from there we went for a quick dinner at Chien-Fu, the vegetarian restaurant round the corner (it's the second time I've dragged him there, and as a non-vegetarian he wasn't particularly willing either time, but took it in good spirits). The remainder of the evening then followed a familiar course - the peculiarly entertaining contrast of the very upmarket Old Imperial Bar at the Imperial Hotel, followed by the polar opposite represented in the vending machine bar.

I think I'm beginning to go off the Old Imperial Bar a bit, I liked the history (and the parallels with the American Bar at the Savoy in London, the gateway through which cocktails were introduced to the country) but it just seems a bit stuffy, the sort of place old Japanese businessmen take clients (other old Japanese businessmen) to.

The vending machine bar, however, never fails to fill me with a sense of utter delight. This evening, as pretty much always, we chatted with a variety of entertaining characters throughout the course of our time there, including perhaps most notably a Japanese Buddy Holly tribute act, who I subsequently saw featured on the telly the following night in, weirdly enough, a short TV piece about the vending machine bar. We stayed until after midnight, until everyone else had already gone home (for the regulars I think it's typically somewhere they go after work before getting the train home, and the last trains of the night are usually not long after midnight). A construction worker arrived, and Andy borrowed his light saber thingy. It was quite entertaining at the time.

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