Something I didn’t mention in yesterday’s post is that with every third souvenir shop selling wooden swords, I succumbed and bought one for a little over Y1000. I didn’t consider the length when I bought it and so ended up with a wooden sword about a meter long, decidedly about 20 cm longer than my luggage. So this morning I set out looking for something to put it in for transport, since obviously I can’t just carry a wooden sword onto a plane. I checked the Y100 shops for poster tubes, and found nothing. I took the train to Osaka Station and walked to FedEx, they wouldn’t let me have a box unless I was going to ship with them. Sigh.

I met up with Angelica and Kenzo again at Den Den Town around 1 PM today. After deciding we would find food, then hit a maid cafe later, we set out looking for somewhere to eat that wasn’t McDonalds. We settled on a small okonomoyaki place run by an older woman who clearly knows her stuff, it was totally delicious. It’s a Japanese style pancake served with a small metal spatula, which you use to slice it and put pieces on your plate. When I get back home, I think I’ll be eating Japanese far more often than I used too, there’s just too much good stuff I’m enjoying.

Next we wandered around some arcades, and saw a game based off Half-Life 2! No other crazy games to report, just the taiko game you see sometimes in Canadian arcades. We hit up what Angelica called “Utensil Alley” next, since I wanted to pick up some Japanese cooking gear. In the first store, Angelica remarked that going here with them was like going to Disneyland with them, it would appear they are as fond of cooking as I am. I ended up buying the following:

  • A hangiri, used in the preparation of sushi rice
  • A makiyakinabe, used in the preparation of tamagoyaki. At Angelica’s recommendation I bought a marble one that her and Kenzo simply adore
  • Four sets of chopsticks
  • Two sets of cooking chopsticks, one long pair and one standard length pair
  • Four bowls for serving soup/rice in
  • Two makisu, used for rolling sushi

I should be set to make Japanese cuisine for a while, eh? I will be cooking when I get back, I figure, so why not get authentic supplies? We passed by a shop that was absolutely full of knives, including some pretty large meat cleaves and knives as long as swords, which Kenzo pointed out are probably used for cutting tuna in a single stroke.

Next up, the maid cafe! We looked around and saw a few, all of which had sitting fees for the maid to entertain. Angelica’s Japanese is the best out of the three of us (and mine’s probably the worst), she talked to a girl and directed us to e-maid. No photos were allowed, as expected. It was a very nice, upscale-looking cafe, and the waitresses were of course pretty and dressed up as French maids. Each of us ordered tea and a dessert. In my case, cinnamon royal milk tea and a slice of chocolate cake. Kenzo also had chocolate cake, and Angelica had a pear tart. The forks we were given to eat with were very small, about the width of my pinky finger, which gave us all some laughs when I pointed this out.

What was really cool is that I was given a piece of cinnamon bark to stir my tea with. Kenzo had a mint tea where the maid came and poured it for him, and Angelica had a masala chai. I can’t get enough of royal milk tea, I’m really enjoying it here in Japan. I’m probably going to violate my “guideline” to try and avoid duplicating brand/drink combinations on that first, if not bottled water. My slice of chocolate cake came with some fruit slices, whipped cream, and a cherry. Man, was it good. The small fork definitely forced me to eat slowly and enjoy it properly.

After leaving the cafe we started heading back to where we first met up, since I saw a bag store there that may have had something to fit my sword. Unfortunately, it did not. So, I headed back to the hotel with Angelica and Kenzo in tow. I took them through Janjan Yochoko and showed them where I had kushikatsu my first night. Wandering through the area with them, I noticed so many more interesting things since I was feeling confident and not totally wound up and anxious. We passed by a Y100 store where some gloves were on display, I picked up a pair of red gloves with black flames on them for Y105, really good deal. I’ll find a way to work them into my red/black ensemble for sure.

Back at the hotel, I took my purchases up to my room, brought the sword down, and gave it to them. Angelica said she’d probably put it in her lab, but if she found something to ship it in, she’d send it back to me in Canada. Sweet. Then I walked them to the subway and returned as well. Then I’ve spent some time organizing my stuff again and testing my luggage’s capacity – it still zips up easily so I have no problems with my souvenir capacity right now. Excellent! I also checked my numbers and I’m right around on budget for souvenirs.