Vote Charlie!

Saying goodbye, for now

Posted at age 25.
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Wednesday, we got up a bit earlier, skipping breakfast at the hotel and heading to the Tsukiji fish market instead. Nob said he likes to eat breakfast near the market because the fish is fresh and cheap, so we were going to try that out. And we also wanted to see the market, even if we didn’t get there early enough to see some fish auction action.

Well, getting there was easy enough. We only got a little bit lost, but we eventually found it, before 9 a.m. And things were eerily quiet. It didn’t take long to realize the market was closed, and we eventually found a sign that read, “Today is a fixed holiday.” Apparently some Wednesdays are off days.


We tried to go to the fish market the day it was closed


Today is a fixed holiday.

Aaron looked for somewhere nearby to visit instead, and decided we should go to Akihabara, an area known for electronics and anime, amoung other related things. So we walked to the metro, umbrellas in hand, as rain seemed to be coming.


Near the fish market



And we found it. Even in the gloomy weather, this place was obviously what we sought. We did some shopping at some “tax free” stores, despite none of us having passports with to take advantage of the roughly 4 percent savings. I bought a bunch of souvenirs to send back to my little siblings, and some more chop sticks.



Shortly after Dan told me about a type of restaurant where you pay for the food upfront via an outdoor machine that prints a ticket, which you give to the cooks inside, I found one:


Electronics district near the fish market

Done with shopping, we headed back to Akasaka to get some food near our hotel. We found a place that appeared sort of chain like and had English menus.


More dumplings

Then we went back to the Six Apart office for some more meetings with Movable Type developers, this time talking more about specific issues we have been wondering about but previously weren’t able to discuss with anyone. Being with the team and collaborating in person made a huge difference, and we all felt better about the trip after some of these discussions.

Also, the office had candy.


I’ve never seen candy packaged like this!

Before leaving the office, we got a dinner recommendation from Nick, who made a reservation for us at a well known place called Boteju (or something like that: ぼてぢゅう 渋谷宮益店) in Shibuya. But first, we had to get there, and it was raining.


We’re trying to find the restaurant while the GPS was acting up



Once we got really close to where the restaurant was supposed to be, we ended up having to ask some girls passing by if they knew. The problem turned out we had incorrect spelling of the place, so we couldn’t find it on Google, and the pin was wrong on the map. After some thinking, the girls led us back from whence they came and around a corner and found it for us. We were very thankful, and ended up being only 15 minutes late for our reservation.

The restaurant itself was actually pretty cheap, and the atmosphere was very nice. Each table had a heating surface embedded into it, and the food came ready to be further cooked either directly on the grill or in a pan. I ordered what Nick recommended, a dish called okonomiyaki, which is sort of like a pancake with meat and other things inside. The ones we got came topped with a sort of barbeque sauce and something like mayo on top. That might have been a little much for me, as my stomach was not feeling great by the end. But it tasted good!


The lower right is okonomayaki, a sort of pancake with meat and potatoes inside and special sauces outside.

After dinner, we went back to a store that sold Dan’s keen shoes to check the sizes, and again they were all too small. Then we went back to Pablo to get more cheese tarts, and we headed home. I think everyone promptly crashed, and no one ate his entire cheese tart despite the earlier enthusiasm.

Thursday morning, we packed up and checked out of the hotel, leaving our bags with the front desk while we spent a last hour at the Six Apart office. We said goodbye to everyone, and then began the long journey back home.


We grabbed a snack for the train ride to the airport. Everything was great!

This was officially my longest day, due to time zones, at 40 hours total. Aaron and Dan got off easy with 39 and 37 hour days, though more travel time.

Overall, the trip was absolutely wonderful. I loved seeing Tokyo and meeting some of the locals, and our time at Six Apart was valuable. It could have been better organized to more fully utilize our presence, but you have to start somewhere, and this is the first such effort in years.

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