We started the day at an amazing ramen place that we ate at yesterday, but had to go back to take John. It was jut as good the second day, and we were now pro’s with the ordering machine and the garlic press.
After a hearty lunch and Starbucks, we were able to face the day’s sightseeing. We went north from ikekuro to the sunshine city mall complex to see the Toyota Amlux showroom. We had read that they have robot demonstrations as a marching band, but that appeared to have been replaced by a gigantic inflatable mech warrior (or something). We were able to try out the safe driving simulators, which were way more fun to crash than I think they intended. I got a graded a C; Ruth flipped her car, not a good sign for a transportation planner.
Back to the apartment for a power nap, and then back for one last night on the town. We went to a department store looking for discount sashimi, but it was more of a takeaway setup than a food court. We ended up at a 280-yen restaurant (about $3.25). We defeated the ordering machine, receiving a dozen semi-randomly selected dishes.
The awesome cat-lady bar
For our last night together we went to the Golden Gai district, a 6-block warren of tiny bars that represent the pre-war style of architecture. Each bar has a theme and no more than about 8 seats. We opened a door with a black cat on it, and found a lovely cat-lady bartender. We stayed for two hours, drinking Sochu, cat-nip infused rum, and hearing her stories about running a bar as a wo,an for the last 15 years. She is planning to close next year, to spend more time with her cats, and she gave us a cat manga comic as a souvenir.
We left the sweet cat-lady, and went to two more even smaller bars. One was photography themed, where a woman who had been to San Jose complemented Ruth on traveling with two handsome young men. Finally, we climbed a steep set of stairs to Hip, run by a young guy with vinyl coasters and a guitar for strumming. Argued with some Aussies about American politics, played Jenga, and then departed down the steep stairs at around 1.
The trains stop running at midnight, but we weren’t so far from our apartment that a cab would be impossibly expensive. That is, if we could get one. Despite hailing aggressively, and waving cash in the air, we couldn’t get anyone to stop. We ended up walking about half of the three miles, stopping in a 7-11 and a late night restaurant to warm up. We left the last place without ordering, after a businessman spilled an entire bento box next to John. Time to go home, dude.