Thursday, January 11, 2007
Monday 18th September 2006
Woke reasonably early and went into Kanazawa train station for a breakfast at the German Bakery, served by a fabulously geeky J-gay.
Japanese people, regardless of gender, cannot walk in high heels. The clattering sound they make as they clumsily drag their feet and bizarre gait is pure comedy.
We also saw some strange fashion victims. This day was no exception; a girl, dressed mainly as a French maid, though with thigh length patent leather platform boots. Calling her a victim is perhaps nothing more than a social reflex. She certainly didn't think herself a victim of any kind and I admired her for that among many other things.
Japanese train stations aren't like train stations in the West. If someone told me they were going to Edinburgh train station for their breakfast, I would gag on my muffin. Japanese train stations are more like shopping centres, packed full with many kinds of establishments, including restaurants - and good restaurants, too.
From the train station, we took the bus to the city centre and then walked into one of Japan's top three gardens. Beautiful, it might have been, but one can only take so many pine trees, acers and ponds full of Koi before boredom sets in.
We decided to head off to the Geisha district to find the noted Geisha House. En route, we had a delicious hot bento in a Japanese greasy spoon. Of course, all the connotations of a greasy spoon are lost in Japan. The lowliest of eateries are clean, spick and span - and all the food, without exception, is delicious.
Once we'd found the Geisha House (Japan is not good with signs), we had a good look around.
It was fabulous. We were informed that Ochaya (Geisha House) actually means tea house. So we had tea! And wonderful, it was, too. The really good stuff, emerald green, in expensive, rustic cups. And served with a very high class mochi! Practically a full tea ceremony.
Back to the hotel, stopping, once more, at the train station in search of good coffee, Don's coffee and cake on our minds. We found a place, the coffee was naff, but one of the customers was far from! She was a fabulous transsexual who was desperate to talk to us. Sadly her shyness kept her back. As did mine. She must have been there all day. Her ash tray was choc-full of half smoked cigarettes, the filters loaded with red lipstick. Wonderful.
Back at the hotel, after freshening up (the extreme heat and humidity made us feel rank), we decided we simply must go back into the city for our evening nosh.
Lots of Engrish on display.
My favourite example of Engrish - the Kac shop.
After a brief search, we ended up in another Okonomiyaki joint. This time, we cooked it ourselves. Totally fabulous. A poor guy from Taiwan seemed to be having some trouble. Like us, the waitress presumed he was Japanese so gave him the Japanese language menu. Phyllis is not shy and proceeded to help him out. He ate like a horse and drank like a fish. It was a joy to see.
Then back, yet again, to the hotel. We slept like babies, thanks, mainly, to beeru and sake.