We made a fairly traditional Kyoto meal, focused on seafood and vegetables in season. Below are photographs of some of the unusual ingredients: top, yuba or soymilk skins, and a Japanese ginger blossom; next, fuki or Japanese butterbur, something between a rhubarb and a celery; bottom, Emi and Alice (not technically ingredients, I suppose) assembling the salad.
Fast forward a few days, I'm in Tokyo, it's Sunday, I've done some sights and museums, and I'm sampling the nightlife. I make my way to Tokyo Midtown, a huge relatively new complex, on the advice of Rough Guide. Well, most of the places there are absurdly expensive, even for Tokyo, but on an exterior corner, I see a bar called A271, which has half-price happy hour until 8 PM. It's only around 6:00, so I can be happy here for two hours! And the beer is cold! I noticed on the happy hour menu a ham sampler, not terribly pricey, but it doesn't come with crackers or anything. The waiter points out that I can get toasted baguette slices for only Y300. "Only". Hell, that's about USD 4.50. Well, I eventually go for it, and these are actually pretty high quality--I think, not for the first time, of the gustatory delights offered to us by a pig properly perpared.
My last night in Tokyo, I "saved" for what everyone says is the whirlwind, party district of the biggest city on the planet--Shibuya. Finally, here was a place with a vibe, tons of people, miles of neon--like ten or more streets I know in Seoul: