Apr 052013

Today was scheduled to be a little more relaxed.

Evan and I started off by scouting for something I could use to sling my uke over my back. We’re headed to Kamakura tomorrow and once we’re done at Kotokuin Temple, there will likely be some hiking or a visit to the beaches, where I hear there’s a good view of Mt. Fuji. I’d love to find a spot to sit, chat, eat, and play for a while, but I didn’t bring my gig bag and the hard case is a bit much to carry around all day. I’m currently crafting a strap out of plastic twine we found in a convenience store, but it may be a lost cause. Besides, I’d still need a way to protect it from the elements.

I digress…

We returned to the hotel and had breakfast at the little sandwich shop again. A cheeseburger, fries, and a strawberry shake are a great way to start the day. I highly suggest it. Especially if your next stop is similar to ours. We checked out of the hotel, had them hold our bags, and headed out to one last stop before we moved on to Kawasaki.

We dropped into the Yebisu beer museum. Yebisu is one of the oldest brands of beer in Japan, and their methods are German in origin. There was a brief gallery showing their bottles throughout the company’s lifetime, as well as marketing material and photos from the past. They provided a brief history of the brand, ending at the ‘tasting salon’, where we grabbed a beer each to sample and share. It was a good time, but unremarkable if you’re not a brand enthusiast. We headed from there back to the hotel to grab our things.

We hopped a cab from there and headed to the train station. We hopped a rather comfortable express train and headed to Kawasaki. A short walk from the station and we hit our hotel. We’re staying at the Sunroute Kawasaki. It’s a reasonably sized room, and the bathroom is actually the biggest from any of the Japanese hotels we’ve stayed in.

After getting settled in, Evan and I set out to explore within a block or so of our hotel. Rachel stayed behind to rest her tired feet. It turns out we’re right next door to a sprawling commercial zone with La Citadella at it’s heart. Evan and I have jokingly deemed this the Short Pump of Japan. It’s almost scary how many shops and restaurants are crammed into this space, and honestly I think it puts Short Pump to shame in scale.

We eventually headed back to Rachel, and then the three of us headed out for dinner. We found a Thai restaurant in a 7 floor mall, and dropped in. I was terribly excited to find a mango lassi on the drink menu, and picked a platter of fried fish in a spicy sauce for dinner. After we finished up, we dropped in to a shoe shop where Rachel picked up some insole padding for her shoes. We wandered around the shops a little longer, and found a crepe cart aptly named “She loves Crepes.” Rachel concurred, and we picked up dessert. There was a handful of flavors to choose from, and I went with caramel banana. Some serious craftsmanship went into the presentation, and the flavor matched that care. Satisfied, we made our way back to the Sunroute. We had a brief pit stop in a 7-11 since my wallet was getting thin.

Tomorrow, we’re headed to Kamakura. Only time will tell whether the uke will join us.

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