Day Five began with a run to stave off the lingering effects of sharing my friend’s love of sake. Followed by the Japanese speciality of crispy bacon.
Yumi, my stalwart friend, arrived breathless at 11 A.M. I told her I love to observe people. She showed us all types in all sorts of surroundings:
A hipster in a Ginza tea shop who made exquisite expresso green tea.
Shopkeepers who sold paper, tofu, and miso.
The old temple site.
Sections of Tokyo where we bumped into delicious octopus balls, seasonal fish, gangsta jackets, and plastic food and beverages.
Culminating in SUMO:
We had tatami-style seats nearly ringside and were ideally positioned to see big men, one after another, posture twice and tackle once. Twenty-five warriors took the stage. We drank cold beer and ate hot yakitori as the men hit the mat or triumphed. Three hours of viewing that will last a lifetime. What was amazing was the persistence, the focus, the repetition of movement, the clear link to an ancient time when sports were more physical than now. I can’t wait to return. Maybe I’ll bulk up and take to the ring: Scotto.
Later, that night, we met up with Takeshi. He showed us Jiro’s sushi place: A three star affair hidden in a subway station. Twenty pieces, $360. Don’t try this at home. Pass? We passed.
Instead it was my favorite of things: Izakaya Time. On the 7th Floor, we dined on fish and vegetables. More beer, more sake, lights out.