After many hours in the bus, after a brief walk around a mountain, after a view of an epic seated Buddha (no sleight of hand, but you get the picture, and, no, there was no call for eradication of Muslims to the West), after the whale (grilled in butter), we arrived, via a long tunnel beneath Tokyo Bay, in Satamai.

It’s a suburb of Tokyo, green in parts, and here, from the tenth floor, bleak and gray and industrious.  Crows cawing, strips of blue, a four lane street emptied of cars, hot and green tea.

The bonsai museum yesterday afternoon held trees some of them 500 years old, one of them 1000 years old.  Apparently, these were signs of mastery in homes of the aristocracy rather than indications of discipline engineered by the Zen Buddhist monks.  I don’t know, it looked like a lot of torture to me.

Prior to arrival at the hotel, it was a brief kaiseki dinner in a magnificent, fancy pants, wooden house.  The food was good and the setting was even better, and the water flowed.

Afterwards, some of us absconded to a local joint (King’s Bar) hidden on the third floor of a side street building for ice cold gin.  I’d go back.

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