Mada mada, Tokyo…

Well, I don’t know about you, but two weeks in Japan feels like a very long time indeed.  So much to absorb, inhale, take in, and observe even on this, my twelfth visit in about as many years.  From the 45th Floor here at Park Hyatt Tokyo, the view combines sprawl and order, the natural beauty of a distant mountain range and the gray and white, tomblike architecture of the city itself.

Tempting to go for a walk before the long haul home today, but Shinjuku (new village) is a neighborhood of government buildings and office buildings.  A few side streets of local shops, a street of fugu restaurants.

Yesterday, I went with the executive chef of Park Hyatt to OTA market: the center of all the produce for Tokyo.  Just past dawn, the auctions over, we walked and took an electric cart through the football stadium sized building and then to small, cement house-like structures where retail is available.  Some of the retail areas specialize in just a few ingredients.

We saw the first signs of spring (haru): Mountain vegetables, asparagus, and gigantic turnips.

I was given a musk melon (meron), pale green inside, that turned out to be the best, juiciest I’ve ever had.

Hibiki, on the rocks, red lights twinkling.


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