I was planning on trying Da Isa (generally considered the best pizza in Japan), when I learned that it isn't open on Mondays. So I did a quick search to see what other pizzerias were around. I knew that there are several that are considered top notch in Nakameguro and came up with Seirikan (owner Susumu Kakinuma was the former owner of Savoy-another highly regarded pizzeria). It's an interesting space with a spiral steel staircase that takes you to the secodn and third floors. I decided to go with the Marinara over the Margherita, and it was great with crispy crusts, savory tomatoes and garlic and both cost ¥1500.
The architecturally impressive Hotel Okura is slated for a massive remodel, so I wanted to see it before they tore it down. A friend happened to be visiting from out of town, so we decided to make a visit. Some views of the lobby.
We were planning on getting a drink in the Orchid Room, but as you can see it was fully occupied.
So we ended up at the Baron Okura, a wine lounge and cigar room, instead.
I had lunch today at Le Cordon Bleu Cafe in Daikanyama, which is also a culinary school. They have a reasonable lunch set of a main, salad, and coffee or tea for ¥1000. Today I went with lasagne since the quiche was sold out.
After all the tramping I did in New Zealand over winter break inspired me to do more in Japan. So for my first trip I decided to do a short walk, Tama River, that wasn't too far away and which was recommended as a good winter walk that I found in a book called Day Walks Near Tokyo by Gary D'A. Walters. Well I should have double checked about this walk since the book was written in 1988! The first part of it was a bit of a disappointment, but it ended up being a nice excusion. The walk starts at Komiya station on the Hachiko line near Hachijoji and ends at a bus stop for a bus that will take you back to Hachijoji.
This was one short section of the walk in which the walker can get close to the river. At the start of the walk a huge factory has taken up all the access to the river. That being said, I did see a wild blue heron.
This section, as you can see has become an access road-apparently (from the sign I read) this has been closed off from 5pm to 8am to stop illegal dumping. I guess Japan isn't as clean as I like to think it is.
Well-maintained baseball and soccer fields on the access road near the Tama River.
The best part of the walk is when you move inland to walk in the Takiyama National Park.
Last week I saw in The Japan Times that there was an exhibition on the buildings designed by Kenzo Tange, one of my favorite Japanese architects, near Nogizaka station. Overall it was interesting, however, I would liked to have seen more pictures blown up like these in an outdoor exhibition. The exhibition at Gallery Ma is on until March 28th.
Ricahrd Snadoval's Toro in Ginza is the latest location in his empire of Mexican and Latin classic food restaurants. We started with an original Smoked Swordfish and Guacamole.
The smoky bacon and cheese mac side came before the main dish.
Tortilla soup, a Mexican staple.
Churasco: lamb chop, chorizo sausage, picanha, beef chuck roll, and achiote chicken. Overall, I liked the food just fine, but the service was a bit spotty and the signature cocktails were a bit too sweet for me. A fine night out. I'd certainly go back to try some of the other dishes that we didn't order.
Bebu Cafe at the Andaz Hotel in Toranomon Hills has offers great gourmet burgers. I tried the "Classic" with cheddar cheese and smoky bacon for ¥1100, however, there's a lunch set with salad, a drink, and dessert for ¥1800.