Today is a low stress day, I’m out to get dumplings at Shini’s recommendation. He identified this one place where I really want to get dumplings, aptly named The Gyoza (ザ.餃子). This is it on Google Maps, it’s a few clicks out of town and will take some time to get to. The streets are really tiny, it’s difficult to drive around and there’s many one-way lanes. I get lost several times but eventually make it to where I need to be.
It’s a funny little joint, it’s on the ground floor of a small block of apartments, so it’s a very residential area (hence the tiny streets). For once in my life I’m early, and I’m hungry, but the place doesn’t open until midday. I think. Actually to make it weird, it looks like there’s already patrons inside, but the signage suggests it shouldn’t be open yet. I opt to wait it out, then go in after midday.
Caption: Without a doubt, this is the place.
I go to park the car and head inside. There’a a little carpark right across the road.
Fuck! Fuck fuck fuck!! While manoeuvring the small car around the even smaller carpark, I manage to scrape the front bumper against a low cinder block wall (against which residents pile their bags of rubbish. This is really un-fucking-cool. I park the damned car and head in, resolving not to let it ruin my day. I’ve probably lost the damage excess on the car but what’s done is done, sigh.
The Gyoza is a fairly pokey little place, there’s three or four big-ish tables on the left side, and a bar on the right, which is where I choose to sit. After a little bit of handwaving I determine that the restaurant is indeed open for business now.
Caption: The menu is a bit dense for my tastes, so I went for the headline set of eight gyoza for 420 yen
Caption: The kitchen is well appointed, those pans are seriously busy! You can see the master working away down the end, he’s the guy on the menu.
Caption: Freshly cooked gyoza are the best
Caption: I spent a couple of minutes but I couldn’t grok this sign. I think it says that customers can park in the small carpark adjacent to the building, but I wasn’t completely sure so I opted to park across the road instead. (for all I know this could be the waste pickup schedule, and the bays numbered 1 through 4 are pickup locations.
Caption: Huge pans are in, I hear.
Caption: Za Gyoza!! What I wouldn’t give for 20 gyoza right now…
Caption: You can also get takeaway at the window in the background
I need to finish and return the car by 15:00. Feeling mopey, I roll into the rental office to find two staff in the driveway to wave me in and welcome me back. I stopped on the side of the road earlier to try and figure out what to say, but none of the machine translations are very good. I gesticulate a lot and just point out the scratch, it’s easier that way. As best I can, I apologies profusely for the kizu (scar?) and all the meiwaku (trouble) it must cause.
Naturally there’s some paperwork for the staff to fill out, which takes a while. After more abortive conversation with one of the staffers who speaks a little bit of English, we manage to ascertain that the car didn’t cause any damage (or leave any meaningful evidence (except for a blue scuff mark on a cinder block wall)) at the location of the incident, and that I’d need to pay off the damage excess. 21,543 yen later, I’m done. Ouch! Almost exactly 250 AUD. In my frazzled state and haste to get back to the rental office I’d also forgotten to fill the take, which is no good.
There’s a shinkansen back to Tokyo with Miku livery at 16:32 and 18:12. I opt for the latter and go to visit Yodobashi camera to kill time.
Caption: I could’ve sworn this was Jackie! But it’s not. But it’s totally her kinda outfit.
One of the best things about Yodobashi is that you can try everything out. It’s nice when your customers aren’t dicks.
Caption: Shot on a Zeiss Distagon 35mm f/2. I’m sure it costs a pretty penny, but it is a really nice lens.
Caption: This guy was pretty enthisiastic for Tamron and Sigma lenses
Caption: Afternoon tea/dinner is served, a croque monsieur and sumibi coffee
It’s good to be back. I rent a room at the Via Inn again for 19,100 yen, then roll out to Akiba; what better to do? I know what’ll make it better: browsing Don Quijote store irresponsibly. I do that and walk out with 10,000 yen worth of stuff.