Sake and Shochu Talk

I've been watching Queer Eye, season 5, and have been appreciating all of the inspirational quotes that accent the show. Many seem to center around being in the present, which I'm all for. For example:

"You can't start the next chapter if you keep rereading the last one." - Unknown

But during the pandemic, I've taken pleasure in rereading the past. As long as I'm not wallowing in pity that we can't celebrate Matsuri this year or I can't go to Tanzania, I'm finding it therapeutic to take a trip down memory lane.

Since the next chapter seems so unknown, what are we left to do than to live vicariously through our memories? So here are just a few Japan travel fantasy photos we've looked back on with fondness.

We travel to Japan once or twice a year to check in with barware makers, brewers, and the food scene! Here is Kayoko with champagne on the plane. Can you imagine?

Whether it's at SFO, NRT or KMJ, we would regularly run into friends at the airport. I look forward to seeing people at the airport again.

We usually go straight to Tsubame-Sanjo to Ginpachi Sushi Bar, to feast on the local catch with Muramatsu-san of Yukiwa, Suzuki-san who plates all of our barware in gold, and Sekura-san who helps us with importing all of the stainless steel barware and kitchenware that come out of this town. 

More fantasies – like standing in a long, packed line to get soba and tempura.

Not sure if we'll ever see a nagashi somen place in the post-COVID world. Nagashi somen involves revolving noodles in a spinning receptacle full of cold water. It's a free-for-all and everyone around the table "fishes" for the noodles.

Like many of you, I am due for a haircut. I usually get my hair done in Japan to take advantage of all of the hair technology they have there. Plus, they really know how to work with my coarse, long, Asian hair. Here, you'll see me getting a digital perm at my favorite salon Pace in Akasaka-Mitsuke. This is super dreamy – getting a haircut WHILE in Japan.

Will I ever hold hands with people outside of my social bubble again? Will I ever hold hands with Jiro ever again?

More than anything else, I miss my friends and family in Japan. Here we are in a tiny room at a karaoke bar in Hatagaya with Tori-chan. We usually go with a group of 5-10 people in a room that would not survive in a world of social distancing.

Having a meal at Cignale INDOORS with girlfriends. Sigh...

I've missed my family very much. Baba-chan (far left at 95) is doing well in her home in Shimokitazawa. I can't wait for the day when I can see all of them again. Hang tight!

Yoko, circa 2017, looks pretty much the same as Yoko today – stay safe and wear a mask!

1 comment

  • Really enjoyed this story especially the part about Jiro! Was planning on going to Japan this year but of course had to put that on hold. Thank you for sharing your adventure! The Fab Five in Japan was such a good season!

    Bill on

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published