Straight from the 'moon!
My husband and I were fortunate enough to spend eight days of our honeymoon in a city that we eventually declared the most fascinating place on earth. It seemed that there was a cultural adventure waiting for us around each of Tokyo’s nooks and crannies every time we stepped out of our hotel. I don't know what else we expected from a country where the Prime Minister's wife in an interview with CNN told her countrymen that she flew to Venus on a flying saucer, her husband has been too, she eats the SUN and she wants to do a movie with Tom Cruise because they were friends in a previous life, but we were sure in store for some remarkable surprises.
Where do I begin? The Cat Café that is conveniently located in the middle of the nightlife district near Shinjuku, Tokyo where you can literally make a night out of getting drunk and playing with cats for ten bucks an hour? Or Japan's version of the reality TV show The Bachelor, where a group of ladies are eliminated over a forty-minute period and at the end of the show the last standing lady decides whether she wants to sign a marriage contract with a guy she knows nothing more about than his salary, the fact that he is in his thirties, and that he's a so-so Rocks, Paper, Scissors player?
At one point within our first day in Tokyo a nap was the next item on our agenda but I couldn't sleep despite the jet lag because I was so eager beaver to get to Toto Super Space. Toto Super Space was a real gem which housed examples of Japan’s world-leading toilet technology. Toto was filled with toilets of all shapes and functions that automatically lifted their seats as I walked by. Some of them turned on via the Internet, others analyzed what was in there. No, really. Thank the lord flash photography was allowed- I sure had fun with my camera in there.
The Japanese are so use to top of the line toilets that they have to excuse themselves whenever the toilets at an establishment are sub-par. We stayed in a nice three-star hotel in the center of Tokyo for part of our trip which had a toilet seat that didn't warm up. To compensate, our toilet had a sign that read "this toilet seat doesn't get warm because it doesn't use electricity. The operation method is different from the one that does use electricity. Please look at ‘How to Use Shower Toilet’ for more information." Really? Honestly folks? Our toilet has an instruction manual even though it won't even warm up? Weird! I was on the verge of calling the front desk and getting a legitimate answer as to why our toilet seat was so low-quality because I'll be honest, we were fairly "shocked." After all, even hole in the wall Indian restaurants have warm toilet seats in Japan.
After getting over the toilet phenomenon, one of the pinnacles of our Tokyo extravaganza was a night at a bar called Kagaya. I don't know if you could call this place a bar, it was more like a way of life. It was run entirely by "Mark," whose crackpot behavior made the bar famous. As soon as we sat down we were greeted by Mark's obligatory robot who brought hand towels to our table. Then Mark brought us the menu, which he translated into English by stroking it up and down and telling us how sexy it was. He explained that in his bar you pick a drink and a country every time you order. I choose soju with green tea and Brazil. Mark prepared my beverage then disappeared into his closet where he dressed up in a Carnival outfit, loaded up his CD player with samba music and came out of the closet hooting and hollering like a madman as he served me a drink in a cup that shook and wiggled every time I picked it up. My husband had to pour his drink out of a glass with a boy peeing. Japan is an interesting country.
When it came time to eat we didn't get to pick what we ate, instead we just had to choose which type of menu we ordered from. One of the choices was: "Hey Master, you know what, today I'm feeling free. Get me something soothing. Wow me. Bang me. You know what I'm talking about...2625 yen."
When Mark finally brought out our bill which was rolled up in a Barbie doll's shirt, I thought to myself- wow, the Prime Minister's wife is really starting to make sense to me. Tokyo must be a very special place.