Thursday, January 04, 2007

new y-eerie

Flickr kicks assI'm anxious to go out shopping today with a friend so as to see whether life is returning to Tokyo. It's been so strangely quiet in most neighbourhoods since last Friday, 29 Dec. It's kind of spooky and Aran has been cracking jokes about Tokyo having transformed into Ottawa.

Yesterday I went to Shinjuku, an always-packed shopping area, and it was very very busy. So I guess that is where everyone was because later, around 6 p.m. I was able to race my bike along the sidewalk of our local mainstreet to the grocery store, which normally would not be possible due to the density of rush hour pedestrian traffic. It seems that the first few days of the year are giant boxing day sales at big stores, while many small shops and most offices remain closed. I guess things will get back to normal next week.

In the meantime, we're enjoying it. On Tuesday, we even went with some friends to a nearby Shinto shrine to have dinner at the yatai (food stalls) that set up outside of shrines for the first few days of the year. There were even some game stands for the kids.

It was pretty quiet so we were able to take our time and cruise up and down the 15-odd stands on each sides of the path. The octopus balls (pictured here) were my favourite. They're a crepe-like dough with a piece of octopus in the middle, cooked in these special round waffle-griddle like things and covered afterwards with mayo and all kinds of toppings. The giant shrimp fire-grilled on a stick was oiishii (delicious) too.


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