Friday, November 30, 2007

All the way from Coney Island

Our Brooklyn-bred boys will be psyched to see this: there's a Nathan's in the Hiroo shopping district, which caters to ex-pats with its international supermarket (which delivers), an Italian coffee bar and a McDonald's.
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Tiny Car

Here we are at the end of our apartment search. It's Friday, Nov. 9, and we have decided to go with the 3-bedroom in the Windsor House Hiroo, which is a 10-minute walk from the Ebisu subway station and shopping district, where we happened upon this tiny car, parked on the sidewalk. Here T is trying to get in touch with our relocation liaison to tell her we have made a decision.

Next stop: Guapos, a Spanish tapas bar where Cruzcampo costs $8 a pint and you get a tasty wedge of Manchego cheese with every beer....
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Brad Pitt sells out (overseas)

We spotted this ad for SoftBank cell phones in a wireless store on the shopping street in Hiroo, about a 10 minute walk from where we will be living. Cameron Diaz also shills for SoftBank, and appears in a ginormous billboard in Shibuya crossing. She sure looks pretty holding that cell phone to her ear. (Fun fact: the scene in The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift was not filmed in the real Shibuya crossing. Apparently the studio had a set built to look like the real place. Add it to your Netflix queue today!) Found this Flickr shot of Shibuya crossing at night...take a look:
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More shots from the hotel's garden, close to the garden's highly-rated (and expensive) teppanyaki restaurant called the Sekishin-Tei, offering "knife-wielding chefs and counter seats." (Fun fact: teppanyaki is a style of Japanese cuisine where iron griddles are used to cook the food. Thanks, Wikipedia!)

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Here's me walking through the hotel garden on Saturday, Nov. 10, the last day of our kid-free "look-see" trip, a few hours before we have to head to the airport for the 13-hour flight home.

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my first visit (T's third)

T's company paid for us to go to Tokyo for a week to look at apartments and schools for the boys, so we went in early Nov. (leaving the kids with their grandparents) and stayed at The New Otani Hotel, where there's this 400-year-old garden. It looked beautiful even on a chilly rainy day.