Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Love Hotel - December 20th, 2010

So last Friday, I was able to pick up our membership cards for the Tokyo American Club, commonly referred to as TAC.  For the past 3 years they have occupied a temporary facility on Mitsubishi's corporate land so that an entirely new club could be built  that will open mid January.  The new facility looks AMAZING and contains the following: a rooftop pool, kids splash water park, salon, spa, work out facilities, rooms for rent if visitors come to visit in Tokyo, multiple restaurants, bars, library, creche...and the list goes on. They offer classes, lectures, tours and of course have their very own Women's Club.  No, I will not be vying for the President's role anytime soon as much as I loved my stint with Hampstead Women's Club.  Plus, this might actually lead to a divorce. The  membership was included in Roy's job offer as a tool to assist us in settling into this country/city. We will be partaking in their Christmas dinner on December 25th at the old club, which will then close until the grand opening of the new facility on Jan 19th - I absolutely cannot wait! Santa is making a surprise appearance, so I'll make sure to take and post some photos.

On Saturday, the husband and I decided to celebrate my 29th birthday a bit early by hiring a sitter and going out to dinner at a restaurant with real plates, utensils and *gasp* candles.  Wisconsin born sitter, Gabby, shows up and we manage to escape the apartment with nary a whimper from G although he had spent most of Saturday repeating the mantra of "No Gabby, no Gabby".  As anyone that has spent time with a 2 year old can tell you, this could have manifested itself into a full blown, head spinning "NOOOOO GABBY!!!" while clinging to my ankles that evening...but it did not.  The restaurant, Legato, is in Shibuya ward (same ward that I reside in), but near Shibuya station - one of the busiest train stations in Tokyo and an area that can only be compared to Times Square or Leicester Square in London.   Complete madness ensues as we exit the train station and then we are swept away in a tidal wave of young people making their way to restaurants, bars, clubs.  The husband and I are momentarily lost and make a left turn down a seedy sidestreet that is host to numerous peep shows and a Love Hotel whereby you can rent rooms for a "rest" for 1-3 hours or for the night.  My attempt to ask for assistance at the Love Hotel (thereby horrifying the husband) is futile as there is no front desk staff (to be more discreet).  You select the room you desire from a panel of lit up buttons and then payment is made by pheumatic tube -ala drive through banks back in the day.  Must keep this Klassy establishment in mind for Valentine's Day.  This is a joke Mom.

We traipse back to the main street and eventually locate our restaurant on the 15th floor of the Espace Tower.   It's lovely, views are fabulous and our food is delicious as is the Dom Perignon (it's my birthday dammit) and the wine.  Roy's assistant has apparently relayed to the restaurant that it is my 25th birthday - no Christmas present for her, and the staff brings out a lovely dessert with candles and sparklers in it.  They however, did not sing to me so there is a god afterall.   Dinner is somewhat uneventful except for the trip to the toilet, please see earlier blog entry regarding toilets.   The problem actually resided in what door to enter - I now know that a red light indicates Ladies facilities whereas a green light indicates Men's room.  Seriously - no signage, no verbiage - just 2 damn lamps with different colored bulbs.  I chose correctly but refused to pass along the vital lighting information to the husband which was not very nice but had me laughing hysterically to myself at the table nonetheless.  Great night all in all although I was rueing Dom P and wine the next morning as G shows to mercy to the hungover and was bouncing on our bed at 7:17 am requesting the Wiggles.  Shoot me now.

I am resolving to return to this area of Shibuya as there is a ginormous department store called Isetan- complete with "learn to ski" facilities on the roof top as well as 7 levels of goodness - home goods, clothes, shoes, food, restaurants.   Cue Hallelujah chorus please...I just may like it here after all.
Until next time....

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