Beer, sausages and ramen in Tokyo

02Oct12

Today, Tuesday, ends my weekend. I teach English on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and I take off Monday and Tuesday, thus, this is my holiday.

However, I still treat Friday, Saturday and Sunday like the weekend, so in reality, I only have two workdays.

Which leaves plenty of time to dick around in Tokyo. Here’s what I did most recently:

Lisa – the unofficial spokesmodel for beer worldwide.

Saturday night, Lisa and I went to our favorite German bar/restaurant in Tokyo: Tanne.

The mug matches the bottle!

Just a two minute walk from Yoyogi station, Tanne has roughly 30 brands of European bottled beer, everything from whites to wheats to fruity treats. For the most part, they cost under 1,100 yen, and this isn’t a 16 oz. pint your getting. They serve it full European size (sorry, don’t know my metric measurements) in the proper mugs provided by the breweries themselves.

The toughest part is picking out which beer to buy. Since they come in such large sizes, at most you will be able to drink two in one sitting. Or if you are me, you will push it too far and get three.

When we were there this past weekend they had a special Oktoberfest brew provided by Paulaner. It was good, but Millstream’s Oktoberbrew might have more flavor.

Next I tried the Weltenberger Kloster, since I like the hefeweisens, and Lisa had the Schneider

My head, beer and bits of sausages yet to be devoured.

Weisse. The Weltenberger was a little watery, but still had a smooth flavor. Lisa’s Schneider had a powerful apricot aftertaste and was pretty tasty.

I don’t remember what my third beer was.

We did enjoy several Vienna sausages. We also had cured bacon on a stick. Delicious.

We made the 45 minute walk home from Yoyogi to burn off some of the calories.

Granted, there are several other German, Belgian and Irish brew pubs in Tokyo to visit, but this is the one we go to. I would definitely recommend it, just be aware it closes at 11:30 p.m.

Monday

For my “weekend,” I took advantage of Japan’s lax public drinking laws.

Sunday we experienced our first major typhoon. There wasn’t much damage, but we accidentally left our bag of recyclables on the back porch and our plastic bottles blew all over the neighborhood. Lesson learned.

This week also just happened to be our turn to sweep the parking lot of the apartment building. So I spent Monday morning sweeping up debris and picking up stray plastic bottles.

Since Monday happened to be a beautiful day, I went for a walk to Meiji Jingu Shrine. I carried a beer in my coozie (apparently coozies are an American thing) and sipped on it along the way. It was a great way to spend the afternoon after a hard morning’s work.

On the way back I stopped by a ramen restaurant near Hatsudai station. It was a chain restaurant so it wasn’t anything special, but it was still good. The nice thing was it was non-smoking, which is becoming more common in Tokyo.

My stomach got the best of me, and I ordered the set: a bowl of pork miso ramen, a bowl of rice (with fried pork on top) and a soft-boiled egg. I also ordered the gyoza. There was a picture of gyoza on the poster outside the restaurant, and that is what drew me inside.

Anyway, it was nice to be able to order food without Lisa’s help. However, I probably would have been better off with her there to tell me I was ordering way too much food.

So, belly bloated, I made the executive decision to bypass the 30 minute walk home and instead take the 5-minute train ride.

Tuesday

Today, Tuesday, I returned to Showa Kinen Park for a round of disc golf. I again had some difficulty getting there by train. Last time I took the Keio line from Meidaimae station to Bubaigawara station to Tachikawa Station.

I learned that taking the train from Tachikawa station to Nishi-Tachikawa station would save me 30 minutes of walking. So today I was determined to take the Chuo line from Shinjuku to Tachikawa and then switch trains to Nishi-Tachikawa.

Well, it almost worked. At Tachikawa station I read my map app wrong and went to the wrong platform (this wasn’t the first and won’t be the last time). I missed the train and the next one wasn’t coming for another 15 minutes. Rather than stand around and twiddle my thumbs, I decided to bite the bullet, enjoy the nice fall weather and just walk to the disc golf course from Tachikawa station (carrying a beer in a coozie).

This time I did discover the front nine. The last time I played disc at Showa Kinen I only played the back nine (because I couldn’t find the front nine.)

The front nine was spectacular. The highlight was hole 6 which had its own waterfall and a stream you had to cross by hopping from rock to rock.

All in all, it was a cool experience and I plan to be back next week.

I ended my day at the local okonomiyaki restaurant, Gottsui, near Sasazuka Station. I got there in time for happy hour. I was able to speak to the chef and the waitress in Japanese.

Or were we speaking English? By the end of happy hour, who could tell?

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