Travelogue: Tokyo

So, as much as I tried to stay mad at Blue Eyes (not really… I don’t try to stay mad at anyone) it is impossible to stay sad or mad in Japan. It just is. It is so strange here and I really cannot walk five steps without going, WTF? But in a good way, you know? As we headed out of the train station, the first thing we encountered was some simple pruning going on outside the Tokyo Station Hotel. First, the Tokyo Station Hotel is amazing. I want to stay there, but so far when we have been here, the prices have been sky high. We have a beach house to furnish, remember??? 😉

The hotel was originally opened in 1914, went through extensive damage during The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and then sustained further damage during WWII. It was closed for a while and resumed business in 1951. It was then closed again in 2006 for a complete six year renovation and reopened in 2012. It is beautiful, but definitely not traditional Japanese design.

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Tokyo Station Hotel

It is literally attached to Tokyo Station, insanely convenient to everything we do in Tokyo. Maybe next time…

For the time being we are saving pennies and staying at a more moderately priced hotel in the Shinagawa area of Tokyo. It’s a short train ride to Marunouchi (Tokyo Station), and the lovely Ginza district. Honestly, it is incredibly easy to get around Tokyo by rail, and that is one of my all time favorite things about Japan. I don’t have to get in a car if I don’t want to.

We exited Tokyo Station and ran smack into these guys pruning a simple tree. Tree pruning, not a big deal, right? But to me, this scene represents Japan, and the fastidious attention to detail.

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One tree, two trucks, four guys, and six ladders, and a big green cloth laid out so nothing gets messy. Gardening at its finest. I had to smile at that.

Next stop, the post office, because that is where we get cash. For some strange reason, cash machines are located in post offices and have been since we lived here in the 80’s. The big post office building across from The Tokyo Station Hotel has been turned into an indoor shopping mall, but there is still a lovely and HUGE post office located in the building. Normally post offices in Japan are teeny tiny affairs that barely hold two people. This post office was more the size of an Apple Store. Once we had cash, we went in search of food (food that wasn’t on Kitchen Street, that is). When we are cold and hungry, both Blue Eyes and I like a good bowl of Tonkotsu (pork based bone broth) Ramen. Ramen is very common cheap eats in Japan. Totally fattening, but so comforting. The broth is thicker and so flavorful, and the noodles are fresh, not like Top Ramen. We headed to Ippudo, a little ramen shop we had visited the last time we were in Tokyo. The food was just as good this time.

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Once we were both full and feeling a little less punchy, we headed off to do some shopping. I was looking for modern Japanese serving dishes for the beach house, but instead I ended up with bath towels. As we navigated the streets of Marunouchi, we encountered some really cool food carts. Now we have lots and lots of food carts in Portland, we’re sorta known for it, but I have never seen a food cart in Japan. I am here to say, the Japanese do food carts right (at least in my opinion), like they do so many things well.

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French Themed Chocolate Food Cart

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Moet Chandon Food “Cart.”

We headed back to the Post Office Mall and although I was still feeling irritated by Blue Eyes, as we perused the shopping information sign looking for housewares, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud as Blue Eyes pointed to name after name of Japanese stores. The one that got me though was a woman’s clothing store named GOUT COMMUN. These are not Japanese words, so I don’t really know what they were going for when they named this store. I don’t know if it means something in another language, but in English, it is just not a good name, not at all. I laughed out loud and that broke the ice a bit. They also had an over the top humongous fake snow covered tree in the middle of the mall and holographic singing snowmen that ran about every 30 minutes. The snowmen started their thing while we were in one of the stores and the intro sounded like a disney sound track wherein elves are being slaughtered in the middle of an amusement park. I honestly don’t know what was supposed to be happening with those snowmen, but Blue Eyes and I seemed to be the only ones bothered by it. When we finally took a moment to watch the singing holographic snowmen, I had to laugh out loud it was so strange and silly. And, there were absolutely zero children at this shopping center. The adults were, however, mesmerized by the singing holographic snowmen. Japan is a strange place, and maybe I am a bad person, but I find it all so hilarious!!!

Yesterday after Blue Eyes returned from meetings, we headed out to meet my brother (GQ), his wife, and the princess for dinner. Unfortunately, on the ride to Ginza, the little princess threw up in the taxi and so mommy had to get her back home. We did meet my brother, however, and he escorted us to a great little Buddhist accessory store where Blue Eyes was able to pick up a Rindle (Buddhist bell with candle) he had been eyeing. We then ate dinner at a traditional Okinawan Teppanyaki Steak house. Think Benihana, but big enough for maybe 25 customers versus 250, and way way way better for you and without all the crazy tricks.

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The food was healthy and delicious including four courses of vegetables grown in Okinawa (appetizer of papaya salad, a small green salad, purple sweet potato, onions, garlic, and peppers), plus tofu, and then a very modest meat course with the highest quality of Wagyu beef. Finally an egg and bitter melon dish was prepared. Very little oil or salt was used in the cooking and it was a fun experience. There are lots of interesting and healthy food options in Japan.

Today I finally made it to the hotel gym. It is small, but really well equipped. I hiked a trail in Queensland Australia (fancy treadmill) while looking out the window at reality:

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I am totally enamored with the reflections in the windows of the building across from our room (and the sky of course):

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Turns out, I am pretty easily amused! 🙂

Tomorrow, more shopping and lunch with my brother. Maybe I’ll make Totally Caroline totally envious Caroline (insert blowing kiss emoji here) and seek out a Pierre Herme Ispahan Croissant. They have everything in Tokyo!!!

12 thoughts on “Travelogue: Tokyo

  1. Yessssss! Take Caroline!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
    I am so glad you are starting to relax and and enjoy yourself a little better. Whenever things are tough u have to focus on those little things that can make u smile. That’s what makes life great.
    That hotel you liked… in London there is something very similar called the St Pancrass Hotel. The rooms are nice, but look it up, the lobby is spectacular (never stayed there). It’s also part of one of londons major tube stations.
    Keep smiling lovely, and don’t forget u have to eat at least 1 ispahan croissant. BE too!
    💋

    Liked by 1 person

    • ❤ No doubt the Japanese used British architecture as the inspiration for this hotel. It is just so out of place here in bustling modern Tokyo and does not resemble older Japanese architecture either, and that is what makes it so interesting. The interior of the rooms look beautiful.

      We are on our last full day here and will be off shopping soon and then dinner. Tomorrow, more shopping then the long plane flight back home. For some reason, six days in, I am struggling with jet lag. That does not bode well for my return home as jet lag on the return is horrible for me. We miss a night's sleep and arrive in the morning. We actually basically experience the same day twice. It is so difficult to stay up until bedtime on the day we return and then we get all mixed up. Oh well, it is what it is! And we return home to snow and ice. Ew! I am done with winter already and it hasn't even officially started!!! 🙂 I hope you have some fun plans for the weekend. ❤

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  2. CK, guilt has a time limit to it. Most of us do not want to wallow in our own shitty guilt. We will do anything rather than feel it. The problem is it is still as painful to you right now under the surface as it was when you found out. That is because it was an insult. People call it abuse. It is abuse but it all is also very insulting. I teach a class to adults about behaviors and one question I always ask is who remembers when someone insulted you and hurt your feelings. They can remember back 20 and 30 years ago, but if I ask about compliments they are usually stumped. I always compliment them. Interesting. So, for your husband to compartmentalize his history is not surprising. The fact that you can’t isn’t either. You are in a city where he made memories with another woman. To him that is old “stuff”. To you it is in your face.
    Reclaim Tokyo. Make it your city.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are correct, moi, him ignoring my feelings and my needs in order to act out the way he did is totally insulting and it just burns that he still doesn’t necessarily feel the need to think before he acts, speaks, whatever. It blows my mind, but I get that he spent decades doing just that… ignoring other’s needs in order feed his own. I was taught so differently and behave differently, so yeah, it’s tough. What comes naturally to me, does not to him, and vice versa. I want him to just change already, and we all know how disappointing those expectations can be.

      My version of Tokyo and Japan in general, both from all those years ago when we lived in Kyoto, and all the times we brought our children here, and as recently as the times I have been here since discovery visiting my adorable little niece, have been generally filled with all the fun things I like to do and more recently creating new good clean memories to try and obliterate the “fake” memories that roll around in my head about them here together… the mind pictures of their time. I know what I concoct in my mind is so much more intimate and nice and romantic than what transpired (and I realize it is destructive to me) but the truth doesn’t really add up in my mind, because who would travel with someone under such masochistic and abusive circumstances. It’s like my mind refuses to accept how he says it was because who would behave that way? Certainly not anyone in MY LIFE. Well, as I so often say, the joke is ON ME. They did behave that way. So I need to accept that for me, Tokyo has always been my city. I get to write my own rules. I cannot let what he did ruin that. Thanks for the pep talk.

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  3. I, too, love your travelogue ❤️ After almost a year of recovery, I now refer to it as the rocky road to recovery. I think what makes it so difficult is that I do love my husband and I love our life together. We are incredibly compatible and enjoy each other so much. Even knowing what I know, it’s still hard for me to believe my husband carried on the double life for so long. I’ve sometimes joked that he should have been a spy, a double agent. But, my therapist told me sex addiction is the easiest addiction to hide. I think that’s part of what makes it so devastating for me. I honestly never had a clue. We really have not even started the rebuilding phase. Each of us has focused on our own growth. Learning to set and enforce boundaries has been so hard for me. A work in progress for sure. As always, thanks Kat.

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    • Thanks, Maggie, for sharing. And yep, no clue over here either. I have written about the fact that my husband was such a good liar, that he had me convinced he was a horrible liar. I was convinced I knew when he was lying, always. But that was all a smoke screen. He is a consummate liar when he is “in his addiction,” as I call it. The lies just fly out of his mouth. Now he struggles with it all because I am no longer the gullible person I was. Now I know at least part of the truth. I know as much as I need to know. His survival (in his mind) was based on his ability to hide his secret life. He was and is still so ashamed. It is true for me that traveling to these places where he spent time with the other woman is harder than being at home now. I have conquered home. I hate that he soiled these foreign countries/cities that I adore, but I am not going to let his horrid acts of the past ruin my future. I.just.won’t.let.them. Of course he wants to live in the present and create new clean loving memories. I want that more than anything but the trauma creeps in through those little cracks at some points during some days. When I look back on my posts from a trip we took to Tokyo in January 2015 (one year out from d-day), I see that I am truly a different person now. It probably took us a year before we started working on ourselves, separately, individually. We really struggled the entire first year and into the next with clinging to each other and his focusing on my trauma and neglecting his own recovery. We were so lost for so long. Focusing on your individual healing is critical. Big hugs to you!

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  4. Loved reading the travelogue. I am fairly new to this blog but it is so encouraging. I know how it
    Feels to be knocked down again and so badly wanting to be happy and forgiving. You are an inspiration. I can’t help wondering if there is a common thread between the wives that we
    Do have a burning desire to be honest and live a pleasant life. Not all women subscribe to this. Just thinking….
    Also I hate that this is my life a lot of the time but oddly enough I wouldn’t go back because I have such compassion for “my” addict & myself. When I think from the practical, logical side of my brain I feel grateful that he had the courage to come out to me and free himself. Maybe that’s my gig in life. I know I will eventually heal, albeit becoming a different version of me, but I’m wondering if that might be the ultimate plan. There are things I have learned about life since this was revealed: I have clearer boundaries set- my expectations are higher- I have a better understanding of true intimacy now. I am really evaluating my life to determine exactly How i want to live my days. I don’t think I did as much of this b4 dday.
    When I think of his life and how terribly lonely and degrading and dispicable (need I go on?😜), I feel terrible that he lived this way for
    So long. He has a chance to live a respectable life. Yes we all feel so betrayed but I often think if he was a closet alcoholic and hid vodka all around the house and I never knew… would I leave? I would at very least give him a chance. The emotional side of me that feels like a little girl scorned , however, often has to be reminded that I am not really connected to his problem. I want to be connected to the solution though … most of
    The time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with and understand everything you say. I have loved my husband for 30+ years. I see the illness and I know he was miserable. His addiction was born out of neglect and abuse way before I met him, and it continued to grow in secret because it couldn’t survive out in the light and truth and love where I live. I am honestly shocked he was able to keep it all a secret and put on such a convincing facade. I am also glad my husband came clean and is in recovery. I want him to live a respectable and HAPPY life. He is still stressed out a lot and doesn’t have his drug to cope, so it is tough, but he is doing it. He’s living. It’s not always fun or easy to live with him, but marriage is not ever easy, and we cannot go backwards. We can’t change anything that has happened. When we take everyone else out of the equation… and all the expectations we had, plus all the judgment of others, it really leaves us in a place where we can make a decision for our futures that is sensible and loving and kind, both to ourselves and to our partners. For the most part, I feel like my husband is doing his best to be a healthy adult and an honest and loving partner. I want that, and I am happy. But yeah, some days are a bitch! ❤

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