A rainy night in Tokyo

The weather yesterday was gorgeous. Perfect for a day of sightseeing and recovering from jetlag.

Today, on the other hand, dawned cloudy, and the clouds thickened all day. Perfect for a day of meetings in a hot conference room.
Or at least perfect for making me less unhappy to be stuck in a hot conference room. I did manage two quick forays outside during break, but it wasn’t enough.

One of the customs at the TC meeting is to have a group dinner at an interesting restaurant on the first night of the meeting (everyone is on their own for the second night). The host usually picks a cuisine and a restaurant which reflects the locale; tonight, we had dinner in the Chanko Nabe style at Chanko Kirishima, about 2km away from the hotel.

Chanko Nabe is a stew, and it’s cooked communally for everyone at the table. This posed a bit of a problem for our group, because one of our members is allergic to garlic, and I can’t eat pork or shellfish. So they put the two of us together, and one other TC member joined us — it was nearly two, but the restaurant had only planned for three special meals when they set up the portions.

Unfortunately, there was a communications gap between our host and the restaurant (he said that the people at the restaurant mostly spoke very minimal Japanese!). So the appetizers at our table included crab — but that was no real problem, since it was on a distinct plate, and I just didn’t eat it (and my tablemates were delighted to have more).

But when it came time for the stew, the miscommunication got more serious — the surface looked good, but there was bacon hiding beneath. Luckily, we found it before they started cooking, and so they made up a new batch, without bacon.

The food was really good — and there was way too much for us to eat! So we didn’t finish the stew — we did leave room for dessert, though.

I had hoped to walk to the restaurant, but it started to pour just before my meeting ended. The rain was so bad, in fact, that all of us (including me) decided to take taxis back to the hotel rather than swim the five blocks. And we taxied to the hotel, too.

But after returning to the hotel (again, by taxi), a few of us still wanted to walk. So we got umbrellas and headed out. It felt good — until I noticed that my pants were soaked, and I managed to walk into a puddle. Fortunately, that was on the way back to the hotel, so I wasn’t wet long — and now my clothes are drying in the tub and I’m sitting in a fresh yukata. Not too bad a way to spend a rainy night, really.