Friday, November 20, 2009

11/19/09 - 11/20/09: Day 1 in Japan - Touchdown

11/19/09 10:00 EDT
My annual trip to Japan started at Oasis Lounge, courtesy of a lounge ticket for NWA.

Although my flight is at 12:40, why not get there early and take advantage of free amenities (ahem, "drinks"), right?

With the acquisition of NWA by Delta, my flight was technically NW 0799 but the plane was Delta fleet B770.

11/20/09 20:00 Japan Time
11/20/09 06:00 My body clock

After safely touching down then checking into the hotel, next on my agenda was to enjoy ramen, even though especially because my body clock reads 6:00 am. Since last year's pattern went well, I decided to retrace the same steps.

Asahi Dry, medium bottle (well, it's large for us): 480 yen.

Large serving ramen with Char-Siu Pork: 780 yen.

Gyoza dumplings: 300 yen.

Total dinner cost: 1,560 yen ($17.93*)

11/20/09 20:30 Japan Time
11/20/09 06:30 My body clock

The next stop was saké bar. By this stage, I am ignoring my body clock.

While the saké bar features saké selections directly sent from Yokobué Brewery, there were many shochu and spirits on the list.

This year, I had their Honjozo (SMV: +5) which had some hints of creaminess with a clean and dry finish, followed by their "Tachinomi"(立呑) limited release (SMV: +5), made specifically for their bar. This was softer with more creamy flavors on the palate. Each order cost 300 yen.

The last selection was Kodou (古道) junmai (SMV: +2), described as made in richer styles in the older style. Generally, such styles meant darker color, rich and full palate, and sweeter finish. In reality, it was intense, clean, and dry, more along the lines of modern genshu. As a special brew, it cost 400 yen.

All in all, not a bad way to spend 1,000 yen ($11.49*)!

*Note: Conversion rate is $1 = 87 yen.

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