So… what have I accomplished today? For starters, the meeting was Sony wasn’t today… it’s tomorrow. So I got to spend all day in my monkey suit for no reason. No biggie. At least I got to meet the folks from the office and have a fantastic lunch. At the office, the new guy (even newer than I) befriended me by giving me a nice gift: a folding Japanese fan (called 扇子 – sensu). I look forward to getting to know him better.
After work, I split off on my own and went back to Shinjuku. Since I’m leaving soon, I knew this might be my last chance to accomplish just a few more things:
- Buy more books at Kinokuniya
- Find my old favorite ramen shop
- See if it were possible to rekindle the spark I once felt toward this place and its inhabitants
Was I successful in my endeavor? Yes, yes, and… yes.
The ramen shop has since changed ownership and the innards look very different, but gorgeous. The lady there was very nice and knew about the old place from 10 years ago. We talked a bit about the history of the area and how much it has changed since then. I mentioned that I might be able to come back for business in September, and she and the guy behind the counter both seemed to look forward to seeing me again.
I loved their ramen so much, I’m going to share their address with you, my 3 readers. If you ever happen to find yourself in Shinjuku, do yourself a favor and try it. You can’t miss the place… it’s across the street from a Wendy’s and just to the right of a McDonald’s. Please avoid those two. If you can’t, please don’t tell me about it.
The place is called 札幌らーめん 北の大地, which basically means “Sapporo Ramen, the Northern Land” or something along those lines, which makes sense, as Sapporo is in Hokkaido, which is way up north. The 醤油ラーメン (shoyu ramen, or soy-based soup and noodles) was fantastic. In fact, it was easily the best I’ve had since I got here. The lady recommended next time I try their 豚骨味噌ラーメン (tonkotsu miso ramen, or miso soup and noodles topped with friend pork cutlet). I think I’ll take her up on it.
Their address is Shinjuku-ku Shinjuku 3-chome 28-2 or 新宿区新宿三丁目28-2 for those conversant in the local lingo. Their phone number is (03) 3357-0056. Tell them the weird, bald gaijin who speaks Japanese told you about it.
On my way home in the light evening Tokyo rain, I came to a realization of sorts… in this, the loneliest of cities, I had just made a couple of friends. My love for Tokyo is starting to make more sense again. Once again, I find myself feeling passionately about the language, culture, and people of Tokyo.
I thank both God and Tokyo for all the lessons each has had to teach me. I can’t even begin to think I know what they all are yet, and I suspect I’ll be chewing on them for some time.