Tokyo Meetup again April 24, 2006 7:00 PM   Subscribe

Tokyo Meetup again (it's a 2-fer now!) I'm there from May 10-19, and sconbie's there til the 15th.
posted by amberglow to MetaFilter Gatherings at 7:00 PM (87 comments total)

My quest to be the meetupingest mefite ever hits a whole new continent.

i'll be busy fighting Godzilla, and riding with Speed Racer and on that catbus from Totoro, and writing my memoirs as a geisha, and getting into a catfight with that Hard Gay fool, etc, but otherwise i'm free anytime! ; >
posted by amberglow at 7:02 PM on April 24, 2006

I'm in as you know.
posted by gen at 7:29 PM on April 24, 2006

gen : >

and babies are no excuse for you guys with kids--babies love me, so i'll entertain em. and maybe a daytime picnic thing somewhere? (where those kids dance in that park?)
posted by amberglow at 7:32 PM on April 24, 2006


I might be there in that timeframe - but nothing has been agreed yet.

I have culinary designs on Tokyo - there's a great ramen joint in Ebisu (that plays great jazz and serves beer half a degree above freezing) - and that's definitely on my list.

Gen, as I recall, you fell asleep mid invite last time.
posted by strawberryviagra at 8:41 PM on April 24, 2006

strawberryviagra, is it a Chinese place across from the Daimaru Peacock? God, I love that place.
posted by adamgreenfield at 8:44 PM on April 24, 2006

It's a black painted place on the corner (can't remember the name)- as you come out of the Eki, you walk to the left diagonally across the square towards a little street with a green entry gate (big ornate thing about 30 feet high) - walk down that little street and it's right at the end.

Really cosy, fantastic Nepalese waitress (who was there EVERYTIME I ate - bizarrely), big post of steaming soup and the best gyoza on the planet.

Don't you love Japanese directions? I used to work in Nihonbashi on a street that had an eel smoking shop on the corner - I used that as really effective sensory reference point to guide people to my office.

I miss that place.
posted by strawberryviagra at 8:50 PM on April 24, 2006

The place was cosy - not the Nepalese waitress (she was cuddly looking).
And, there were big pots (not posts) of steaming soup.
posted by strawberryviagra at 8:52 PM on April 24, 2006

Oh, I know the place you mean, at the end of the shotengai. There's a great Korean place on that block, a little closer to the station. Gen knows it...I *think*. I seem to have a memory of him there.

The place I meant, you've got to go straight out nishi-guchi from the JR station, cross the street. Once you get to the other side, you should have an onigiri stand and then Mr. Craft on your left shoulder, and a J-Phone store and a four-stool ramen joint on your right. Walk down that street in the general direction of Shibuya, about a block and a half up there's a Daimaru Peacock market on your left. Directly opposite is a Chinese restaurant that serves...incredible ramen and liquid-nitrogen-chilled beer, to spot-on swing jazz. Despite its hiding in plain sight right there on the street, it always felt like a hidden, cognoscenti-only experience to me, especially during tsuyu.

Dang, I miss Ebisu. Not Japan at all, really...but Ebisu lots.
posted by adamgreenfield at 9:49 PM on April 24, 2006

Well, gosh . . . I'm in, with or without kid (depending on day and time).

Amberglow and sconbie, if either or both of you are thinking of doing the temple, shrine, and big-ass Buddha thing down in Kamakura (where La Casa de Invidia is), I'd be happy to offer my services as tour guide.

Otherwise and also, I'll see you in Tokyo.
posted by Absit Invidia at 9:55 PM on April 24, 2006

I was beginning to think that meetups were basically a no-go in Tokyo, so if this one works out, I'm in. Depending on day and time, though... It's kind of hard to tell just from the comments here how many people are actually in Japan (or will be) and able to come. Amberglow and sconbie, have you ever been in Japan before? Where (general area) are you planning on staying, and do you have a particular spot where you'd like to go?
posted by misozaki at 10:19 PM on April 24, 2006

and babies are no excuse for you guys with kids--babies love me, so i'll entertain em.

My son can vouch for this. amber, you have to be about the meet up-iest person on MeFi... how many cities is it now?

This time its Tokyo. Lucky bastard, have a great time.

(I'm thinking of planning MeFi's first Kenyan meetup. So far, its just me and the wife, fancy dropping by?)
posted by davehat at 10:32 PM on April 24, 2006

sure dave! : > (find me cheap enough airfare tho--that's why i'm finally getting to Tokyo)

miso, i'm staying near Ueno station, have never been before, and can get myself anywhere that the subway goes, or anywhere at all, probably.

Absit, that really is a big buddha--come up/down to Tokyo tho : >

strawberry, we can eat at that place.

everyone, spread the word--let's make it a good one (or more than one)--how about
posted by amberglow at 11:02 PM on April 24, 2006

oops---- how about at night on Thurs the 11th, and/or Sunday the 14th in the afternoon? or suggest a day that works for most, or if there's anything special we could do or whatever
posted by amberglow at 11:06 PM on April 24, 2006

Amberglow, I'm in for either the 11th or the 14th, but I'll defer to you and Tokyo residents as far as where and what.
posted by Absit Invidia at 11:21 PM on April 24, 2006

My son has a soccer game on the 14th, so of those two days I can only make it on the 11th. Unless you all want to come down and watch him play, and get the kids on his team wondering who all those strangers rooting for them are...
posted by misozaki at 11:49 PM on April 24, 2006

hi, I should be able to make it out for a drink at an izakaya on the 11th, especially if it's West Tokyo.

My recommendation is one ridiculously expensive (Y1200?) beer at The Peak Bar in the Park Hyatt Shinjuku for the sunset over the megalopolis effect. Then a cheap izakaya or whatever.
posted by dydecker at 1:30 AM on April 25, 2006

The view looks like this
posted by dydecker at 1:42 AM on April 25, 2006

Hey kids, I posted this AskMe question a while back - and it looks like "it" might actually happen on the afternoon of the 11th, in Shinjuku. So, if all goes well, you can join us in drinking to celebrate the Official Union of Sconbie and Bunglin Jones. (Not that we're trying to hijack the meetup or anything...)
posted by bunglin jones at 5:13 AM on April 25, 2006

Hi there, thanks for all of the responses... Yes, Just so it's clear Bunglin Jones and I will certainly be up for a meet-up on the 11th. We're staying in Shinjuku. I've spent some time in Osaka but don't know Tokyo well enough to suggest a venue. I'm sure we'll find our way to wherever is decided. (A posh drink at the Hyatt sounds like a great start!)
posted by sconbie at 5:51 AM on April 25, 2006

mazel tov! you sure you want to spend your wedding day with us?
posted by amberglow at 6:27 AM on April 25, 2006

maybe we should do sunset at this observation thing in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government headquarters for free instead, and then go drink? (ridiculously expensive is a little out of my budget)
posted by amberglow at 6:48 AM on April 25, 2006

I think the observation decks at the tocho are terribly tacky but I guess I'm jaded :)

If you pass up the Hyatt, the best view is from Roppongi Mori Bldg, which has a great art gallery on the 52nd floor now showing an exhibition on Tokyo/Berlin. This costs Y1500 but it is well worth it.
posted by dydecker at 7:03 AM on April 25, 2006

here's their menu at the Peak Bar (it's not that horrible--1500-2000 for a cocktail=$13-17?)-- do they have a dress code tho?
posted by amberglow at 7:03 AM on April 25, 2006

the Peak Lounge is a little cheaper --is the view as good?
posted by amberglow at 7:06 AM on April 25, 2006

you sure you want to spend your wedding day with us?

We're ELOPING - we'll be having wedding day drinks with whoever's in the bar with us. If it's a bunch of Mefites in the bar, all the better.
posted by bunglin jones at 7:06 AM on April 25, 2006
posted by dydecker at 7:07 AM on April 25, 2006

amberglow, in Japan everyone dresses nicely so there are no dress codes, natch. The Peak Lounge and Bar is the same thing. Of course at that price the trick is to only allow yourself one drink!
posted by dydecker at 7:10 AM on April 25, 2006

how about this place after? all-night happy hour Thursdays: Gaspanic Shibuya (or does it suck?)
posted by amberglow at 7:35 AM on April 25, 2006

that place looks great dydecker--they have 2 bars/cafes with views the view as good? is it as central as the Peak places?
posted by amberglow at 7:39 AM on April 25, 2006

gas panic? I didn't know you were a 19-year-old limp biskit fan, amberglow!

This is my favorite izakaya in Shibuya.

Of course I don't want to shove my taste in things down everyone's throats. There are a million places to eat and drink in Tokyo. I am open to other suggestions.
posted by dydecker at 7:47 AM on April 25, 2006

amberglow, the arts center is just a nice option for a view of Tokyo. It's not really for eating and drinking.
posted by dydecker at 7:49 AM on April 25, 2006

Gaspanic sucks dead donkey sphincter. It's strictly from gabachoville - almost invariably the first club the arriving gaijin ever hears about and just as swiftly discards. (Unless said gaijin happens to be a 19-year-old avionics tech up from Atsugi, in which case he finds himself in hog heaven, and spends every free weekend there until the end of his tour or he marries one of the chiquitas he met there, whichever comes first.)

The views from Roppongi Hills are 360 degrees, and fairly stunning...but they come at the price of implicitly endorsing everything Mori has done to Minato-ku. ; . )
posted by adamgreenfield at 7:53 AM on April 25, 2006

Not on preview: dydecker, lol on the 19-year-olds. : . )
posted by adamgreenfield at 7:53 AM on April 25, 2006

D'oh! Gotta work until 21:00 or so on the 11th...If people are still out and about around 21:30 or so, I'd like to drop by for a drink or two.
posted by Bugbread at 7:53 AM on April 25, 2006

I personally prefer Shibuya to Shinjuku, but that's because 1) it's on my way home from work anyway, 2) it's got less sleaze, and 3) I lived there for 5 years, so it feels homey.
posted by Bugbread at 7:57 AM on April 25, 2006

i have no idea what's good at all--you guys decide

just added to my itinerary at some point: Otome Road: Imagine a whole neighborhood devoted to "Boy’s Love" anime and manga
posted by amberglow at 8:19 AM on April 25, 2006

we can do another night or day too, bug--don't worry
posted by amberglow at 8:19 AM on April 25, 2006

have a nice trip, amberglow, the Milan MeFi chapter misses you badly
posted by matteo at 10:40 AM on April 25, 2006

aw : >

already this is off the front page---let's coordinate by email or something? i'll post again before i leave, but i probably am not bringing my laptop, and won't really be checking email once i'm there (unless i have to)...

can we pick a time and place for the 11th? maybe some meeting point somewhere or in front of shinjuku station or something?
posted by amberglow at 6:40 PM on April 25, 2006

i'm watching Lost now--you guys are talking about the bar where so many scenes take place with the tacky lounge singers? and where's the place she goes where you tie white things on trees? and are arcades like that all over there? (i have to try the drum game) ...
posted by amberglow at 9:21 PM on April 25, 2006

amberglow : "where's the place she goes where you tie white things on trees?"

Dunno specifically which one they visit in Lost, but that's pretty common at quite a few shrines.

amberglow : "are arcades like that all over there? (i have to try the drum game) ..."

Yeah, pretty much. Some are appointed better than others, but if you want to play Taiko no Tatsujin or Drum Freaks (don't remember the movie well enough to remember if they play the Western drum game or the Japanese drum game), pretty much any arcade will do.
posted by Bugbread at 10:30 PM on April 25, 2006

I don't want to sound lazy or anything, but we have lots of adminstrative shit to sort out (in two languages!) and we don't know Tokyo well at all, so I can't really suggest a definite venue - but we'll be there if one is decided upon.
posted by bunglin jones at 10:48 PM on April 25, 2006

Ok...executive decision...
let's meet at the peak bar (for the view and/or one overpriced drink) and then head to ran-chu, drum games and general fun times! or whatever we find...?

As we've not done this before can someone fill me in as to what to expect/how to find other Mefites? Do we arrange the time and place and then say 'look out for me I'll be the one in the Carmen Miranda hat/rose in my teeth/huge neon sign saying "just married"?'

can't wait!
posted by sconbie at 11:38 PM on April 25, 2006

Hm. Shibuya sounds good, but I just checked out their (very tasty-looking) menu . . . Pretty steep, although the drinks are sort of normal priced. I'm game nonetheless, but folks should be aware that it's kinda high-end on the food prices.

How about meeting up at Shibuya Station's Hachiko exit at some particular time, and taking it from there?

If we're looking primarily to carouse and be just-hitched-here's-to-ya-and-how-dee-do jolly for the big day, why not just a basic place like Tsubohachi, Tengu, et al?
posted by Absit Invidia at 12:01 AM on April 26, 2006

If you would like, I can reserve the cool zashiki area (floor seating) for the 11th at ran-chu, which we'll probably need if there's more than five of us. The food is on the expensive side but they have a Y5500 for two people course menu which is cheap if you are hungry. The food is very good. Or you can just drink. It's not far from Hachiko so meet there at a specific time sounds good.
posted by dydecker at 12:10 AM on April 26, 2006

thanks dydecker - ran-chu looks beautiful and that sounds like a great plan to me.

hachiko is the uber-obedient but somewhat maladjusted dog at the station, right?

and again we don't mean to hijack the meet-up but are really looking forward to (new and) friendly faces to help celebrate the big day!

posted by sconbie at 12:19 AM on April 26, 2006

Dydecker, you've turned me. I should've checked the course menu. Y5500 for two is definately not bad.

I'm with the Ran-chu crew now.

Whew, that was easy.
posted by Absit Invidia at 12:20 AM on April 26, 2006

great, sounds like a plan. congrats on the wedding, sconbie!
posted by dydecker at 12:41 AM on April 26, 2006

ranchu sounds cool, but what's that official grand renewal thing say on their page? is it open?

let's do there, and we can meet by the dog statue beforehand if anyone wants? what time is the wedding?
posted by amberglow at 1:48 AM on April 26, 2006

(and 600-800 for drinks is much better pricewise for me)
posted by amberglow at 1:50 AM on April 26, 2006

it looks like a pretty big place--would we need a separate room? (and we wouldn't be able to check out the other customers)
posted by amberglow at 1:53 AM on April 26, 2006

it's not that big a place - there is just the one room. It just opened last December. I suppose it is on the pricey side but the food is pretty nice and it is a wedding... I always like to pay a few dollars more for a nice atmosphere and good food, although I am a pauper really. no tipping of course in Japan.

Pricewise, at more ordinary izakaya (Japanese-style pub) a pint of beer is Y450 not Y600. A typical no-frills izakaya menu. Some of the chains like Watami and Tengu, etc, do get very noisy though.

I know a cheap, nice izakaya and most importantly quiet izakaya suitable for a group just near Shibuya station if people don't want to spend.

The Japanese way is to eat and drink at the same time, which is pretty sensible. Of course it's okay just to drink at these places, too.

I also know a stand-up bar in Shibuya where beer is Y200!
posted by dydecker at 2:45 AM on April 26, 2006

if people do want to keep going do you know of any places where you pay the Y1800/Y2000 cover and then drink as much as you want...? this was pretty much the norm in Osaka during my time there as a student...
posted by sconbie at 2:55 AM on April 26, 2006

of course "nomi suginai hooga ii desuyo!"

although I haven't been able to keep to this motto as yet...!
posted by sconbie at 2:57 AM on April 26, 2006

let's do that stand-up bar afterwards, dy : >

all-you-can-drink places? for cocktails too? i'm impressed. (i only know from beer blasts--there's actually a gay bar in ni-chome that has one--i'm going to go on Sunday when i'm there, i think)
posted by amberglow at 3:21 AM on April 26, 2006

Sure, there are plenty of those places all over Shibuya.

Here is another option, six courses and two hours all you can drink for Y4000 at Gomaya in Shibuya. Quick and to the point.
posted by dydecker at 3:36 AM on April 26, 2006

we can do that another day, dy, if you want--i'm always up for all-you-can-drink
posted by amberglow at 3:49 AM on April 26, 2006

amberglow, another tip for cheap eating in Tokyo is to have a big meal at lunchtime. Most restaurants will have a set lunch for Y1000 so you can eat really well very cheaply during the day.

Feel free to email if you have any q's about your trip. sconbie too of course.
posted by dydecker at 3:57 AM on April 26, 2006


Got your email, but am away from my email computer for a while.

If everyone is groovy with the 11th, and planning on staying out past 21:30, keep me in the loop. Work ends at 20:45, so I should definitely be able to join in around 21:30, if not earlier. Unfortunately, that means I won't be able to meet at the start, so I'll need someone in Tokyo to keep me updated. Someone drop me an email (address is in the profile) and I'll give you my cellphone email address.
posted by Bugbread at 5:01 AM on April 26, 2006

yeah, dy--that's what i'll probably do, and then pick up a bento box or yakitori or noodles for dinners or something.

bug, i'll definitely be out til the last subway--email me your info and i'll bring it to the meetup

we still haven't picked a starting time, have we? when does the wedding end?
posted by amberglow at 10:52 AM on April 26, 2006

we have a good crowd already---me, the newlyweds, gen, dydecker, bugbread, strawberry, Absit, miso, mexican, ....

anyone else live there?
posted by amberglow at 10:54 AM on April 26, 2006

when does the wedding end?

Um... we don't really know. We're just signing a bunch of papers so I'm hoping it'll be quick. I'd like it to be all over by about 5.00 pm at the latest. Maybe Sconbie (who looks like this - standing out the front of her band - so you can recognise her) will be reading this now and have a clearer idea
posted by bunglin jones at 6:37 PM on April 26, 2006

I guess it's going to be mildly easier identifying each other in Japan - but just how does one know when one is in the company of another mefite?

As an example of how outrageous things can get in Tokyo: Shinjuku station deals with about 3,000,000 people everyday.

Do we now describe ourselves in typically self deprecating ways? Or will each of us experience some kind of epiphany at the appropriate moment?

I really enjoy the moment just prior to meeting someone whom I've communicated with, but never actually met. But I have to say, my preconceived visual notion is always so incredibly out - even gender.
posted by strawberryviagra at 6:53 PM on April 26, 2006

OMG, finally, a meet-up's being finalized in Tokyo! Yay amberglow for bringing everyone out of the woodwork and child-rearing! Shibuya sounds good, and it looks like I'm definitely in for the 11th. I'll probably come along with a non-Mefite friend, if that's okay. I'll try to stick around long enough to meet bugbread, but can't stay out for much longer than that. Sigh.
So what time do we meet? Around 6 p.m? I think I could come even a little earlier than that, like 5:30, but others might prefer later, I don't know. I gotta say though, I haven't waited for anyone in front of ol' Hachiko since I was a teenager, and I'm actually looking forward to that experience as well...

Like sconbie said, how do we recognize each other? There's always an insane mess of people around Hachiko, non-Japanese included, so it might be better to have something agreed upon than to take chances. I'm a pale, tall-for-a-Japanese obasan with medium-length hair. I'll wear glasses and jeans and a bracelet with big yellow beads on the arm that'll be waving a bouquet of flowers for the newlyweds!
posted by misozaki at 7:09 PM on April 26, 2006

Whoops, should have previewed. Now I know what sconbie looks like, so I'll be on the lookout for her!
posted by misozaki at 7:12 PM on April 26, 2006

I'll be getting out of work at 18:30, and so can be at Shibuya by about 19:00. Perhaps I should meet everyone at Ran-chu. I'll look for the group of foreign riffraff, a couple of whom I've now seen pictures of.

I'll be recognizable as the guy who looks like he's there to meet foreign riffraff, and like he really, really needs an after-work beer, as much for re-hydration as for gestalt. I can't say what I'll be wearing, since I can't remember when Cool-Biz season starts (right after GW, or is it June 1?), so it'll be either a shabby grey suit or too-new black jeans.
posted by Absit Invidia at 7:47 PM on April 26, 2006

when does the wedding end?

Our appointment at the City Hall Office is at midday, so if we allow time for having to wait around and sign papers etc I'm hoping that it won't take more than a couple of hours at the most. Then we can jump a train and be in Shibuya easily by late afternoon/early evening...
posted by sconbie at 8:00 PM on April 26, 2006

there are ugly pics of me all over flickr (just search for metafilter or amberglow, i guess)...i certainly would never pass for a local in Tokyo i don't think--i'll be wearing a black leather jacket cut like a jean jacket (unless it's really warm). : >

How about at that dog statue between 5:30 and 6:00pm for those of us who can meet early--we'll wander and stuff, and then at Ranchu from 7pm on? We can call people when we move on to another spot afterwards if they give cell #s or whatever, or plan to meet again at 9 or 10 at the dog for latecomers?
posted by amberglow at 9:09 PM on April 26, 2006

sounds good Amber...

Bunglin has just reminded me that we have to go to the Australian Embassy at midday and then the City Hall Office after that. If each of these takes a couple of hours I reckon
we will be fine to meet at 5.30/6pm at Hachiko.

BTW - great pics! and I'm glad to see a cigarette in your hand... I was planning to quit soon but at Y200 a pack in Japan I think I'll make the most of it while I'm there...
posted by sconbie at 11:36 PM on April 26, 2006

i know, sconbie--i can't believe it's so cheap there--we'll have to test out a ton of diff brands : >
posted by amberglow at 3:17 AM on April 27, 2006

I don't think recognizing each other's going to be a huge problem. I imagine there'll only be one group of lost-looking gaijin standing next to Hachiko.

There are directions to ran-chu on the website. It's a ten minute walk from Shibuya Station. I think 7 is fine. Should I go ahead and book the floor seating area then for 7pm for around eight people?

I think we might need a reminder on the front page a bit nearer the day, and then a quick round of emails and cellie mails and Bob's your uncle!
posted by dydecker at 4:14 AM on April 27, 2006

Thanks, dydecker. I'll post a reminder on the front page the day before. Looking forward to meeting you all.
posted by misozaki at 5:12 AM on April 27, 2006

cool--we're all set then
posted by amberglow at 5:17 AM on April 27, 2006

oh, sconbie, check out these rules per neighborhood
posted by amberglow at 7:38 AM on April 27, 2006

Rules, schmules. I'll bring pocket ashtrays (or, rather, ash pouches) for everyone. I've got a half-dozen of 'em. (Not like I buy my smokes by the carton, and so get lots of "Smokin' Clean" gear for free, or anything . . . .)

sconbie, make that Y250-300 per pack, depending on box, softpack, and whether they're targeted at the Prada set. Actually, come to think of it, I seem to remember that the revenue stamp for the marriage application is also about Y300.
posted by Absit Invidia at 10:06 AM on April 27, 2006

pocket ashtrays? (i smell a great souvenir) : >
posted by amberglow at 1:49 PM on April 27, 2006

of course...

I had planned to bring everyone back some vending machine underpants but the ashtrays might do just aswell...

Which would you suggest?

"Hi Mum, I'm married, here's some panties!"


"Hi Mum, I'm married and I smoke..."
posted by sconbie at 7:12 PM on April 27, 2006

I'm out. Sorry.

Job postponed 'til June.

(I'm also a nazi-ex-smoker bastard, so you'd probably not want me around anyway).
posted by strawberryviagra at 12:13 AM on April 28, 2006

aw, strawberry -- we'll shoutout to you

"Hi Mum, I'm married, here's some panties!"
if you got them printed with your names and the date, that would have been perfect ; 0
posted by amberglow at 5:50 AM on April 28, 2006

posted by strawberryviagra at 6:34 AM on April 28, 2006, who has a cellphone in Japan and can email me (on my cellphone) with up to the date "where is everyone" info?
posted by Bugbread at 4:38 PM on April 30, 2006

email it to me, and i'll bring it--we'll find a phone or use a payphone.
posted by amberglow at 7:16 AM on May 1, 2006

Amberglow, is Kyoto or Osaka/Nara/Kobe in your plans, or is it just Tokyo?
posted by planetkyoto at 7:05 AM on May 4, 2006

just Tokyo for this trip, i think (tho i might do a daytrip to the giant buddha in Kamakura)--wanna come down for the meetup? is it far? : >
posted by amberglow at 8:23 PM on May 4, 2006


Geographically? No. However, Japan is the country with the most expensive domestic travel in the world, so a roundtrip flight would probably cost $200 or more...
posted by Bugbread at 5:23 AM on May 6, 2006

i learned that when i looked at the bullet trains--very expensive...
posted by amberglow at 10:12 AM on May 7, 2006

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