Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mamas in Ginza

The Mamas

I think my friends were concerned that as my final months in Japan come to pass that I had not gone shopping in Ginza. Admittedly, shopping in Ginza is generally out of my price range, but there is fun to be had in going shopping with the mamas. In Japanese fashion, we planned our Saturday to insure all three fathers could be home - not traveling, not flying, and not on duty. We identified shops for consideration on Google map, we plotted our shopping strategy on the train ride, and we had a reservation for lunch.
The Chanel Building in Ginza, Japan

Lunch

Lunch was at BEIGE Tokyo the French Restaurant in the Chanel building. The restaurant was luxurious and comfortable like a Chanel suit. The set price menu for lunch on the weekend, it was Saturday, gave us two options- the variable being for two glasses of wine or two main dishes. Foodies that we are, we all opted for the main dish and ordered a glass of wine. We ate a lot which I did not expect at a fancy restaurant. We were too shy to take photos of our lunch, but we did get caught in the elevator snapping photos of the too cool elevator buttons as it arrived on the tenth floor. A very gracious French man politely waited to greet us while we finished snapping photos. I kept waiting to feel stuffy, but I never did. The waiter kept grinning at us whenever he said a vegetable was from Kamakura as I had piped up that like the vegetables, we were from Kamakura too. It was really fun and unhurried- a Mama Day for mamas who want to feel grown up and fancy even if it is only once in a while.

I really need to get to the Kamakura Farmer's Market at 0730 more often though I think those French sauces had something to do with the wonderful food. I should add for the budget minded, my friend Nobu can cook a tantalizing French meal as well, but the setting is not quite as swanky.
Elevator Button photo- I stole the photo from my friend's FB page
This was one of the desserts- a chocolate hazelnut combination- loved the sugar spikes
I opted for the yuzu and strawberry dessert
The main street of Ginza is open only to pedestrian traffic on the weekend to entice shoppers. The rain did not keep the crowds away. We noted a flurry of activity at the Apple shop and surmised that the new iPod 3 must be drawing the crowd.
iPod 3 sales started in Ginza

Shopping in Ginza

We took in a couple of stationery shops, an antique shop, a jewelry shop, and a few department stores. A display of white strawberries caught our eye at $50 a box. Kendo Mama was hoping for samples, but no such luck! She said if she ever gets sick, we can bring white strawberries to her in the hospital as she is sure they will cure all that ails you. I joked I'd be happy to bring her the white strawberries as I was sure if she was in the hospital, she would be too sick to eat them so in the name of freshness I would eat them for her.

I told my mama friends as hard and as trying as living in Japan has been for me these past five years, I wouldn't trade the experience. However, I might need a few years back home before I return for a visit. My husband is worried about how I will adapt to hillbilly ways in Ohio after all of this culture. I told him not to worry, being a gaijin in Japan isn't for the faint of heart.
White Strawberries for sale in Ginza, Japan