First Days in Japan

Arrived in Japan, safe and sound. What a thrill to be back here! Tokyo is beautiful and bustling. There are more trees than I remember. Naomi, our fine host, picked us up at the airport and then took us out to dinner at the Tokyo branch of Honmura An, the famous soba place that I used to go to in NYC before it closed. The food was incredible The highlight for me was a bowl of cold soba with freshly made yuba (tofu skins) and nori. Pure bliss food!

We’ve (and that is me and my mom who is along on the trip) stayed at 2 different hotels in 2 days. Our first hotel, the Hotel Okura, had the vibe of a 60s throwback – and not in the best way, so we skipped out of there after one night. Last night, we stayed at this cool little ryokan/hotel called Yoshimizu in the Ginza area of Tokyo. Small tatami rooms with organic mud walls and organic futons and a 4 person bathtub on the top floor. Very understated and sweet. Breakfast today was miso soup, brown rice, steamed greens, daikon, soft freshly made tofu and yogurt. I could eat that everyday!

I taught a one hour Sanskrit introduction for students of Chuck Miller and Maty Ezaty’s teacher training yesterday. Lots of chanting, a brief introduction to the vowels of the Sanskrit alphabet, and exploring the first 2 Yoga Sutras. I’m excited to continue the adventure with the students next weekend.

Dinner last night with Chuck, the mama, Naomi and a couple of students was at a little organic restaurant that had a “secret” room behind a bookcase and down some stairs (I am not making this up.) The room was about 4 feet high at most with no exit besides the stairs. Check out the photo. Back home, we call that the “death-trap special.” Despite the place breaking most every zoning and safety code in the books, the food (Italian-inspired vegan) was delicious.

Tomorrow, we take off for the tea farms of Shizuoka, a meeting with pottery expert Robert Yellin and a relaxing stay in Kyoto for the week.

and the adventure continues…

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