After work last night, I came home to find the house stinking of rancid steamed broccoli – we’d forgotten to put a dish of it away in the fridge before heading off to Saitama the previous day, and what with these spring-like temperatures it had rapidly deteriorated. Windows open, air purifier on full blast …soon it was safe to breathe, and safe to tackle the washing up.
An hour or two later I headed out to Shibuya to meet *Twinkle* for our Valentines Date. It’s rare for us to spend time together doing stuff that isn’t related to business, so for a few minutes we were at a loss as to what to do. Food seemed like a good idea. What to have? I checked the Hot Pepper app on my iPhone (a directory of eateries with discount vouchers) – it brought back a google map of the street we were on with pinmarks showing the restaurants in its listings – click a pin to see a photo of the place, a description, and access the discount ticket.
We settled on sushi, and spent half an hour or so working our way through a stack of plates. Very nice. Cheap too. (I couldn’t manage the ones with the 2cm squidlets lying on top though, it seemed to me horrendous that anyone could eat such little babies).
Back on the streets of Shibuya, we thought about what to do next. Karaoke? Cinema? Nice cafe somewhere. It was then that we spotted a bus about to depart for Roppongi Hills – a clear sign that that was where we were supposed to go.
I like taking buses in Tokyo. Going overground is a novel experience, and much like my journey back to the UK by train in 2007, provides one with a sense of the connections between points on a subway map. These days you don’t have to worry about how much to pay or where to get off either – use your Pasmo (or Suica) IC card for the former (one card is good for virtually all public transport) , and your GPS enabled phone for the latter.
Roppongi Hills is an incredible place. The main 53-storey Mori tower fills me with wonder – how can humans have made something so huge?! On the lower floors there’s a lot of fashion outlets, good cafes and restaurants, interesting architecture and a giant spider.
We decided to visit Niwaka to look at wedding rings. They have a beautiful range – I like a lot of their range, which is unusual for me as I’m not a very ringy person. They’re also more affordable now, with prices having been lowered in response to the economic downturn.
Having decided upon the designs that we’d like (when we can afford them), we headed down the road to the Starbucks-equipped Tsutaya for a coffee and planning session. Out came my notepad and pen, and I started to draw a spider diagram of the business I’m building.
*Twinkle* has a great mind for business. I must admit, I forget it sometimes, but she really has got her head screwed on when it comes to business plans. She pointed out some holes, suggested amendments and action steps, and encouraged me to push forward even though it may not be profitable for a couple of years – and will involve a lot of work.
At about half eleven we headed back home. Stopped off to pick up a DVD at our local Tsutaya, and once home created a home cinema out of all our bedding and the flat-screen panel given to us by my sister-in-law.
Must have been about 3am when we finally dozed off.
This morning’s been relaxing too. Cooking, talking. Looking down at empty plot of land next door feeling happy that construction has now been indefinitely postponed. Oh, my hyacinths are flowering too, giving off a wonderful scent.
We’re both off out now. *Twinkle* to meet an ex-colleague of hers who’s interested in starting an Amway business, myself to teach English in a book store cafe.
Oh, and this time we won’t be leaving any cooked broccoli on the kitchen table.
I didn’t realize that you didn’t have wedding bands already. I thought you would have bought them in England when you got married, particularly since jewelry in Japan is massively over-priced (even now).
Personally, we wanted simple bands that were also interesting and got them. (http://bp2.blogger.com/_sD2YV-xd-YU/Rg9TQ5PCuCI/AAAAAAAAAno/TYoOtKE9eHo/s1600-h/wedding-ring.jpg)
My main issue with Japanese rings is that they’re always platinum, and I’m not a fan of silver for wedding rings. Silver seems more like a casual jewelry color. Anyway, if you’ve got pictures, please share your favorites!
And belated Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your Twinkle.
Thanks for your comment orchid64. I like the intricate simplicity of your rings.
Niwaka’s website is a bit of a pain to use – function has been sacrificed for flashiness (or literally, Flash!). However, I did manage to get a screenshot of one pair we were looking at last night that we both quite liked:
For the wedding we were trying to keep costs to a minimum as I wasn’t working, thus decided to delay getting ‘new’ bands and instead use our engagement rings.
We like the idea of Platinum due to its strength – and *Twinkle* tells me that gold is not her colour! We’ll post pictures of the rings when we finally do decide, although it may not be until the end of the year.
The price drop has been quite substantial – over a third in the case of the rings in the picture (although they’re still not cheap!)