The tourist thing

Yep, I did the tourist thing yesterday. The tour was provided to us by Major League Baseball, and many of the players were on it also. It was a local tour of Tokyo.

We started out at the historic Kannon Temple, which is the oldest temple in Tokyo.Temple It was pretty spectacular and i wish we had more time there. In front of the temple was Nakamise Street, which was a cool little shopping area with little token gifts and food that I didn’t recognize, but in once case, still decided to eat. Tasted like chicken or pork, or something in between. Iatethose

After that, we did a river cruise, which I must say, was not as nice as a river cruise would be in Boston, Chicago, New York or some other nice American city. The water was brown, not very attractive to look at. And we all sat on the bottom floor of the boat.

I have a theory about Tokyo. Nobody has gotten the memo that smoking is bad for the health. I’m not kidding when I say that just about everyone lights it up in Tokyo, and they are more than happy to do it in public. Every bar or restaurant you go to is filled with smoke. And this boat ride was pretty unbearable because of all the smokers. Smoking is one vice I’ve never quite understood. It smells bad and it’s bad for you. What’s the point of it? Just have a beer instead, I say. Make it a Sapporo.

Once we got off the smoky boat, we explored a garden and park type area. Very woodsy, nice to walk around, and a little bit of history to go with it.Dontknow If you’re wondering who is pictured in this statue, i was wondering the exact same thing. But I do have an answer for you. Check it out. Click for clearer image.Thatswho

Then, it was back on the bus and off to a very nice Sushi restaurant. We sat at big tables, which made it nice and social. As regular readers of this blog know by now, I love sushi. But the same can not be said for everyone on this trip. Chris Capuano’s dad, who, by the way, is a great guy, is not a sushi eater. But he gave it a try.

Chris Young and his lovely wife didn’t seem to be too into the sushi, as most of the food was left on their plates. I was too polite to ask them if I could eat it for them. Ha ha.

Not quite sure what the dessert was, but it tasted good. It was some sort of wrap with doughey sweet stuff in the middle. I seriously have no clue what it was.

Then it was back to work — back to the ballpark. Ryan Howard was on the tour all day with his mom and sister. But the day obviously didn’t tucker him out as he belted a couple of titanic home runs.

Howard also had the line of the day. After his first homer, some little kids ran out and handed him a flower. I guess it is customary in Japan during special events such like this to give gifts to the home run hitter of the hour. Anyway, Howard, talking about his second homer said, "I was hoping I’d get a bouquet for the second one."

I’m lucky enough to cover David Ortiz in Boston and i’m sure the Philly guys feel the same way about Howard. This man is something special. He’s great for the game.

MLB leads the series, 2-0. Perhaps they’ll run the table and re-establish their dominance on a national level.

We’re off for more tourism tomorrow, with a trip to Kyoto, which gives you a real feel of ancient Japan, without many of the modern Western-style fixtures that you see in Tokyo. Then we’ll get to Osaka after the tour, where Game 4 of this series will be played on Tuesday evening (Dawn for you guys and gals back in the states). The trip wraps up in Fukuoka on Wednesday, the native land of Mariners catcher Kenji Johjima.

I miss my wife and kids, Jailboysand, of course, the good old USA. But this trip has been a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to the rest of it.

Sayonara. Or as they say back in the States — Hasta La Vista Baby.

Ian.

4 Comments

Dude. Do me a favor. Bring me back a t-shirt from Japan. I’ll pick it up in Orlando. Say hello to Chris Young for me.

Dude. Do me a favor. Bring me back a t-shirt from Japan. I’ll pick it up in Orlando. Say hello to Chris Young for me.

Jesse,

You think i’m made of Yen buddy? I’ll do what i can do. you only had to type the message once.

Hearing about your activites outside the ball park and the players’ reactions to the culture and food there is so interesting, and your blog is well written. Good job, keep it up!
I heard that the Japanese players SMOKE IN THE DUGOUT. Is this true? And I thought chewing tobacco was bad….

I am a Mets fan going cold turkey after the end of the season so I feel I am getting a little bit of a fix by hearing about the players and watching them on MLB.TV. I note that in addition to David Wright, Jose Reyes, and John Maine that Manny Acta and Julio Franco (my favorite Met) are there too. Quite a Met contingent! It is also fun to root for players like Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, instead of AGAINST them as I usually have to do.

Well, thanks for your efforts and enjoy the rest of your trip. I look forward to your next installment.

Lets go Mets(oops I mean MLB!)

Katherine Austin

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