December 29, 2012

Rabbits & Beatles & Parrots

Less than a week left in Japan and I've got goals to accomplish!

But before I recap a full day of adventures and goal accomplishment, a word to the wise: If you're looking for a jam-packed New Years, do not come to Japan. As it turns out, the city is dead surrounding the new year celebration as everyone is home celebrating with family. Shops close, restaurants shut down, and any "celebration" type events are really only held within families. This means that a few of my goals which I thought were going to get accomplished in this last stretch of time will not. The robot restaurant in Shinjuku, for example, is closed for the next week. If you clicked the link you'll understand the pain this news brought to my heart. I guess it's always good to leave a reason to come back...

We spent the morning (well when you've got two Krafts trying to do anything, 'morning' means afternoon) walking and talking and slowly making our way towards Harajuku. When we arrived, I retraced the footsteps I had taken with Lizzy and Catherine to arrive back at Ra. A. G. F. (Rabbits And Grow Fat) which is the rabbit café (48).  The room was no bigger than a living room with one wall comprised entirely of rabbit cages.

Making friends
Genetically designed to be cute

Tea & Rabbits. What more could you ask for?

Yes, there are bunny managers and staff members who patrol the other rabbits
A peace offering

"Take a photo of me so it looks like I care about animals"
Night of the lepus
Back to Kiddyland

For $7, you can enjoy a cup of tea, thirty minutes of bunny love, and some vegetables to feed your new friends. What a brilliant idea. I do wish, however, that there were just swarms of bunnies, to the point where it's hard to find a seat. OR I wish "Rabbit café" meant a café for rabbits. Can you imagine walking into a café and finding a bunch of rabbits drinking tea and coffee and sitting at their computers or reading a book? I think Japan has just scratched the surface of all that can be done with the combination of rabbits and tea.

After a quick stop at Kiddyland, Richard and I made our way back to Roppongi to meet up with Aziz and Grace for dinner at Inakaya (26), which is a restaurant we had been brought to when we visited Japan in 2011. There's a single 3-sided bar that surrounds an area with platters of food and two chefs who will grill up anything you'd like. They then serve your food to you via long paddles, which may sound a little gimmicky, but it's rather tasty! There's something enjoyable about just pointing to food and having it cooked for you, sort of like Subway but without the visors and plastic gloves. 

Ours for the choosing

No fine dining experience is complete without souvenir headbands.

Inakaya was a stone's throw away (which is an expression we debated until finally arriving at the conclusion that it's a shortened version of "as far as a stone is thrown") from Abbey Road, which is a Beatles impersonators bar! To continue a thought from earlier, how much cooler would this place be if instead of a venue to showcase Beatles impersonator bands, it was a band for Beatles impersonators? Can you imagine walking into a dark and smokey bar to find 3 John Lennons having a conversation with two Ringos and a Paul? And because it's in Japan it would be even more surreal.

Despite just being a place to see impersonators perform, it was still fantastic: one part entertaining, 2 parts absurd, with a ton of humor thrown into the mix. First of all, if your bar is set up for the same exact act night after night, don't you think you'd have your sound-mix down to a science? And if the only thing you as a band must do is learn someone else's songs, don't you think you'd learn them really well? AND if you're impersonating a band with incredibly distinct looks and personalities, don't you think that would be something to mimic as well? AND AND if you're a cover band of the greatest band of all time with a catalogue that contains no less than fifty amazing songs and you're playing a set of only 12 songs, don't you think it would be wise to choose the good ones? AND AND AND if you're a cover band, why would you choose songs that the band you're covering covered?!

We left with a lot of questions, but they only added to the experience. I guess the reality is no one will ever come close to capturing the Beatles live, especially since they themselves didn't even perform half their catalogue live, so if you're an impersonator you might as well make it fun. I can't say whether or not The Parrots intentions were to make us laugh, but they sure did! I was crossing my fingers they'd either play "Herp!" or "Herro, Goodbye" but they mainly stuck to songs that the Beatles themselves covered.

Also, here's a fun fact, someone in our party (and I don't want to name names because that would embrace Grace) thought the songs "Let It Be" was called "Letter B". An evening filled with good laughs.

After parting ways, I returned to the hotel to catch up on sleep while Richard went out and had an adventure. He won't tell me what it is he did, but I did receive the following text at 3am "Howdy. Had a great massage. Now at a club with an interesting Russian woman. How are you doing?" Apparently we all have to wait for his celebrity blog post to find out what any of that means...

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