Inspired by the movie premise last night, we went in search of something we fear. We had seen a tank full of pufferfish, or blowfish, in our wanderings yesterday. There was a small stall with one cook inside and he offered 2 sushi pieces of the potentially poisonous, lethal fish, if ill-prepared. This morning we psyched ourselves up for it, making sure to check his Blowfish Preparation Certification, only to find It, fugu, completely Sold Out. Sold Out?! I have to say, I was more disappointed than relieved. No fugu for you.
In Takayama we wandered the old part of town. I searched unsuccessfully for more fugu stalls. And we shopped before making our way onto our scenic train to Nagoya.
Nagoya, and our hotel in Nagoya surprised us. We did not have high expectations for the city we happened upon because it hosted the Sumo Tournament. It was lively, it had charm, and it had some grit, which we appreciate. And our hotel, the Richmond Hotel, had us at "free drinks".
With only a little trouble, we found my friend Sheryl and her husband Juraj. We were intentionally specific with our meeting place: Subway station Sakae, exit #6 at the outside entrance. In a country like Japan, that is not specific enough. Matthew and I were waiting for 30 minutes a block away at Sakae Street, exit #6 on the outside. Apparently that was the mall exit, and not the subway exit, which is identified by blue signs.
Bottom line, we found each other. We ate at a crowded, rowdy place where we had our own nook. We pointed to a bunch of pictures and ordered. Sheryl and I ordered sake and got our own bottles of it. Needless to say, there were stories swapped and lots of laughs.