On our fifth day in Tokyo, we would be enjoying a free day. Now the one regret I had about the entire trip was that I was unable to climb Mt Fuji with Mat and Dave. We are discussing possibly returning to Japan within the next few years so all three of us can climb it, but I’m getting away from the thread of this tale.
I had planned to spend the day climbing Mt Takao, but when my eyes fluttered open that day, I heard the unmistakable sound of rain pounding at the window. Being an island nation, Japan is a lot like living on the coasts in that it rains often and unexpectedly. In fact, it rains so much that umbrellas are available, cheap, in every local shop. I got a call from Yukie saying that the mountain climb was canceled due to the weather, so he refunded my money for that excursion and I joined Mat and Dave on their explorations for the day.
We made a quick stop at Family Mart to pick up some breakfast and then we were on our way. Mat wanted to take us to a cosplay exhibition called “From Cloth to You”. As we were walking to the exhibit, the rain began to pour buckets on us. I was getting drenched, so I ducked into a local store and picked up an umbrella for 400 yen.
Soon we arrived at our destination. It was an old, seemingly abandoned building. The rooms had a dank, basement feel and left an interesting aura for the event. The paintings were rather good and had a wide variety of flavor. Some were typical anime fare. Others had a horror theme. Still others a surreal feel. We spent nearly two hours admiring the artwork and from there, Mat led us to a place to which he had truly been looking forward.
Shortly before our trip, it was announced that a mall in Tokyo was going to be opening a special theme restaurant for one year. It was called the Biohazard Café and Biohazard is what Resident Evil is known as in Japan. I still remember the message Mat sent me with the link to the article. He said, “If you think this isn’t on the agenda, think again!”
I was very impressed with the detail that went into the eatery. Newspapers articles were hanging on the walls discussing the strange murders and disappearances going on in Raccoon City. There was also a special exhibit of S.T.A.R.S. (the special police force in the game) items. The restaurant was all you could eat in the style of a Brazilian steakhouse. What that means is that servers bring cuts of meat to your table until you tell them to stop. For sides, there was some type of bread that was quite delectable and “Healing Herbs” salad. Mat and Dave each enjoyed a Code: Veronica (mint julep) while I satisfied my thirst with water. It was a very pleasant meal and I was especially impressed with the lamb. What I found most interesting was the fact that it cost more for men to eat at this place than it did for women. This is because men can typically eat more than women.
The centerpiece of the restaurant was a life sized replica of the Tyrant (the main monster from the first Resident Evil game). At 9 feet tall, heavily muscled, and a right hand that had razor sharp claws, this beast was truly a force to be reckoned with in the game. When we were nearly finished with our meal, the servers began putting on a little dance show for the patrons. In the midst of the show, alarms started going off and the servers began protecting the customers. The Tyrant had come to life and was threatening to annihilate everything and everyone in its path. The servers bravely fired on the creature, but to no avail.
Time for the reinforcements.
Bravely, I dove into battle and picked up a fallen gun that had the kickback of a feral mule. Taking careful aim, I aimed for the Tyrant’s external heart and took it out in one, clean shot. Victory!!! I was covered in smooches by the grateful waitresses and lauded by the clientele.
Seriously, one of the servers did pull me into the fray and she handed me a gun so I could deliver the killing shot to the Tyrant. My prize was a badge certifying me as an honorary S.T.A.R.S. member that I still have today.
After lunch, Mat wanted to take us to a place called Namja Town in Sun City so we could try some of their ice milk. Now here’s where things got funny. Mat was using a GPS system to help guide us through Tokyo and it seemed to work very well. The only place his GPS didn’t seem to work was in Ikebukuro. In that region, that device sent us all over the map and always to the wrong destination. So we walked. . .and walked. . .and walked.
As we continued trying to get to Sun City, I managed to finally find a vending machine that had Mountain Dew to Dave’s joyous glee. Vending machines are very prevalent in Japan. They can be found on every street corner and contain everything from soda to sushi. Japan seems to be partial to Coke so Dave had to make do without his beloved beverage of choice. When I pointed out the vending machine, our lovable Dew junkie practically danced in the street and I half expected him to bow in homage to the machine. He immediately bought 3 cans of the stuff and these were tallboy cans, so each was about the equivalent of two normal cans. As the machine wasn’t far from our hotel, Dave raided it a few more times before our trip ended.
After 90+ minutes of walking, we finally found Sun City and enjoyed some of the famed ice milk which wasn’t too bad. From there, we headed back to our hotel, only making a brief stop to pick up some burgers for supper. After all the running around of the past few days, I was ready to take it easy. I took a long, hot bath, watched a movie on my laptop, and went to bed.
The next day our tour group would be heading to Odaiba.