I hadn’t been to Japan since 2000; Gwen had never been. But this year’s IJET conference was going to be in Yokohama, it was coming shortly after our marriage, so the trip would serve as a honeymoon, and, well, Lost in Translation just made me really nostalgic for Tokyo. And although the trip would be expensive, I really felt that I needed to try to drum up some business in Japan, since that’s where most of the J-E translation demand is. So we decided quite some time ago that we’d go. Gwen negotiated a lengthy vacation from her job. We got tickets at a pretty good rate through JTB (though flying on AA instead of JAL–a bit of a letdown).
We left on Wednesday the 19th and arrived in the evening of the 20th after an uneventful flight. A typhoon was in the area, and Tokyo was getting heavy rain. After a bit of misdirection, getting very wet in the process, we made our way to the 多摩旅館, an inn in 高田馬場 run by a fellow translator who I vaguely knew from my days in Japan; although we would be crashing at a friend’s place for most of the trip, we needed a place where we could sleep in to get over the initial shock of jet lag. That was pleasant, and there was an Indian restaurant I had never tried, Malabar, just a few doors away. It has been my ongoing project to eat at all the Indian restaurants in Tokyo, so after we checked in and got settled a bit, we had dinner there and ate quite well. I learned that Takadanobaba has become a haven for Burmese refugees, and there are a lot of hole-in-the-wall Burmese restaurants there where the menus are available only in Burmese–no Japanese, no English.