21 November, 2011

Really excited about a "new" shop

I'm excited, really excited. I've found a new shop! Actually I'm a tiny bit upset that I haven't found this shop before. Or that someone didn't tell me about it. 

Well, to be truthful, many people have mentioned "the meat shop". But no one has given us directions. Either they couldn't or the conversation happened at a time/place when it was difficult to do so. "The meat shop" gradually got a name, "Hanamasa", but I didn't pursue finding this illusive shop. It wasn't until I was invited to a friend's birthday party at a restaurant next to Hanamasa and an address that I was able to look it up on the map. 

It's still taken me a while to finally get around to finding this shop. And it's bowled me over. All I knew was that it was a meat shop. And yes it does sell meat, lots of big chunks of it (rare in Japan). No one told me they also sell a lot of other foreign stuff like large bags of dried fruit, tins of Evaporated Milk, large bags of grated cheese etc. I'm shocked.
Not a great shot, but these are large bags of sultanas, raisins and mixed fruit. I've never seen large bags of dried fruit like this in Japan since I left Sapporo and the "import" shop we patronised there.

And where is this shop? Less than 1km from our house. An easy ride (especially if there is no road works that force you to detour up a steep hill like I did today). Australians might wonder how someone can not know where something is that is only 1km from their house. The truth is that Tokyo roads are narrow and twisty. They don't have names. If you aren't deliberately orientated by someone or happen to walk/ride/drive past something you can easily miss something. It turns out that we've driven within 100m of this shop numerous times, but it is just around a bend so that it is impossible to see from the road we were driving on.

It has also got something to do with where we used to live in Tokyo. Here is a simplified diagram to explain. Make sense?

Obviously we need to push that purple circle out a bit on the lower side. That is exactly where today's shop was located, just to the "south" of that purple circle.

Moving to a new area isn't easy. It really does take time to figure everything out, and more so, I think, when you don't speak or read the host language very well.


KarenKTeachCamb said...

I can relate to this so well Wendy. I moved across town 6 months ago, from Toul Kork (on the north side of PP) to BKK3 (on the south side of PP). Unfortunately all my favourite shops are mostly on the northern side of the city. I know there are some treasures down this side of town as well, and I'm slowly finding them, but I'm a creature of habit, so I need to deliberately go exploring. Always good when you do find a treasure like this. I'm just waiting for them to open a Thai Huot down this end of town, now the Toul Kork one is up and running.

Walking to China said...

I am constantly amazed at what I find in our big city in China! I think it's just the nature of city living. I can ride my bike on the same street many times and still miss so much.

Wendy said...

So glad you gals can relate to this. I think what I'm kicking myself most about is that I didn't more actively search for this shop.

"Walking", part of it is not being able to read the signs well, I'm sure! There are lots of places I just have no idea what they are and it is just too much for my brain to process, so I stop bothering and stick with what I know.