Email To: Joseph Hammill, Rochester, New York
From: Akasaka, Tokyo 1 July 15:29:54
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but it's been a whirlwind the past few days...life is a carnival! (great tune by The Band).
Anyways, congratulations on the summer grades and I wish you the best when you start to look at RIT (I guess, is that right?).
Well, my parents made it to Tokyo, and we have been exploring the city together after I finish with classes each day. I had a final on Monday and I have another one on Friday, so I have been trying to balance books and Tokyo. On top of all that, I have a number of administrative things to take care of for the fall semester at Santa Clara Law, which is a pain to try and accomplish when working with a 16 hour time difference...
In addition, my internship starts this Monday. I have been placed at TMI Associates, a large international IP firm located in the swank Mori Tower, in Roppongi Hills. The firm seems to be a legitimate international presence...I told then I had still not acquired a mobile phone since I have been in Japan, and they informed me "they would prepare one for me." (SWEET!) My office is on the 23rd floor, and I assume I will have quite the view of the city. Monday I will be giving an introductory speech in Japanese to the ENTIRE firm (uh-oh, I think I might be in trouble there). Needless to say I am nervous to get started; I hope I can handle the work that they through my way, and I want to make a noticeable impact and impression in the 4-short weeks I am there.
Tokyo is AMAZING. So far the best experiences have been the Tsukiji Fish Market and dinner at the Park Hyatt Hotel. We went to the Fish Market last Saturday at about 4:45 am, right when it is starting to open up. We walked about 15 yards into the open warehouse market and I was splashed with water from these fish in a huge bathtub. A guy grabs one out, slaps it onto a table and WHAP!, chops off its head! That woke me up a little...then we saw them auctioning off those gigantic tuna; probably the biggest fish I have ever seen. The tuna were then carted off to various vendors' stations where they were butchered into quarters, and then sliced again into smaller portions. We also saw some frozen tuna that were being cut up on enormous jigsaws. Overall it was an incredible experience, not soon to be forgotten.
Then, Monday night we ate dinner at the Park Hyatt Hotel. If you've ever seen 'Lost in Translation', that is the bar/restaurant that Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansen(I think I love her) frequent. The view was incredible, and the dinner and service was world-class. Plus, I ordered a 20 dollar class of Japanese whiskey for dessert! If you are ever in Tokyo, we are 'suiting-up' and hitting this bar at least once!
Well, I am just about ready to head out for dinner again. The food is (probably) one of the best things about Tokyo...except when you have no idea what it is you are eating. (I think I ate some tofu-"goop" for lunch yesterday...but it was still delicious)