Yokohama 2018 travel diary: day 3

Wednesday, 28 February, 2018

We began the day with a slow wake up as the light from the early dawn spilled into our hotel window across Tokyo Bay. We got up and went out for some breakfast, although M. also had some bread she’d bought yesterday at Pompadour. I got a couple of sushi packs from the convenience store in Queen’s Square, then we went to the Starbucks again where M. got a coffee and another of the chocolate chip scones, while I got a choc chip cookie. We ate the sweets there, then went back to our room, where I had my sushi packs, before heading off to the meetings for the day.

It was a full day of technical meetings, and quite exhausting in the stuffy room and an uncomfortable chair. As usual there were some disagreements on various standards drafts, often between the German and Japanese delegations, and I and other native English speakers would moderate as they disagreed about interpretations of words or grammar. I also spoke up about several technical issues as they arose, the ones that I have some expertise in.

Power adapters for people’s computers at the meeting

We broke for lunch a bit before midday, and I went with Jonathan to a place where he said the Japanese delegates raced to at lunch time to get ramen. It was hidden in the food area under Queen’s Square, and there was a queue of about twenty people waiting for tables when we arrived. We thought it might take a while to be seated but the queue progressed very rapidly and we soon got seats at the bar facing the kitchen. We ordered the same deluxe ramen bowl, but wanted some gyoza too, and there was a combo which came with a plate of ten gyoza, so we ordered one of those and one without the gyoza, and shared those.

Ippudo Ramen
Ramen at Ippudo

The ramen was delicious, with slices of pork and a soft boiled egg, plus veges and the noodles. I grabbed a business card and found it was called Ippudo. When I told the guys back at work via my remote desktop login afterwards, Tim mentioned there was a branch of that restaurant in Macquarie Centre, near my work in Sydney!

Ramen restaurant
Ramen at Ippudo

On the way back from lunch, we wanted something sweet, so we explored Landmark Plaza, and got muffins from Mrs Elizabeth Muffin. I wanted to try two of the small muffins to get different flavours, but they added up to just more than the coins I had handy, so I settled for a single large choc-orange muffin. Jonathan got a small one of those and a small ginger and lemon. They were good.

Mrs Elizabeth Muffin
Mrs Elizabeth Muffin

After the afternoon session, I arranged to meet with Jonathan, Elaine, and Jennifer for dinner at 18:00. Neelam said she might join us, or might drop off in a nap so not to wait for her. I went down to the hotel lobby with M., back from her day exploring Yokohama (where she had another apple pie slice at Granny Smith for lunch!), and met the others there, but Neelam didn’t show up. We walked over to the Mark IS shopping centre and up to the fourth floor to find the okonomiyaki place where Jonathan and Margaret and I had eaten last year. We found it easily and got a table right away.

Making okonomiyaki

There was one vegetarian option, which was a cheese and mochi okonomikyaki, so we ordered that for M., while I got a pork and prawns and squid one. Jennifer ordered some soba noodle curry and daikon salad to avoid gluten, while Elaine and Jonathan ordered different types of okonomiyaki. We had fun cooking them and I swapped a slice of mine with Jonathan’s, which was prawns and cheese.

Dinner group
The group for dinner

After eating, we raced downstairs to the basement level to see the department store food court and get some desserts. Jonathan got a crepe while Elaine and I got waffle fish filled with sweet potato, and Jennifer grabbed a small tub of ice cream from the supermarket. We had to go to a 7-11 to get some cash, and Jennifer did too to get some to pay me back for the dinner, as the restaurant hadn’t accepted credit cards and I spotted her the cash for her share.

We left Jonathan as he was staying in the Landmark Tower hotel, while the rest of us walked back to the InterContinental for our own rooms. M. and I showered and turned in for the night.

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