Monday, May 14, 2012

Dating Between Deployments. (Part 2)

Date Night Part 1 encompassed the pricey part of our date.  In Real Life, we try to keep things from getting too expensive (that whole competent and reliable babysitter thing...not cheap). With our memory-making opportunities quickly slipping away, we felt the splurge at Mayu was justified.

This second part of our date was spontaneous and (almost) free!  One of city living's biggest perks is that the local economy is large enough to support the niche market. In Tokyo's case, the economy is large enough to support the niche market's niche markets.  We stumbled upon a fantastic example of this phenomenon during our walk back to Shibuya Station.  Sparkly colors, an aroma of cooking sugar, and the hiss of a blow torch stopped me dead in my tracks. Who cares if we just had dessert?  There is always room for a smidge more!

This is Papabubble, an artisanal candy store!  As we walked in, the cute sales clerk offered us a passionfruit candy sample. She immediately clinched a sale.  You wouldn't walk out of an artisanal candy store without buying something, would you? As if the tasty sample treat was not hook enough, artisans behind the counter were busily engaged in demo-ing their candy-making skills.  It wasn't very cool or know, just a few candy bistro lights. Quite mundane.

Making sure the light bulb will fit.

As the candymakers slowly carved the candy lamp shades with a blowtorch, they offered us the still-warm pieces to try.  If you've never felt warm candy crystallize in your mouth, get on a train and head to Papabubble right now!
Finished lamp shades.
Time for electricity...
Ta da!  A beautiful, candy bistro lamp!
We're not in the market for candy lampshades (Little TF would probably disagree), so after ooooing and ahhhhing over the demo, we browsed the other candy offerings.  The small, glass jars held beautiful, mixed flavor millefiori candy pieces (Mr. TF bought me the Mother's Day jar, filled with hard candy whose centers displayed "Thank-Yous," red hearts, and stick figure kids).  On the wall, candy bags were displayed by flavor.

Jars of deliciousness.  The small jars were being sold for 700 yen.

Bags of deliciousness.
After making our candy purchase, Mr. Tofu Fox quickly moved us outside before I tried to buy one of the BIG jars.
Beautiful and intensely flavored.  I want to eat them all.

A date night in Tokyo need not be insanely expensive!  A fantastic date on a budget can be had by grabbing some cheap sandwiches at the train station and then seeing what you can discover!  If you want to pop into Papabubble sometime, just follow the Shibuya map from the previous post, towards Mayu. Papabubble is on the same side of the street, maybe a block or two before Mayu. If you reach Mayu, you've gone too far.

Oh, and one more thing.  Please, don't ever pull the "but I don't have anything to weeeeeeaaaaaarrrrrr" excuse on Date Night.  I know, it's Tokyo, and Japanese teenagers (male and female) have more style in their little finger than exists in the entire state of California, and it's intimidating as heck.

This is why God Created H&M.

The Shibuya location has four floors of the cutting-edge and the cheap.  You can find something.

Still need more convincing to have a Date Night in Tokyo?  Tell me, where else in the world can you just stand on the sidewalk and watch wild parties through the windows of a 6-story karaoke bar?

We kind of wanted to join them.


-The Tofu Fox

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