Friday night, friends and colleagues from TU Philly, that I met when teaching at TUJ in 2008, arrived in Tokyo. We met at the nearby train station and headed up to Shibuya to meet friends from our tenure at TUJ 10 years. Of course we are doing this at 6:30 at night, amid the evening rush hour so the trains were jammed. We were scrunched in the end of the car not close to a door. Not to worry, I said. Just about everybody will get off at Shibuya Station. They did.
We were to meet our friends at a restaurant named Chez Matsuo. I had diligently Googled it and taken a picture of the map. I am Wifi challenged here and I wanted a picture of it on my phone. Good thing I had ... the Shibuya station is under construction ... just about everything in Tokyo is under construction ... Olympics 2020. We headed for what we thought was the right exit but just kept walking, and walking, and walking ... and by the time we got out of the station had no idea where we were. No problem. We got in a cab and i showed him the map on my phone. He put it into his GPS and off we went. Good thing we hailed a cab. From looking at the map ourselves we would have headed in a totally different direction.
I should mention, that the Shibuya area is a little like Times Square, only with more people in it. Lots more people. We crawled through traffic up a slight hill to a quiet street. We were all thinking, "This can't be right." But we finally found a beautiful old building with a garden and "Chez Matsuo" engraved on the stone pillar out front. When we went inside, we had our first inkling that something wasn't right. It was a very, very quiet, ... very very elegant, ... and very, very expensive French restaurant.
After a brief conversation with the owner, maitre d', we discovered we should be at the "other" Chez Matsuo, located at the Tokyu Department Store near the station.
Now I didn't know what Mike and Eva were thinking, but I was thinking ... what do we do now? We were late. It was a significant walk back to the station area. But, I should know not to worry. This is Japan. The owner asked us to sit. He called the other restaurant and got one of our friends on the phone. While he did that, his staff brought us coffee. When he got off the phone, he said he had called a cab that would take us to the right place, and he picked up the fare for the cab. Hmmm, ... I wonder ... would we have had the same experience in a restaurant near Times Square?
With a few minutes we arrived at the correct Chez Matsuo restaurant.
A little less quiet,
... a little less elegant
... but with delicious food, good wine, and great company.