What does a Jean Snow Christmas in Tokyo look like? Well, this year, things kicked off a bit early on Saturday night, when my good friend Denis — a childhood friend, and interactive designer, from my hometown who recently moved to Tokyo — dropped by Cafe Pause for a drink. For dinner, I wanted to bring him to Rakeru, the chain that specializes in om-rice (omelette/rice), and when we got there we saw they had a Christmas plate. Sure, corn soup, an omelette, and some chicken with mustard and white sauce may not sound very Christmas-y, but hey, it’s all in the mind! We then went to Mashman’s Cafe, also in Ikebukuro, and a sort of hippie/art/rock cafe/bar (if that makes any sense), where after a few drinks the owner/manager gave us a copy of a Mashman’s Cafe CD as a present.
So then we get to Christmas day. Since it’s not a holiday in Japan, Yuko was working, and so I figured I’d try to find some sort of reasonable Christmas lunch to grab with Denis, hopefully involving turkey. When I couldn’t find anything, I spotted the ad in METROPOLIS for the chain of Belgian pubs in Tokyo that was touting a few special Christmas beers on the menu. What better than Christmas beer, right! So we picked Frigo in Shinjuku, because the name is also French slang for fridge, and that made us chuckle. The beers were terrific — if pricey — with mine being the fine CuvÃ©e de NoÃ«l St. Feuillien pictured above. I had to get back to Ikebukuro to meet Yuko, since we had planned on getting food from Seibu’s depachika, something we do every year. But she was detained at work, and since Denis wanted to get some more Belgian beer, I brought him to the world beer section at Tobu’s depachika, where we hit gold. I forget the name of it, but on the label there was a picture of little baby Jesus, in the stable, riding a hot-rod, giving a thumbs up! Since Yuko was going to be late, we got a big bottle, and then just walked outside to the Metropolitan Plaza area, found some nice steps to sit on, and proceeded to down our brew. We of course kept it wrapped in the Tobu wrapping paper, hobo-style! Merry Christmas!