Tokyo, Olympics, new projects and wonderful Sashimi

I’m so pleased to be back in Tokyo on my first visit since Miss Saigon for Cameron Mackintosh and TOHO in 2007.  I am the guests of DxL Creations as we develop ideas for a theatre show.   In the past I have been with many other creative colleagues, and not had time to walk around by myself. This time my free-time is the first evening and I am in a downtown district of Ebisu.

I love the gods helping to make things right.  Anyone following CGO will know about StoryMusic2020…or they will when they click on the link.  I’ve been waiting for the announcements of the host city for the 2020 Olympics.  So I am now here for 3 days, just 3 days after the announcement was made.  Every creative conversation I am having with old and new friends allows me to wonder how StoryMusic can fit into the vision for Tokyo 2020.  I have had delight, interest, and true heartfelt understanding in my explorations so far.

Now its 12:48 (UK) 20:48 (Japan) and I have had the most wonderful meal. I want to share my sense of fear and adventure.  People who know me will know my childhood butcher fear…going into a shop and not knowing what to aks for when everyone else knows the answers to all the questions. Well now multiply that 10 times.  Unknown country, unknown language, unknown menus in unknown language, and unknown staff of unknown restaurants.  I am not someone who can bluster in and shout loudly whilst hoping.

So 6pm, jetlagged needing food I explore the area of Ebisu – feels like the small streets of China Town except its all Japan town.  A few hawkers. A few pizza places where it would be easy to point, and loads of “oh god what happens if I walk in here”.  I did 3 times round the block and then a few. I wondered and stepped forward and stepped back.  And eventually I did what I do in clothes shopping – just walk in and pray.

I am so glad I did.  Totally Japanese menu, but the first waiter managed to find a bit of transaltion written for some of the dishes.  Brilliant. Second waitress arrived with lovely English and we played with words, and ideas and choices. She was lovely and friendly and not at all scary.  And I sat back and waited for whatever to arrive.

Can I completely recommend Kaiki behind the Hotel Excellent in Ebisu.  Their card when I left was only in Japanese but the lovely man behind the reception at the Hotel kindly wrote the name in roman text so I can tell you.

I had the most fabulous Shashimi – pieces of tuna, piltchard, red snapper, octopus etc etc.  Some lovely sea cucumber (I think) and a beautiful crab in cheese sauce.  By the time I left the place was packed and when I left a tip of 500 yen (about £3.50) the waitress ran after me thinking I’d made a mistake.

If I had stayed in the tourist heart of Tokyo or gone to the pizza place I’d have had good food (because I don’t think Japan does bad food).  But I wouldn’t have had the adventure.  I’m writing this here because Tripadvisor doesn’t have the restaurant on its system…it will soon hopefully.

It is a pleasure to be back. Tomorrow I start knee deep discussions about a new global show which may hit the stage in 2015.  I look forward to working with many colleagues on that.

I am delighted that Tokyo has won the Olympics – where better to develop StoryMusic2020 inspired by the sun, than in the “land of the rising sun” to quote some western writer.

Back on Monday night – but not before “A Chorus Line” in Japanese produced by Shiki and a threatened major storm on Sunday.