Saturday, August 13, 2011

Honu Cafe, Wako (ワイン食堂honucafe,埼玉県和光市)

This is really it - the last day I spent in Tokyo. Someone and I spent it like a lot of days before - pottering around a suburb, looking for excitement and not finding any. Unfortunately our bikes were already abandoned back in Monnaka, so we took a train somewhat at random and got off in Wako.

As I said, looking for excitement. We visited a nice preserved Edo-era farmhouse, but other than the simple pleasures of sitting on the porch there, the grooviest thing we found was this sign. Pa-Pooh indeed.

I like to theorize that there's a French bistro in every decent-sized town; the one here was closed when we visited. We walked around a bit before concluding there wasn't much to see, and we ended up at this cafe.
I must say, this is a very appropriate place to find yourself considering the distance from Tokyo. It's even date-friendly. I bet the beautiful young people of Wako come here of a Saturday night. Both of them.
Since I was going back to America, we got burgers. You just can't get Japanese-style burgers in America. Or something. These were quite worthwhile. Not like you're going to visit Wako for the burgers or nothin, but they were good. Note the daring side of raw, dressed goya.
Well, last day and all that...Figured we might as well celebrate and get all festive. They have a nice-looking bar here, so why not get a cocktail? Campari soda is the thing for days as hot as this one. I asked for the drinks, and they said we couldn't have them with the lunch set. This is when I went a little overboard on the celebration thing.

No problem! We'll have the drinks separately.
Errrrr, ok. What soft drink would you like with the set?
Oh, I don't need a drink with the set, just the Campari.
You can't have the Campari with the set.
I don't want the Campari with the set, I want it separately.
But then what drink do you want with the set?

Sure, it's a small point - but over the years, it's actually been rare that I've been confronted with the much-vaunted tendency to inflexibility of Japanese businesses. And with this being my last day and all, I just decided to go for it and not give up. It must have lasted for 5 minutes, with the waitress escalating to the manager and someone finally ending it by ordering an iced tea for me.

Still not sure if I'm proud of myself or not.


  1. This is a bitter sweet ending. Hope you finally got Campari and soda. I was expecting your last post from Japan to be some restaurant at Narita airport.

  2. It's not over yet! You might be able to guess in advance which restaurant was the last I went to, but I'll sneak in an airport picture at the end for you.

  3. I like Wafu burgers too Jon. If you ever get a chance, you may want to grind your own beef with some pork and make Japanese burgers. Good to see you posting again.