A few weeks ago, I welcomed Eric, Julia, Douglas and Emily to Japan for the start of our quest to photograph and video sperm whales by taking them to dinner at a small sushi restaurant outside Tokyo.
Our trip was a wild success, and Eric and Julia have already gone back. Tonight, we had dinner with Douglas and Emily to say goodbye, as they'll be boarding a plane for the long trip home tomorrow. Tom, one of Douglas's friends from high school, joined us too.
I took them to a small kushiyaki restaurant called Kushihana (串花) in Nishi-azabu. In case you're not familiar with kushiyaki cuisine, it's basically delicious bite-sized morsels of stuff skewered and deep-fried on little sticks, generally washed down with copious quantities of beer, shochu, or whatever other form of alcohol is on hand.
Nishi-azabu a swank neighborhood in Tokyo with lots of fancy shops, restaurants and clubs, but this place is quaint and cozy, and just about everyone who goes there is a diver. The owner is a diver and a big fan of underwater photography, so it seemed like an appropriate place for our last dinner together.
Of course, we couldn't let the evening go by without a bit of fun...at Douglas's expense:
I'm sure Douglas had a nagging feeling that he was being set up, but he was a good sport and played along, much to the amusement of all the other people in the restaurant (who were all in on the gag).
If you're ever in Tokyo and feel like going to a small place that's not packed with tourists and socialites, this is a map to Kushihana, and the address is Minato-ku, Nishiazabu 4-2-15, 106-0031 (港区西麻布4-2-15, 106-0031). You have to speak Japanese though.
And make sure you visit the bathroom, where one of my sperm whale photos is on display.