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August 3, 2010

(looking down Uchibori in the direction of the Imperial Hotel and looking 90 degrees to the left down to the palace)

In Ginza, facing the Imperial Palace, is the Imperial Hotel. It is a rare area of wide tree lined boulevards along the moat. The original building was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright but was replaced after the war. The original hotel is now, having been moved brick by brick, in the Meiji Mura village (a theme park of sorts) of Meiji Era buildings in Nagoya (although the FLW Imperial Hotel was not from the Meiji Era….)

The new building is big and beautiful and fancy. Real fancy. So of course we had to stop by to pick up a blueberry pie.

Wait, let me back up a bit. Our entire afternoon was predicated on dessert. A quest that, it would turn out, mostly disappointing.

BT got it in his head he wanted “Melting Snow Un-baked Cheese Cake.” He saw it on TV (and it would seem, TV works.) BT and Momo went to Ginza in search of it. I went and met them by bicycle. Oh what a lovely (and hot) ride down through the city, past the moats of the palace, through Maranouchi to Ginza. Sigh. Tokyo can be a beautiful place.

In Ginza we went to the Hokkaido Specialty shop, only to find the holy grail of cheese cakes was sold out (TV really works… on a mass scale). We settled for Hokkaido milk products: BT had unpasturized milk, Momo raw cheese citrus drink, and I coffee milk.

(I have a soft spot for glass milk bottles. I am at least 2x as likely to buy something because it is in a great looking glass container. They rattled around in my basket all afternoon.)

We took dessert refuge at Cafe Fredy where Akiko makes, by my account, the best cheese cake in the country. And cuts the meanest carrots, but that’s another story and another post.

After wandering around the streets of Ginza, a bit later we ended up walking by the Imperial Hotel. BT has turned their Blueberry Pie into something of a legend. We of course HAD to go in to buy one. But where to park the Beaute….? There was no dark corner where it would go unnoticed, no gap it could slip into, no place on the freshly swept promenade it wouldn’t be interrupting. So… I walked it right up to the front doors. A very kind doorman checked it for me. Yes, I checked my bike at the door of the Imperial Hotel. And damn it felt goooood.

Unfortunately, the cake shop was closed. As we walked back through the lobby, a bellman calmly passed us and took my check tag. We arrived out front to find the Beaute being released from the storage area and waiting for us. It is my favourite bike parking ever. I did think the coin bike parking was grand, but can you think of anything better than a bike valet?

Who knew the Diet building could look so very grand and yet Batman?

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