Kappabashi and LaOX
I'm in Tokyo with Bill Gibson, AirEight's VP Engineering. It's monsoon season here: warm and humid most days, cooling down briefly immediately after a storm.
Ginza and Akihabara are well-known and probably don't deserve description here (with one exception below). I hadn't heard of Kappabashi until this trip. It's a street lined with restaurant supply stores. Everything one would need to start a restaurant in Tokyo -- save the fresh food -- can be found here. It's an amazing place if you're a little geeky about cooking (which Bill is and to which I aspire) or Japanese culture (which I am and to which I think Bill might be headed).
Probably the largest store in Akihabara is LaOX, which is actually a series of multi-story stores clustered in the district. LaOX is much fun, but you have to listen to the LaOX jingle as you walk through it. There's the instrumental version, which isn't so terribly bad, but then there's the vocal version, with its oh-so-Japanese singer who can warble just on the edge of screaming. The melody is catchy in that awful, Oh-God-please-don't-let-this-infect-my-brain kind of way. On the last trip I had Richard Boyd threatening me if I hummed it again. Bill was almost to that point today. I remembered how the US Army blasted rock music at someone for psychological warfare purposes -- was it Manuel Noriega? -- and thought that perhaps I should let them know about the LaOX melody. I could work there for maybe a day before losing it.