Wabi-Sabi Sole

Finding Beauty with Imperfection

Category: Honcho

Hookah Lounge

After dinner on Friday, I had the opportunity to smoke at a Hookah Lounge with a couple Japanese friends. It sounds and looks much more incriminating than reality. 

Although we shared the pipe, we each had our own mouthpiece. This helped us keep our kooties to ourselves. 

Yuka and Yuko ordered us peach flavored tobacco to smoke. The flavored tobacco had a very pleasant taste and odor. 

As we smoked and finished our drinks, the ladies helped me with my Japanese phrases. My new favorite expression is “shoganai”. Pronounced show-ga-nigh. Shoganai means “oh, well” or “c’est la vie”. We also worked on a conversation to ask a person if their food is delicious. 

“Oishi des ka” – is your food delicious?

“Hai, oishi des” – yes, this is delicious. 

“Yokata” – I’m happy for you. 

Who needs Rosetta Stone? A couple more Friday’s at the Hookah Lounge and I’ll be proficient in Japanese! 


Friday night, Dave’s work held a “Department Head” outing at an Izakaya restaurant in Yokosuka. Izakaya is a Japanese style restaurant that offers an all you can eat and drink set menu for a set period of time. The Izakaya restaurant we went to was called わん or One.  The cost was 4,200 yen (~$42.00) per person. For that price, we enjoyed 10 courses of tapas and drinks for 3 hours. This wasn’t our first experience with Izakaya, just the first time I knew what to expect and was prepared to snap pictures!

At わん, we dined at low tables with benches. There was space for our legs to go under the table so we didn’t have to sit cross-legged for three hours. We were given an oshibori (wet towel) to clean our hands prior to eating. Wet towels are served at most restaurants in Japan. Along with heated toilet seats in the winter, wet towels are a favorite “Japan thing” of mine! The table top gas grill will be used to cook the crocodile pot – course 9. Each setting had two bowls, a plate, a dipping plate, chopsticks, and a glass for your cold beer!

Izakaya is different than other Japanese styles of eating because the food is shared, similar to Spanish tapas. The portions in each of my pictures (except the sashimi and ice cream) was shared by 4 people.
Our 10-course menu included:
1) Edamame

2) Bang-Bang Chicken Salad

3) Sashimi Set (Tuna, Fatty Tuna, Octopus, Salmon) This was my favorite course, of course!

4) Deep-fried Sea Eel

5) Chicken Ball Grilled Avocado Cheese – I didn’t get a picture of the tray before the Chicken balls were served. This is my plate of meat and the chicken ball is on top. Food started arriving quickly and I had to load my plate because I couldn’t keep up!

6) Fatty Tuna Flavor Rice Sushi – This was my second favorite.

7) Karaage Chicken

8) Beef Steak

9) Crocodile Pot – The crocodile pot was cooked on the table top gas grill featured in the first picture. Seriously, the crocodile tasted just like chicken.

10) Desert is Green Tea and Vanilla Ice Cream

As we walked through the Honch to the train station to head home, we ran into Darth Vader. Never a dull moment in the Honch!

Tyrannosaurus Rex

Seriously. I couldn’t make this story up. Last night, I met Dave in Yokosuka for our traditional Friday night date night in the Honcho. We meet when Dave is finished with work for dinner and drinks (beer). 

Side note: the Honcho (pronounced Honch) is the area of bars, restaurants, and other establishments right outside the main base. It has the reputation of a typical sailor town. However, being Japan, it is clean and safe. Which, of course, is atypical of an American sailor town.

Frequently, we will run into someone we know, share a pint or five and tell a sea story or three. Last night, was a relatively quiet night in the Honcho. We went to our favorite curry restaurant, Delicious. The coconut chicken curry is my favorite and I don’t really like coconut! And the naan! It’s amazing. 

As we were walking through the Honcho on our way back to the train, we saw these two creatures approaching. 

I tried to switch my phone to video. But, I wasn’t fast enough!! They were running full speed!! 

Fortunately, these two Tyrannosaurus Rex were friendly. In fact, they were happy to pose with me. Looking at the picture now, the one on the left is throwing a peace sign and the one on the right is about to bite my head off! Haha! 

Seriously. Two T-Rex were running through the Honcho on a Friday night. Suddenly, drunk sailors don’t seem so bad!! 

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