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Peter's Reviews ( 1 Stars )

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  • Yugyo Wadamaru (Izakaya / Shibuya)
  • 2007/07/07
  • Wadamaru looks so promising. Located 10 minutes away from Shibuya station in a quiet, upscale part of town and up a flight of old stone stairs, Wadamaru has all the atmosphere you could want for an intimate dinner with friends or an exclusive date.
    It's not very findable, perhaps intentionally. I had a map, but I needed it explained twice to me by the locals, and I've been doing this for awhile.
    Wadamaru is an izakaya. The alcohol list is impressive, but since it was mostly shochu, and all in Japanese, I had to settle with beer.
    The worst thing about Wadamaru is the service. I know a little Japanese, so I thought I could get by. However, the menu was handwritten and I don't know much kanji, so I had to ask for help. The waiter was very unhelpful, and only gave me recommendations after the third time I asked, in my best Japanese. I ordered Iwashi, thinly sliced sashimi with greens. My friend ordered the fish of the day. After waiting about 20 minutes, our dishes arrived. We thought they were appetizers since they were so small and expensive, and only realized after that there wasn't any more food coming. It was obvious that the two of us had wanted to order dinner, but the waiter didn't really care - I think he just wanted to get rid of us as soon as possible. After having spent 2,600 yen on these small plates, we decided to order the set meal, at 2.600 per person. Sorry, you have to have a reservation. What is the place?
    We finished our beer, left, and had McDonald's that night.
  • Sunshine Star Light Dome "Manten" (Planetariums / Ikebukuro)
  • 2007/06/27
  • The Sun Shine Star Light Dome is a planetarium in the Sunshine 60 building complex, east of Ikebukuro station. Careful: the entrance to the planetarium is marked by a tiny sign on the left hand if you enter the lower shopping mall from the street - I followed different signs around the building for half an hour before I finally found the right elevator.
    The planetarium shows several different movies every day at different times. I decided to see "Astronaut. The tickets cost 1800 yen for adults.
    The presentation started with a lesson in astronomy. Various constellations and zodiac signs were highlighted and given a 30 second background. I had fun trying to guess what they were saying in Japanese. The program continued with a retelling of the Japanese folk-tale "Tanabata," in which the characters are constellations, and the Milky Way is a river. The story of Tanabata is actually really beautiful and worth reading.
    Things started to go downhill with the "Astronaut" movie. Basically, "Astronaut" is a badly produced documentary of a day in the life of an astronaut. The computer animated characters look rather dated and I got the feeling that the director's agenda was showing off what his latest software could do, rather than making something aesthetic or informative. "Astronaut" basically used the planetarium's projector as a half-hearted IMAX, leaving me with an upset stomach that afternoon. In addition, there are randomly inserted computer-generated psychedelic sequences inserted throughout the movie. Maybe they'd make more sense if I knew Japanese. Not recommended.