After our fruitless search for Habu-shu on the last trip, my sister and I were seriously contemplating a short jaunt to Okinawa to buy the stuff (and see a bit of Okinawa for a day or two, but really, snake-booze run). Yesterday morning, as we were chatting about the other major change to our trip, I whimsically searched Amazon Japan for ハブ酒.
By golly, you can get all sorts of the stuff shipped anywhere in the country, from tiny 50ml bottles up to 5-liter jugs (with a correspondingly large snake inside). We could still choose to take a jaunt to Okinawa, but it’s no longer the least-frustration method of acquiring the goods.
The reason we may not go is the other change to the trip: Interplanet Janet has flown so much on United that she’s graduated to an even higher class of membership, which granted her free business-class tickets for our parents. Now we are four; fear our shopping prowess!
To ice the cake, a few hours after we conferenced with them and went over the basics, we discovered that a new room block had opened up in the hotel we liked so much last trip, the Citadines Kyoto. The place we originally booked was only three blocks away, so we knew the area, but everything about the Citadines worked for us: quality service, comfortable room with free internet and a kitchenette, major subway line 50 feet away, dry cleaners and grocery store a block away, 7-11 across the street, all sorts of shopping, food, temples, and shrines within walking distance, etc, etc. Also less expensive than the other hotel.
I think the first night we’re there, we’ll take the folks down to the House of Grilled Meat. One of the nice things about learning to read kanji is that when you see a large neon sign reading 焼肉屋, you know that you need to investigate. An all-you-can-eat yakiniku joint with touchscreen ordering and a grill in the middle of the table is a Very Good Thing to find.