Today’s schooling was replaced with an educational trip to Ueno zoo, where we queued to see the giant pandas, tutted at the incredibly tiny elephant enclosure, and were overwhelmed by the amount of school children and their regimented behaviour. Of course, to the Japanese youngsters a group of Gaijin were infinitely more exciting than exotic wild beasts, with one young whippersnapper feeling inclined to run up to me, shout ‘konnichiwa’ (hello) in my ear at full volume, and then run off again. I wouldn’t have minded, but I was leaning over the crocodile tank at the time, and very nearly ended up getting a much closer look than I had originally intended.
After the trip to the zoo, Richard and I headed to the Robuchon patisserie in Ebisu, which is also part of a three star Michelin restaurant. When we asked where the bakery was, we were ushered inside into a very quiet corridor and asked to wait on some incredibly opulent looking chaise lounges. As the time passed I began to worry that we had somehow accidentally booked ourselves into a ten-course taster session at the restaurant, especially when we were given a personal guide and taken to a very executive looking elevator. Thankfully when the doors opened we found ourselves in the patisserie, and so I rewarded our good fortune by treating myself to an exquisite white chocolate creation. I wonder if this is all part of some elaborate marketing scheme, to scare customers into buying their products, but I imagine that others are more adept at finding the clearly marked front entrance!