Being a Saturday night it was a lot busier than when we'd been there before and we were lucky to get the last available table in the corner. The first thing we noticed was that it was looking a little different to when we had been there last. It had recently been reported on their website that there had been some changes, and there most definitely have.
The walls have been totally cleared - including all posters, and the map of Japan that featured keyrings and phonestraps left by fans. Now the only NEWS thing on display is this poster.
The arrow pointing to Shige is very cute, as are the hearts next to both their names.
As I mentioned it was a pretty busy night, and we'd only caught a glimpse of Koyama's mother hard at work in the kitchen as we made our way to our table. It seemed like it was going to stay very busy, and maybe we wouldn't have much of any chance to even say hello to her or to give her the goodies we'd brought from Australia. On our last visit she'd been very excited about Australia so this time we brought some chocolate koalas and some clip-on koalas and kangaroos.
However, as we were eating our meals she came to the entrance of the kitchen, looked over at us and said, "hisashiburi ... Australia ...!" and my heart stopped. I was totally stunned that she actually remembered us from our last visit.
She then came over to our table to say hello properly, and she even seemed to notice that some of our group were different. So everyone said where they were from - only two of us were from Australia and we chatted briefly. She was still excited about Australia and I was able to give her the pressies that we'd bought. She really loved the little animals and said that she would be seeing her grand children tomorrow and would take some along for them.
Then she went to the kitchen and returned with a packet of photos. These were photos from the Shichi-Go-San ceremony for 5 year old Haru-chan that the whole family attended at Meiji Shrine. It was very generous of her to spend time with us sharing these photos.
It was a great experience and I'll definitely be headed back there on my next visit to Japan. I had the ramen this time and it was very yummy as was the gyoza.
P.S. I'll be in Tokyo for a few more days yet, and will be catching up on scanning the latest magazines when I get home. I also have a new batch of official shop photos to scan when I get home too.