Ever since i came to know about Aiba's family restaurant, i promised myself to go there as soon as possible. And I fulfilled that promise on the fateful day of may 26. Days before flying to Japan, i wanted to list down the resto’s direction but to no avail. i just didn't have the luxury of time. i may not have gone to TODAI or Keio, not even JAXA, but i would never miss KEIKAROU. After fangurling at Fuji TV and TV Asahi/Roponggi, I immediately set out to Chiba for my dinner with Aibaka-chan. Thank God, Stef was so fast in giving me the directions to Aiba’s place. I love Japan’s saikou mobile network and the fangurls online who are providing detailed infos. That was actually the only time that I knew of the resto’s real name. (Or I may have known it before but was just in Guia-amnesia mode ???) And as I’ve told my friends during the past days of my trip, there are just so many people in Japan that riding the train is like running for your life. I wanted to arrive at the resto just in time for dinner but not too beaten from the train ride. Makuharingo is a bit far from Tokyo even if the train chart promises a fast journey. It’s all because of the norikai, waiting and everything. As instructed, I walked straight out from Makuharingo station and turned left down the bridge. I crossed the intersection and voila… the restaurant must be there. Ehhhh??? I finally spotted a place that looked like a resto and proudly asked a school girl if my instinct was right. I was proud of my Nihonggo question but was amused that she answered me in English. No language barrier indeed! There was a vending machine outside the resto (like it’s something new in Japan??). But I would’ve thought that it should be classy or something, so vending machines should be out of site. Another vending machine near the door greeted me. I was actually in doubt that it was Aiba’s resto. All I knew was that it was Keikarou. Only 2 tables were filled when I arrived. The menu, like all other smaller establishments in Japan, was all written in Japanese characters. Thank God for the photos, they never failed me. Two fangurls and a fangay arrived and sat on the table at my left. They were taking photos of everything, which actually erased my doubt that it wasn’t Aiba’s resto. They took photos of stuffs near the entrance door and I wondered what those could be. The funny thing was, 4 guys, in suits, arrived. My suspicious mind was wondering if they were Aiba’s fan boys. But then again, I still thought that they must like the food at the resto and are working nearby, such that a dinner after work is a reward after a day’s job. I ordered sea gyoza and it, too, didn’t fail me. I so so loved it! Oishi desu ne! Though it was a bit oily for my standard but nevertheless, spending an hour or so on a train ride just to eat gyoza is fair enough. The resto is just small which indeed makes it a family restaurant. Or should I say lovers’ resto? Naaah, if the lights were dim, it would’ve been a romantic place. It reminded me of 10 Dove St. @ Sto. Niño Village Cebu City. I think there were only 8 tables, 4 of which have couches and placed on either sides of the room. Upon leaving the resto, I took my chance to discover what those fangurls were so busy about by the door. And the baka me just discovered that Masaki’s shrine was there! Why haven’t I discovered it when I arrived??? Uhuhuhu! Was I that hungry that I immediately sat on the table?! There was an Arashi photo frame on the right drawer upon entering the place. So remember to look at both sides once you enter the door. But i really wondered why MJ aka Bito was at the center of the photo when it was supposedly Aiba's big day! Hmph!Cookies and mini cakes were also displayed. A pack of 5 or something cost around 500 yen. I think they were mooncakes. “To buy or not to buy ???” I ended up not buying anything, At the left side of the door, on the wall behind the waiting chairs, was Aiba’s poster made out of mini photos of him.
The Masaki shrine
The obachan waiting by the chair was amused at me that I ended up hiding my real fangurl mode. There were also 2 notebooks where you could write you message to Aiba. All the messages were written in those complicated characters and I was so proud to be the one writing in English. I should’ve remembered one fangurl who said that there was a notebook. I came unprepared and ended up missing some things to say to Aiba. Well Aiba-chan, I shall return.
with a tummy full of sea gyoza
The dinner was well worth it. The price was not bad enough and was just the usual resto price in Japan. The road to the place is still vivid in my memory and I could just go back there like it’s my local neighborhood. But then again, the trains are full up to the magnetic strip!. I have never seen a train so full such that the commuters’ faces are already stuck on the glass door.
and again, more pics can be found @ mayheM's abode
- May 26 - A dinner date with Aiba-chan