On Sunday the haru-ichiban winds were out of control. (Haru-ichiban are very strong, slightly warm gusts of wind said to be the start of spring. Think: Mary Poppins.) They stopped traffic, literally, halting and delaying JR trains all across Tokyo. Of course, as God (or Murphy or Christophe) would only have it, Ninapod and I were scheduled to arrive for luncheon (that was on purpose--a mere lunch? No, this was a *luncheon*) at a long-time family friend and former neighbor's house about an hour away. In fact, this was even a rescheduled luncheon from two weeks prior when a (get this) a snowstorm (in how many years in Tokyo??) intercepted our gathering, icing the roads and even making sure Nina caught a cold.
The journey one-way took just over two hours. As I waited for a train to get ready I ducked into an adjacent Doutour cafe and ordered a matcha latte, my recent drink of choice. The verdict: It is better than Starbucks'. I like lattes scalding hot and this was unexpectedly so, without me asking the barista for it to be. The matcha syrup was not too sweet and the dollop of cream and sprinkle of real matcha powder on top was fun. It was the perfect coffee break for a windy day when everything is unexpected.
Photo: As I waited in line I noticed little bags of dried fruit selling for a few hundred yen.