Sunday, March 12, 2023

Shabu-Shabu at Roku in Odaiba

For our final dinner on our Japan stopover, we walked back to the Aqua City Mall, and took the escalators up to the sixth floor past the mysteriously named Multi-Purpose Toilets.

There we found Roku, Odaiba’s first and supposedly best shabu-shabu restaurant. In fact, Roku is Trip Advisor’s top-rated Odaiba eatery.

What is shabu-shabu? It’s a Japanese hotpot dish consisting of thinly sliced meats and vegetables, boiled in broth at the table. The name is supposedly derived from the “swish swish” sounds made as the ingredients are stirred in the cooking pot. This restaurant includes some dim sum in the order.

It was a tasty and fun evening. The $80 bill seemed reasonable by Tokyo standards, and even included some cheap but quaffable red California wine.

The weather has turned rainy, foggy, and windy Monday morning, quite a change from the previous three days. It’s a good day to spoil ourselves with a taxi to the airport.

Our Japan Airlines flight #16 is scheduled to depart from HND to Los Angeles at 4:25 PM, now 16 hours ahead of Pacific Daylight Savings Time. We’re due to land at LAX Monday at 10:20 AM PDT, a roughly 10-hour flight.

It’s a rainy taxi ride. We pick up boarding passes at the JL counter, and clear security and exit immigration effortlessly. 

We’re retracing our outbound flights exactly, meaning that, once through US Immigration, we’ll transfer to an American Airlines LAX-JFK flight and overnight in Nee York before flying Alaska from there to Seattle the following morning. At immigration we scan our BPs, get our photos taken, and walk through the gate when it opens. An employee in a booth waves us onward.

We take advantage of our OneWorld Emerald status to access the JL First Class Lounge for a nice lunch, and will sleep as much as possible once on board our flight. The lounge is virtually deserted.

We order sushi using the bar code at each table.

Ordering on an app at the table is getting addictive. Soup, salad, and a beef curry…

Yes, it’s all been great but it will still be nice to get home after this marathon trip.

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