via tribu02 flickr
In my two short visits to Tokyo, I was lost, each time, in Isetan, a massive Japanese department store, which has a brilliant food court, stocked with Japanese goodies and sweets.
I almost entirely forgot about Isetan, until today, when I wandered in for the afternoon, looking for an electric oven. From my cursory review, there are two major distinctions between the Japanese and Thai stores. First, the Japanese store, as I recall, was much more forward with its fashion offerings. Second, the Thai store is more accommodating with its food - there are seats and benches galore that entice you stay and have that matcha scone with clotted cream, or that mango yoghurt, or that salmon onigiri, or that hot-off-the-griddle okonomiyaki. At the time of my visits, that was not the case in Tokyo - no one was eating. How? I do remember being irked several times in the Isetan in Tokyo, as I had to slink away to sample my store-bought treats. (I just realized that, when traveling, I spend a fair amount of time slinking away to eat.)
In other news, the flooding is getting worse in Bangkok. In order to meet a colleague for dinner, I spent an unfortunate part of my evening traversing a dark, very flooded section of the city. And, I never found the place!