In this shop I was trying to mix and match some bowls and when I went to pay, the guy shook his head and said, 'No, only 5' I was like, 'huh?' I looked at the other gaijin and they gave me the knowing look of 'yeah, good luck trying to figure out what he's saying.' When I didn't put back my items and continued to browse he brought another guy who spoke some English and he sort of explained that I had to buy 5 of the same thing, no mixing. That was common in a lot of other shops - this does cater to the restaurants, so it makes sense, but I didn't want 5 of the same, so I left. I managed to find a few that let me buy just one.
My main goal for this particular trip was to purchase a chef's knife and have them inscribe my name in Katakana on the knife. One of the three guys spoke pretty good English, otherwise I don't know what would have ended up on my knife. I'll have to ask the kids if it says what it is supposed to say. Initially one guy said ' Two alphabets only' So I thought - okay my initials. But I hate my initials, BM, I usually put BSM, but that clearly wasn't going to fit. So I write BM down on a piece of paper for them and the men all look at it laugh about something - they couldn't be laughing at the meaning of my initials could they? I told them I wanted it in Katakana. "Oh......" they said and then chatted away, back and forth and finally English speaking man says - ' Too long in Katakana' as he sounded it out. So I settled for just the 'M' I think.
The Union Tokyo Knife shop
Making the 'M'
Restaurant sign vendor
More kitchen stuff