Big Girls Do(nt) Cry: What 5-Star Dining in Tokyo Feels Like

Last December, after months of not seeing each other, we finally pushed through with our long-planned #GirlsJustWannaHaveFun moment at the Ritz Carlton Tokyo. With proper protocols observed, we agreed to take the risk and gather together to share updates, pray together, and have fun as friends and sisters do.

Corner spot with the famous Tokyo Tower at the background.

It's all in the details.

Despite a long back and forth with our reservation communications (and almost a cancellation), the Ritz accommodated gluten-free options, along with the regular Afternoon Tea Sets. We started at around 2:30 in the afternoon, and enjoyed bottomless tea servings including the fragrant Strawberry Champagne Tea (our favorite!), the luscious Bouquet Royale, and the unique exclusive signature Ritz Carlton Tea Blend and House Blend Coffee. They had the usual standard teas, including the Japanese tea Uji Yabukita, which is the top-notch level of green tea, with deep aroma and sophisticated flavor. Definitely not diluted, and rich in flavor.

Each reservation was supposedly only for two hours, but they did allow us to extend until it was time to clear the Afternoon Tea servings, and new dinner guests were to be welcomed. It was a marvel to see both cotton-candy skies and pretty city skyline.

Delicate flavor combination of strawberry and champagne, served to us in British English: "Would you care for some tea?" and answered with "Certainly!" for every request made. But soon our boisterous laughter and endless chatter (we had to remind each other to "Shhhh!" each time), turned serious and solemn. We came to reflect on how for the past NINE MONTHS of going out, doing errands, working (not from home all the time) in a foreign country (although one of us is Japanese), we've still been OKAY. More than OKAY, actually. Protected from the virus, provided amid the time of the pandemic. We did pray for our friends and loved ones having a hard time, but for us who've known HARDER TIMES way before the pandemic, we broke down in tears feeling nothing but gratefulness that it was well with our souls, just like one of our favorite songs. We all were amazed how we could earn at the time of financial crisis, stay alive at the time of desperation. In my heart was a repeated reminder of the assurance God has given me since the beginning of 2020.

It was honestly hard for me to receive His good promises, because no matter what "good" I/we did in the previous two years, times were tough. Tried and failed. Started and ended. Went and got wounded. People and possessions were taken away. I knew in my heart that God was a Good Father, though in those days, our circumstances and our faith declarations didn't match up. Ultimately, God was revealing the true state of hearts. Would we love him "Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty?" (Habakkuk 3:17).



Our envelopes all had four pieces of this card, so we could keep a copy of our own faith goals, along with the others' faith goals. After all, long before #NewAge #visionboards and #TheSecret God has already talked about vision-writing. All of those fads and followers have come and gone, but this one has remained for centuries. Eras, even. (Ain't it more sensible to go for this one?)

Of course, time wasn't enough to condense a nine-month catch-up, vision-casting, and prayer in one afternoon (and we were not willing to give an arm and a leg for dinner at the Ritz), so we moved to Shibuya and enjoyed an Asian Dinner (Rice, pleaseeeee!).

And more tears. We still have bills to pay, difficult people to deal with, dreams to achieve, goals to accomplish, things to learn, habits to improve, families to build. Vision-writing and praying do not make all these "part of life" things get resolved like magic. But hope flows, hope keeps us anchored, hope carries us through. How can we have hope amid our current realities?

Call it serendipitous, but we knew that He knew all along. You know this restaurant (the only one open 'til late time, and with outdoor seating), where we prayed for each other and completed our hope lists together? It's called Dadai. "Dada" means Father in most countries, "ii" means "good" in Japanese. What an assurance that He was, He is, and He will be that Good Father, who loves to give good gifts to His children, not because of what we say or do, but because of who He says He is. The #GoodNews is, He wants you in His family, too. Not in a religion or a specific denomination, but in a pure and personal connection, which of course, could and should be nurtured along with "sisters (or brothers) acknowledging the same Father."

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K & Your Good Gurus of the Good Company JP

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