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Nambutei buffet dinner, 22 April 2008

Nambutei Buffet Dinner, 22 April 2008

On Tuesday 22 April, 34 C&O members and guests made the annual Society pilgrimage to the charming restaurant Nambutei, which stands on the southern edge of Tokyo’s Hibiya Park. Tucked away in the trees, out of sight of Kokkai-dori, the busy main road, Nambutei provides a welcome haven from the bustle of the frenetic metropolis.

Nambutei buffet dinner group photo 2008Nambutei buffet dinner group photo 2008

In attendance at the buffet dinner were three new members, Dr Ken Shackleton (The Queen’s, Oxford, 1998–2002), James Thomas (St Anne’s, Oxford, 1997–2001) and Anthony Walker (Trinity, Cambridge, 1995–1999), and two visitors, Toshiyuki Yamanaka (St Edmund’s, Cambridge), the honorary secretary of the Kansai Chapter of C&O, and Clive Galliver (Trinity, Cambridge), who was on a visit to Japan.

As always, the restaurant laid on a magnificent buffet spread, which was devoured with alacrity by the assembled throng—the Pasta Bolognese disappearing at particularly impressive speed. The food was washed down with copious amounts of good wine, and the buzz of animated conversation drifting out from the restaurant patio into the night air made the venue that much easier for late-comers to find.

After an hour or so of conviviality, Terry Nakamura quieted the hubbub and introduced the new members and visitors. Tim Minton then made a few society announcements and conveyed the sad news that our much-loved current president, Sir Graham Fry, would soon be leaving Japan to return home to Britain—his tenure as ambassador at an end. (Happily, however, his diplomatic successor David Warren is due to take over the reins as Society president also.) Tim appealed to the assembled company for ideas for a parting gift for Sir Graham, noting that he is a keen bird-watcher. The more ribald suggestions being ignored, it was decided that the society would buy the ambassador a print depicting avian life in Japan.

After yet more conversation and a selection of delightful puddings, time was finally up and the evening concluded with a group photograph taken outside the restaurant entrance. Good-byes were said and the assembled company drifted off into the warm spring night, doubtless looking forward to returning next year to continue this venerable tradition.

Phil Robertson (St John's Cambridge, 1981)
Posted in | Submitted by huw.williams on Tue, 2008-04-22 09:00.
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