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Feasting My Way Through Japan


rarerollingobject
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I couldn't stand it. I had sushi yesterday for lunch, at a restaurant which has had good sushi in the past, and has moved from its old location to a nice new one.

 

Sushi was...not so good.

 

Sigh. I want to go back to Hanamaki, spend hours each day in the hot mineral baths, and eat seafood, both cooked and raw, three or four times a day.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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6 hours ago, helenjp said:

That's because you're polite. I am always tempted to cross my eyes and drool...

 

Not a single polite thing about me! I do like making them uncomfortable in return though; in Japan, that really just takes flashing them my most dazzling and inviting smile. That doesn't so work well in the West..

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A busy day of festival-hopping for today - I set off early for the, um, fertility festival at Kanamara Shrine. OKAY, OKAY - it’s a penis festival.

 

And it was quite fun, though as usual I was more interested in the people who take part in festivals than festivals themselves. They had all manner of penisphernalia, including (food-related) penis-shaped kebabs, deep fried potato penises, and penis-adjacent radishes.

 

Though I really had trouble with the sight of tiny kids all over the place being given life-size penis lollipops to suck. Cultural differences notwithstanding, I work in child protection and in my world, that smacks of normalizing/grooming behaviour..

 

Anyway, one enterprising stall also sold vulvas, and not, as I felt the need to correct a pack of about 20 American teenage boys, vaginas.

 

I’ll attach two pictures here for reference, but if you want to see the rest (that are in varying degrees of NSFeG-ness, but nothing actually RUDE, they’re here.)

 

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Then I hopped back to Shibuya, ate a bit of sushi: 

 

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And moved on to Yoyogi Park, for a double whammy of the Japan Paella Association Festival (and competition!

And free paella- I had three bowls; oyster; salmon roe; and squid ink):

 

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And the happy craziness of hanami parties in Yoyogi Park:

 

 

 

No dinner. After penis-potatoes, three bowls of paella, and all that sushi, I am CARBED OUT.

 

Am now home, drinking sake, and flipped the TV channel over to a Japanese food channel..to see Alice Waters, talking about how lettuce “speaks to her." 

 

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Which is exactly the sort of thing I expected her to say as soon as I saw it was Alice Waters! Haha. 9_9

 

 

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I had a mission today, to go and find Ame-shin - a shop I’d read about for awhile now that sells traditional Japanese hand-pulled sugar craft.

 

Nothing traditional about the shop itself, though - a young dude, at the ripe old age of 23, decided to single-handedly revive the dying craft. He makes EXQUISITE gold fish, frogs, octopus, squid..you name it.

 

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I bought the goldfish and the koi (the top two photos), and a bunch of beautiful circular lollipops as gifts.

 

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And no, I’m not going to eat them..I’m going to admire them, study them, and maybe give sugar-pulling a go myself, eventually. aren’t they lovely??

 

Here he is:

 

 

After that - ubiquitous sushi, at the shoutiest sushi train I’ve found so far in Tokyo (it’s a Hokkaido chain, and shouting is kind of a Hokkaido thing.)

 

Video (needs sound):

 

 

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This food court (!) also had an incredible wagyu beef place, and I was SERIOUSLY tempted by the 5 cheese tonkatsu, but given the cheese-in-eye incident I had in Kyoto, I decided not.

 

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Then I went and spent a zillion dollars at Issey Miyake, and the less said about that the better, and then on the way out, I saw this lovely modern blue-and-white plate, so I um, bought it..

 

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Dinner - Japanese curry. A black curry from Kanazawa, with a tonkatsu fillet buried in it, because of course there is.

 

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Incidentally, @helenjp, it seems to be another kind of place only men eat in. At least, the dude at the back there visibly jumped and gasped when he saw me, and nudged his friend. WTH? Where do all the women eat in this city?! xD

 

Edited by rarerollingobject (log)
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Candy craft! I often walk past a tiny shop making amazing pulled candy - I really like that they go to the trouble of running a stall with fun and affordable bits (not "bits" as in the festival you went to, though!) at a local temple festival too.

Where do women eat? I can't help myself, I always do a male/female rundown when I'm in a restaurant. At chains like Obon de Gohan (Meal on a Tray) there are always more women - maybe because they can mix and match more freely, there are plenty of side-dishes, and the food is quite light. There's one in Terminal 2 at Narita if you want to try!

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Sorry for the minor delay in communications..blame Blether and sake.

 

I’m home in Sydney now, but my last day in closing was: pastry, a hot yuzu tea from Starbucks, sushi, shopping (more lollipops! skull-shaped sugar cubes! wasabi and sake-flavoured KitKats!), coffee, hanami in Yoyogi Park, one last drink in my hotel's lounge with an incredible view, and home.

 

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So, farewell from your erstwhile correspondent (shown here in utter mastery of the Tokyo subway system, despite being extremely hungover to boot), and thanks so much to everyone who read along and commented! 

 

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Edited by rarerollingobject (log)
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Thanks so much for posting this!  Loved it!  I still can't imagine what sake flavored kit kats would taste like though...  if you have time can you talk about sushi prices?  Did you go to "average" sushi places, or more high end?  It all looks like great quality...

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Much appreciate you taking the time and making the effort to share your experiences with us all.

 

Many fail to realize the amount of WORK it takes to upload all these photos and share your stories - so kudos to you.

 

It was very enjoyable and quite frankly my local Japanese haunt have benefited (as a result of my recent increase in patronage) from your drool worthy sushi shots.

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Absolutely fabulous, @rarerollingobject.  Thank you!

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Wonderful trip. I'm lusting with the desire to get back to Japan. Have begun looking at possibilities for next year. I need more time in Kyoto than I've had before. And a trip to Hanamaki for the hot springs. And Tsukiji. And...and...and...

 

Those last photos of sushi -- dear sweet baby Jesus. Just astounding. And the lollipops!

 

Thanks for taking us along!

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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What an amazing trip, Rarerollingobject - WOW!  I bow down to your powers of eating & drinking - I am lusting after all that gorgeous, beautiful sushi!

 

Japan is on my bucket list, of course.  Thank you for the virtual trip!

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just wow. Thank you for sharing this, and at such a rate. I am also now having some serious sushi cravings and mentally planning our return to Japan (though it probably wont be for a couple of years yet). I do have to wonder if the fish lollipops are ever eaten as they are glorious.

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