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Analysis paralysis: a week in Tokyo in November


chefmd
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Sushi for breakfast at 6:30 AM at the new Toyosu fish market.  Sitting next to a British guy who lives in Brazil encouraging us to have a beer.  So far the best sushi that I ever had.

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And the first cooking adventure in the rental apartment tiny kitchen.  Wagyu beef, matsutake mushrooms.  Embarrassment of riches.  Shrooms cost as much as the beef.  Seared mushrooms in a skillet, kept warm in a pan, no other cooking vessels are available.  Turns out, one can cook without Darto, Griswald, etc.  And a very small table for eating.

 

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It is not difficult at all to get along in the big cities if you know no Japanese. As noted, much signage is in English, and most stores/restaurants have at least someone who's somewhat conversant with English. Picture menus are the grandest thing ever, too; just point.

 

Visiting Japan damn near ruined me for sushi in America. Especially mid-America.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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24 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Never having been to Japan I am surprised how much signage is in English.

 

They are preparing for 2020 Olympics and that has increased the amount of English signs (from what I understand).  In any case, no problem whatsoever getting around.

19 minutes ago, kayb said:

It is not difficult at all to get along in the big cities if you know no Japanese. As noted, much signage is in English, and most stores/restaurants have at least someone who's somewhat conversant with English. Picture menus are the grandest thing ever, too; just point.

 

Visiting Japan damn near ruined me for sushi in America. Especially mid-America.

 

I agree, picture menus are great.  Also a lot of restaurants have plastic replica of their food on display.

 

I am afraid that sushi ruining is happening to me as well.  

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1 hour ago, chefmd said:

They are preparing for 2020 Olympics and that has increased the amount of English signs (from what I understand).  In any case, no problem whatsoever getting around.

I agree, picture menus are great.  Also a lot of restaurants have plastic replica of their food on display.

 

I am afraid that sushi ruining is happening to me as well.  

FWIW, you'll get over it. In about six months or a year.

 

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Damn. I knew I had forgotten something ...

 

So sorry for not providing timely ideas, but I see that you are getting the best anyway :wink:

 

In case you are not are not having an overly full schedule already, there would be three things you might want to consider:

1) "Omoide Yokocho" - a narrow, but very long street full of room-sized Japanese eateries: very local, very intimate. Yakitori, intestines, kushikatsu ... all good drinking food and to be consumed with copious amouns of shochu highballs or beer. If you cant decide, go to "Ucchan 25" (https://s.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1304/A130401/13059673/top_amp/), and have the tongue sashimi, the giblet skewers or the motsunabe. They recently put out a homepage of the association (Shinjuku-omoide.com).

2) "Sekishin Tei" (www.newotani.co.jp/en/tokyo/restaurant/sekishin/) at the New Otani hotel has a fantastic Teppanyaki lunchset (~6000 JPY for the basic one). Wagyu, Ise ebi, hotate ... At night not affordable. The food is great, but the view over the garden is fantastic (www.newotani.co.jp/en/tokyo/garden/).

3) "Ebisu Yokocho" - similar to #1, but actually indoors (https://favy-jp.com/topics/1144). Very good for heavy drinking at night with izakaya-style food. The oden shop is great, and just right for the current temperatures. Make sure you do the salary man thing and buy a "one cup" sake at the Lawsons before heading to the subway ...

 

If any specific question, please let me know (will be faster this time) ^_^

 

Have fun ... I still have to wait three weeks for my next (business) trip to Tokyo.

 

Itadakimasu !

Edited by Duvel (log)
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Went to huge book store in  Daikanyama, T-site.  Cookbooks in many languages, only a small portion seen in photo.  Bought Den cookbook.  Really wanted to go to their restaurant but it’s impossible to get in.

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5 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Never having been to Japan I am surprised how much signage is in English.

 

 

I am continually amazed at how I can get around in Asia, Middle East and Europe speaking only English and incompetent Spanish.   Israel has been the toughest with street signs in Hebrew but many menus in English.

 

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Trying to walk a lot to counteract non stop eating.  Beautiful Shinjuku Gyoen Park is right near our apartment.  This catfish like looking creature is begging for food.  It just does not know that I am more likely to eat it than to feed it.

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Second and last planned fancy dinner on this trip.  Sushi Yasuda.  It was the only high end sushi place we were able to get into.  There are 11 seats at the counter and two small tables in the back.  We got the back table and I was initially not happy. Chef Yasuda is the only one making sushi.  You can see and hear him well from the back table.  The additional bonus is the ability to see all the diners when you seat in the back.  They were all Americans.  Loud and entertaining.  No wonder we could not make reservations in other sushi places that are basically closed to foreigners .  Our fellow diners were asking questions like “did radiation change the taste of the fish?”.  One guy was vaping and almost got thrown out.  The other guy heard that we were from DC area and started to press his political agenda.  Young woman was screaming repeatedly that taste of Uni changed her life.

 

Sushi was good.  Very good.  Three times better than fish market sushi (based on price)?  I don’t know.  

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do I love sushi or what ?

 

I can tell what many of those Pucks of delicious-nes are

 

but not all

 

please consider enlightening me

 

but I sure hope your are extra busy

 

as Im never going to taste then myself.

 

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no big wories

 

I do have some and even more

 

M.R. ti help out  !

 

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yet

 

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looks to me that you are having a Mighty Fine Trip !

 

and again , bubbles my way aside

 

thank your for sharing.

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@rotuts

 

from top top to bottom:

 

tuna, some white fish, snapper

salmon, fatty tuna, horse mackerel 

squid, sweet shrimp, scallop

eel, sea urchin, salmon roe

sweet omelet, chives sprouts

tuna and scallions roll

 

wishing for some MR to fall back to sleep :)

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thank you

 

""  Some White Fish ?"

 

hee hee

 

a long time ago 

 

I sued to motor into 

 

of all places

 

NYC

 

don't ask 

 

but there was a Korean place on 42'd steet

 

and i went their

 

very specifically   for the Sushi and etc at the sushi bar.

 

and some fantastic Korean items

 

its quite rare to get 

 

fresh shrimp  as sushi or sashimi 

 

stunning stuff

 

so different than cooked 

 

perfectly 

 

shrimp

 

cheers your way

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Is that the same Sushi Yasuda that used to be in NY?  Years ago, my wife and I would go there from time to time and sit at the counter with Yasuda-san... no matter how infrequently we went there (once or twice a year?), he always remembered us - even our fish preferences!  His sea urchin was always amazing, but no matter how great the quality of all of his fish were (they were all awesome), one of the things I loved most about his place was the texture of his rice.

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The best sushi and sashimi I had in Japan was in a tiny little place, about six tables, that sat on the side of a mountain (literally; the parking lot was level with the roof, and you walked down stairs down the mountainside to get to it) overlooking the ocean, just outside of Kamakura. We ordered platter after platter, and pitcher after pitcher of cold Sapporo. One of the best things I had was what looked like little tadpoles, white, less than 3/4 inch long, which you ate whole. They had been marinated in something. We asked the waiter, who in turn asked the chef, who told us they were "tiny white fish." That ranks as one of the best meals I've ever eaten.

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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18 hours ago, Duvel said:

In that case, please visit "Ramen street", in the underground level of Tokyo station. All are good, but I'd go for Tsukemen at Rokurinsha (https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2012/07/06/food/a-ramen-line-up-worth-dipping-into/#.W_edThqpW70)...

@Duvel thank you for recommending this.  It was one of the best breakfasts ever.  And 830 yen, a bargain.

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