Arriving in Japan, I realized a dream that had been brewing ever since seeing Lost in Translation almost 20 years ago, and was fascinated by the extremely polite culture, the overwhelming homogeneity but especially the food. Living in Korea offers a welcoming and hospitable culture, about 1% more diversity and much spicier food. It was really exciting getting off the plane, picking up my portable wifi and off for an adventure on the massive and confusing Tokyo subway.
The first stop was ramen, of course. I’ve become slightly addicted to noodles since living in Asia. It was so so good with the cold beer. A great start.
Checked into our beautiful hotel Rihga Royal Hotel near Waseda University, and off for some fish now. A quick sushi bite with sake, delicious, then big beers and tapas at a tiny dive bar as the rain drizzled outside. We finished off the first day with late night beers and naturally, more noodles at one of the 24-hour spots.
The next day we explored Shinjuku before hitting up the bizarre Robot Restaurant. We started at a crowded duck ramen place, Yamaguchi. Oily broth, dumplings, meat and fabulous noodles made it a worthwhile stop. We had lunch in the Takashimaya mall, at the Katsukura tonkatsu restaurant with a sake sampler. It was very expensive but was a healthy tasting fried food. The Robot show was stupidly entertaining and too loud. We had some late night sushi and beer before bed.
Jordyn used to live in Tokyo, so we visited her old hometown near Fuchu. There was a fabulous ramen place with outstanding marinated pork located right next to the subway station. After exploring and having an espresso and a shaved ice mango dessert, we headed to Kichijoji, a small town with a cool little main street. The Japanese meat sampler, grilled in our own private room with sake was pretty awesome–a mouth party. Dessert was a local fro-yo place with real fruit.
Morning arrived and it was sneaker shopping time near Shibuya. Takoyaki is a fried dough ball with an octopus piece inside. I didn’t like it. For dinner we headed to T.Y. Harbor, an expat restaurant with a 30$ cheeseburger and a boot of beer. The food was all Western style and real good. Check out the sink with a built in wing hand dryer, it seemed very Japanese.
Today was a sushi day. Push a button on a screen and a moment later, atop a little tram car emerging from a kitchen window comes your fish. We overate, but happily. After, an espresso and a chocolate bread from Rituel.
Finally, it was time to go. Grabbing a quick banh mi near the Takadanobaba Station and off to the airport where a really tasty rice bowl was a fitting farewell.
Baby Asahi seems very Japanese.