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Eating in Japan

When asked what we were going to do in Japan, we had one main answer: eat. Now that we’re back, we can confidently say that while we did in fact do other things, we sure did eat a lot. From tempura to tamago, soba to sushi, and onigiri to odango and mochi, if we weren’t eating, we were probably thinking about it. (Or we were at a bar, which is like eating but less nutritious.)

Kristan’s favorite was omakase at Sushi Sawada, where we had lots of incredible, amazing, seasonal food: soramame (fava beans) with sea salt; sashimi – hirame, engawa, mirugai(aka geoduck, a super weird large clam) from Tokyo Bay, chutoro, whitebait blanched on a sakura leaf (eating some by themselves and some rolled in the leaf), a chewy scallop, , ika, uni (one eaten with the last ika piece), abalone and abalone jelly, uni inside chutoro, a spring veggie maki piece for a refresher, smoked aji, tako (cooked), charred chutoro; a daikon hand roll for a refresher; nigiri (with wonderfully vinegary ginger as a palate cleanser) – aji, kohada, smoked bonito, chutoro from the belly, chutoro from the neck, otoro, otoro aburi-style (seared on one side with charcoal), an orange clam with wasabi dot, a squid filled with a mixed rice with nori, sesame seeds, and other stuff, a nasu refresher, maguro-zuke, ebi, uni gunkan, anago with salt, anago with sweet sauce, a custardy Edo-style tamago, a wasabi maki (by request after someone else ordered one), and a gooseberry to finish. What’s most amazing is that these are only the ones we can remember!

Max couldn’t get over how specific restaurants were – although there were “general restaurants”, the majority focused on just one thing. Imagine a restaurant that only serves soba noodles… or only tempura… or just eel! In Japan, your dreams will come true.

Other highlights were Kobayashi’s soba (see? a single dish type restaurant!), our Japanese breakfasts and all the mochi hanami treats!

To read about the rest of our trip to Japan, visit our Tokyo post and our Kyoto and Matsumoto post.


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