My first 24 hours were mostly sleep, but i did get out to try the cold soba noodles at Hakone Akatsukian Hakoneten. I ordered the noodles cold with duck and green onion with a side of something. I think they were jellied eels but i am not sure. They were pretty gamey is all i can say. The duck and broth were excellent and the noodles were earthy and al dente. I would go again but take a pass on the fishy part.
My second day i visited Rokurinsha on Ramen Street, the underground row of cafes and shops near Tokyo’s central train station. I was early for lunch so there was no line. The broth is very rich, first aroma and taste are of anchovy sauce but then the broth just takes over. A raw egg is broken into the soup right before it is served, i cover mine with noodles to help it cook a little. It really adds to the overall flavor of the dish. A very good meal!
I stopped by my “guilty secret”. In a city of phenomenal restaurants, one of my favorite places is Yoshinoya, Japanese fast food. I usually keep it simple, just raw egg on top. I forgot to take the picture until i had stirred the egg in but it is there.
588 Yen, so around $5US. Solid tasty meal.
Next foor to Yoshinoya is a licquor store that sells American bourbon and Scotch whiskey by 10 ml measurements, from 140 Yen to 180 Yen and up. $4US for an ounce ($6 for a US shot!) of Wild Turkey! The good bourbons go for a lot more! Ouch!
Just a note to add about my trip to Rokurinsha. I did not get Tsukemen, I did not notice it on the order board and have to admit I am not sorry to have ordered what i did. I am not sure but i think there were 3 order boards in the restaurant, each seemingly with its own dining space? Not sure if that is correct but i may swing by tomorrow before my flight and see if the other boards have Tsukemen listed more prominently.
Rokurinsha’s specialty is Tsukemen in which the noodles are presented separately and you dip them in the broth.
I have no idea what i ordered but it tasted like Grandma’s chicken soup, but with pork instead of chicken and a goodly amount of cabbage and some funky big green onions. Seriously good soup!
I think the place is Shichisai Hanten but i can not find it on Google maps. Good food and a friendly chef.
Near Marunouchi stair #24, which is opposite the bronze giraffe on another street with no name.
If you detect some confusion on my part regarding street names…
Well, that went pear shaped in a hurry. I thought Australia was the only country on my itinerary that required a visa and it is an online one so i let it slide, figured i would get it after i got my Trans - Australian railroad ticket today. So i went to Narita with my ticket to Auckland in hand and found out i had to fill out an online app for a visa for NEW ZEALAND! So i filled it out and got it approved in 10 minutes, no worries. Got back in line and the desk agent said, “You need a ticket out of New Zealand.” I have never seen that rule enforced in 28 years and 45 countries visited, over and over, but she would not let me board without an onward ticket. So i told her i was going to Australia on the 19th, if she wanted me to, i could book the ticket early. She says do it. So i booked it and went back to her. She then said i need your Australian ETA visa. So i went back and got online and the system is down in Australia. No Americans can even start the process tonight. I told her i have 16 days in New Zealand to get the Aussie ETA visa but she was having none of it. “New Zealand is stricter, they will not let you in.” she said.
Then she said i could not board the aircraft.
A combination of my hubris and my procrastination may cost me my Tokyo to Auckland ticket price if i can not get a refund. Also, my Auckland to Sydney ticket, my first nights hotel reservation in Auckland AND, possibly, my Indian Pacific train excursion from Sydney to Perth. I should be able to get my Australian ETA visa within a day or two as soon as the system is back up so i should still be able to make my train trip, if my luck and my planning get better.
I want to book my flight to Bangkok so that i can chill at the beach or visit Chiang Mai but i am afraid that ANZ will not give me a refund, they may want to let me use my “credit” for the unused flight on another ANZ flight. So i sit trying to decide whether i roll the dice again. Considering how poorly i have performed so far, i really do not want to gamble any more.
I am getting my just deserts for procrastinating.
I checked on the Australian ETA visa a couple weeks ago and it was running fine then. So i decided to wait.
Stupid move on my part.
But my default position while traveling has always been, “Wait, you may decide to go another direction!”
And until now i got away with it with few problems.
I have to admit that although i wanted to see Hobbiton, i do not mind missing the rest of New Zealand.
I really want to get to Australia, though! There is a continent spanning train w luxury sleeper cars involved!
Thank you for offering to check for me, but i am going to try to go to the Australian Embassy in Bangkok. I should be there within 2 days and my train does not leave Sydney until the 21st so i should be good!
Sushi has always been a tertiary Japanese food experience for me. Ramens and soups are my primary goals and gyudon/donburi/tonkatsu are my secondary goals. I thought about sushi but it just did not seem as fun to explore, for me, this trip…
I hit a couple of sushi places near the old fish market on my last trip and found that they just were not as much fun for me as other non-sushi places nearby. Kitsuneya (gyudon) was my favorite cafe at the old fish market.
We finally suffered the much shorter queue after the fish market proper moved to its gleaming new digs. Very satisfying homey bite, worth the wait.
My favorite spot at Tsukiji is at a tiny counter fish spot on the outskirts. Hokkaido Uni on steaming white rice. Bowl of Miso soup. Wife gets the grilled fish set (whatever we see the guy grilling fresh outside).
We first semi-awkwardly walked in a few years ago. Being Japan, we somehow managed to order a delicious meal. Walked in the next year, and saw a glimmer of recognition in the proprietress’s eyes. A wondering warm feeling.
Those photos are outstanding! I did not get out of Ginza much this trip, just Edo Castle and a bunch of Ginza cafes. I slept so much I surprised myself. The past couple weeks have taken it out of me. I got sick in Quito and have not quite gotten back all the way healthy.
The part of your post about a host(ess) remembering, even if slightly, really strikes home. When it happens to me it is like I am a part of the community, however tangentially! LOL!
I once took a photo of a shop keeper and her pregnant daughter when i was on the pier near Bang Bao Cottages. I went back a couple weeks later so I had an 8x10 print made of them and gave it to the Mom. She loved it. The next year I took my girlfriend to Bang Bao Cottages and the Mom saw us walking up the pier. She called her daughter and she brought the Grand daughter (and the photo) for us to admire. Like an idiot, I did not take a photo of the three of them together. My girlfriend did not know what to think. LOL!
The herring looks so good. I have only ordered it a couple times, i should order it more often. It is good to hear that Kitsuneya is thriving. I was not sure how the transition would work for them.
I am off to Narita, i hope to board a flight to Bangkok this morning.
Safe trip, sending you good boarding karma! I’ve gotten old and careful, book my flights and hotels way in advance, and check and double check almost daily for any changes to deal with. Trip to Osaka last month was kinda stressful, as Japan strictly required visas for entry. Many hoops to jump through, which I won’t get into here. Halfway through our trip, Japan lifted visa requirements for previous visa exempt countries. I was already in-country, so glad that we were able to move about unencumbered before the onslaught flood of new tourist.
Have fun in Bangkok. Photos of some good memories.
GG, i have enjoyed the raw shrimp a time or two, seasoning/spice levels were crucial, though yours look unspiced… i liked them with the chilis spicing things up.
I have not done any grilled fish since i left Chiang Mai several years ago. I will have to check for some good spots in BKK. Larb Moo and Pad Kaprao are two of my favorite dishes in Thailand, love them both. I am a fan of food courts too, Big C was my favorite last time but i think it has serious competition.
Charles, i do not even know what yakinuku is, so some research on my part is required!
Thailand has so many varied dishes. It is like Europe or India, just a melange of dishes coming from multiple cultures.