I got to spend a week in Tokyo, and my brain and belly are simultaneously about to explode. I don't think I could handle anymore time here as my senses have been overwhelmed with all the incredible things that make this place so special.
I'm starting the blog anew, and I'm not sure what will become of it, if anything, but as I start to experience more of this world, I'd like to share learnings and inspiration as perspective is such a valuable thing.
Be forewarned, this post will probably be ridiculously long. So I'll separate out two exceptional dining experiences and write about them as stand alone posts. If money were no object, and my body could handle dining out regularly, I'd probably want to become a food blogger.
Not a food writer, because my vocabulary is limited to "awesome" and "so good".
My descriptors need descripting.
But whatever. This is my website and I'll do what I want.
I came here 'cause I had a flight credit I had to use before December when it would expire, and I had some points on my Amex and was able to get a free flight and stay. The hotel served my purposes well enough, but had I done a little more research, I probably would have stayed in Shinjuku or Shibuya. I stayed in Sugamo, which was nice, but so many of the things I visited were closer to the aforementioned places (did I use that word right? maybe. hopefully.).
The chain is called APA and they have places all over Tokyo, and I picked the one I did cause they had a lil indoor onsen that I was going to use the crap out of. I forgot I had tattoos and that because of them, I am banned from onsens. I like a lot of the rules here but not being able to relax in the most heavenly things Japan has to offer as a result of poor life decisions permanently affixed to my body in my twenties is not one of them.
On the plus side, the hotel had a restaurant on the ground floor that had the most epic Japanese breakfast spread. Wish some of the offerings would change a little bit, but even though it didn't, I still ate there 3 times 'cause it was that good.
The curry rice and karage were the stand outs, and I kept going back for more.
Also in my neighborhood was this lil sushi shop that used to be kaiten (conveyor belt), but it didn't work (and I don't care about kaiten), and the three chefs working were all like 70+ years old. Japanese work ethic is a whole different thing.
Sorry for the shitty pic (pretend the conveyor belt was moving at a blazing speed), but it illustrates the color of plates which correlate to price of the pieces. Unsurprisingly my stack was mighty by the end of the meal.
Cheap and delicious.
I got to see a Stephen Sagmeister show by chance, whom I've also seen in Chicago at the MCA. Always incredible work.
Yves Saint Laurent
And an incredible calligraphy exhibit that didn't allow photos.
Tsukiji Market was def one of the highlights for me, as I'm obsessed with putting food in my mouth. These are pickles. I want to eat all of them. Here's a dump on Tsukiji things...
Best melon in the world is found in Japan.
Best kombu is from Japan and Korea.
Dried seafood (insert drooling face)
Obvs more seafood. Cause Tsukiji, duh.
Breakfast sushi came with the most incredible miso soup. Was so elegant with the subltle taste of roasted shrimp. My goodness.
Japanese omelet (tamago) shop
Korean style raw crap (hahahhaa I'm proof reading right now, and not gonna change "crap to crab) and shrimp... SOOOOOO GOOOD.
Unagi and unagi liver. (Unagi is overfished. Try to avoid it. I ate the livers 'cause they usually just get thrown away)
Grilled scallop with sea urchin (uni). Two of the best bites of the trip.
Yeah... so all that was Tsukiji Market, and it didn't even capture half of the goodness that lives there.
Sushi Dan was a wonderful affordable omakase for lunch.
Sanma hit with the blowtorch was amazing. The red vinegar'd rice is why I came here, and it was fantastic. I wish it was a tiny bit saltier, but it was still edo-rific. Sorry. That was really stupid and nerdy.
This bento from a department store was like $6 dollars. So unfair.
The national garden in ______ city. Sorry this post sucks because I started and stopped it and restarted it well after my memory is able to remember things and I'm too lazy to research it to have this post be useful.
I'm just trying to finish it with the hope that I'll continue to blog as I travel, and for those future posts to be more helpful than this one.
This exhibit was one of the most impactful experiences of my life. The work was incredibly thoughtful and translated the fraught relationship between humans and nature so eloquently.
I saw Mario Cart racers on the street, but only one of them was wearing a Mario costume (Yoshi) which was pretty disappointing.
I took one cool photo.
Saw a robot security guard that looked like Wall-E.
Did a touristy thing.
Ate a bowl of fish with rice at this place.
And I'm not even going to get into posting one of the best sushi meals of my life here, 'cause I'm sure this post is hurting your face as much as it hurts my fingers.
Till next time.