We’ve been missing on the past few weeks, but for a good reason! We wanted to visit Japan since we know ourselves and since we realize we love to travel and that’s what we want to do for living (who doesn’t?)! But for now we just try keep our jobs and wait for the next holiday.
Talking about Japan, sometimes we can’t believe that we were actually there, we still dream about it and we still dream about the smell and the taste of the food.
We are going to do this day by day and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did when we were there! Our trip was divided in 3 main locations: Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.
First let’s talk about Tokyo
When we arrive in Tokyo we were hypnotized by the lights and the colors coming from everywhere. After a 18hours flight we just wanted a shower and a comfy bed, but before that, food!
So in Japan you have this kind of off license/small supermarkets open until late where you ca buy the basics to survive. Water, juice, crisps, biscuits and POT NOODLES! Yes! Pot noodles was our very first gastronomic experience in Japanese lands! SHAME! We can say that they were the most delicious noodles we ever tried on that day – only because the noodles from the plane were absolutely disgusting (but we will talk about plane meals later on!)
One of our first dinners out was in this very little restaurant in Okubo where the entrance was like we were going in a basement. Inside there was no one apart from us and another Japanese family having dinner. These two very friendly girls, waitresses, tried to speak English and tried to help us to understand what we wanted. After wait 5/10 minutes for our food, we end up with two extra extra large sized bowls of pork ramen – delicious! So amazing that we couldn’t believe that such amazing food could come from that little basement restaurant.
As you can imagine our big hunger was for sushi. We know that Japanese cuisine is not only sushi, and now we know more than ever, however we were really curious to see it and try it.
In most of the restaurants, you sit at the counter and you have your sushi-man cutting and creating in front of you. You can see big pieces of fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sea bass, yellowtail etc. If you go to a more traditional place the sushi is mainly raw, if you go to restaurants where they are used to receive tourists, they make some cooked ones, tempura, dumplings … Every single fish was INCREDIBLY delicious and fresh and the sashimi was commonly served on ice to keep it perfect!
The most impressive sushi restaurant that we’ve been in Tokyo was on the “Red Light District” or Kabukicho. Was fun for the simple fact that there was no waiter. Everything was computerized! You sit on a table and you have a screen in front of you with the menu and pictures of the sushi. In this screen you make your order and 2/3 minutes after your food comes to you through a rotating counter. It is a little bit unsociable in our opinion, as you don’t get to speak to anyone and everyone in the restaurant is just staring at their screens BUT fun to be part of something so different and also to watch the food passing by.
Also in most of the restaurants they give you a jug of tea (cold or hot) and you can have as much as you like (as if it’s tap water), or you have your own tap of boiling water to make your own tea! Which is amazing because ends up to be healthier than order a coke!
On the days we spent in Tokyo, there was so many things to see and visit that we didn’t really had time to stop in a restaurant, sit down and order some food, the truth is that we never starved, there was always one or two or three quick options!
One of our last experiences in Tokyo was a Alice in Wonderland restaurant in Shinjuku. We saw so many reviews about this places that we wanted to try, not much for the food, but more to be involved in this fantasy world with theatrical service that so many were talking about.
The food options were very English but very Alice in Wonderland inspired. The cocktails absolutely amazing with great and inspiring decorations, lights, colors, the place was very much like the Red Queens Castle dinning room and our servers were Alice herself or the Mad Hatter. Is something that we don’t see much in Europe we guess. A very funny and surprising dinner.
This adventure was not always easy, as we couldn’t read labels, most of the times we didn’t know what we were buying or eating. We did a few funny mistakes and we had to throw away some funny stuff because we end up not liking or not eating, or the food ended up making us sick because of allergies…
We found loads of places with English menus and people trying to help us as much as they could on translation. Tokyo is a very touristic city, however English was not always present, what made things even more adventurous.