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Archive for October, 2010

So, I’m back from my little around-the-world adventure. Wasn’t that quick? It sure was for me.

Before we get to the food, I need to take you on a walk around Tokyo.

First, you have to buy your subway ticket and rush to the train.

Then, wander around the fashionable Ginza district. You may not be able to afford anything in the stores, but it is fun to look around. And, someone is always available to help you find what you’re looking for.

You never know who you’re going to see outside the subway station.

Hats are pretty big in Tokyo right now — it was 85° that day. Also, those glasses have no lenses. They are just cool.

Walking in Kagurazaka, you might find a family on their way back from the temple.

But let’s get down to business. The food. Most people think of sushi when they hear Tokyo, and that’s where my culinary adventure began. I went to Tsukiji market but missed the 5 am tuna auction.

I instead got there in time to watch the tuna being sliced.

Not so kosher.

Matsutake mushrooms.

Akebi. I saw this fruit in a stall and stood in front of the boxes for about 5 minutes, hoping someone would notice me. Finally a gentleman caught me staring and stood next to me pointing at the purple fruit, half split open. He said “akebi.” I repeated, “akebi” and smiled. He nodded. I nodded. I reached for my wallet and moved to pick up a fruit, hoping he would indicate how much it cost. He just laughed and shook his head and shook his finger at me. I smiled. He shook his head again. I walked away, hoping I would see the fruit elsewhere. After 30 minutes of wandering, I returned to the stall, and smiled at my friend. Pointed at the fruit. Smiled again. He picked up one and handed it to me. I again reached for my wallet, but he shook his head. I shrugged my shoulders and scrunched up my eyebrows. He smiled and indicated I should eat it by scooping the seeds out with a finger. I smiled and walked away. Apparently, the akebi season lasts only 2 weeks. My timing was great.

Grating wasabi behind the restaurant.

My sushi chefs. It’s a lot easier to eat in Japan if you carry with you at all times a laminated list of kosher fish in Japanese (I found the list on the Jewish Community of Japan website). This, along with a subway map, made up my Tokyo survival kit.

After having sushi made from fish so fresh it was still warm, I pretty much stuck to noodles for the remainder my trip.

Soba.

And udon.

You’re supposed to slurp.

 

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