I’ve been back for two days now and I officially have Japan-drop (which is like sub-drop but more sucky). When I return to Australia after every visit to ‘the land of happiness’ as M calls it, I emotionally sink like a stone and feel a sudden urge to claw the eyes out of everyone around me. I’ve been travelling between Australia and Japan for 18 years now and I’m at the half-way point where I’ve had Japan in my life for exactly the same number of years as I’ve lived without it.
When I’m in Japan it’s like my brain goes into over-drive with everything wanting my attention and it takes me a while to get over it and while I thoroughly enjoy my time there, as I get older I’m finding less and less that I would like to live there on a permanent basis (long-term quality of life is kind of sucky there).
Anyway, above and beyond my week of work filled with meetings and business dinners, I also had 5 days to myself during which I ate, shopped, ate, ate some more and soaked up the best that Japan has to offer. I did a *lot* of eating. I had intended to try and not gorge myself, but that intention went out the window within the first six hours of landing. There is just so much yummy goodness everywhere and it’s almost impossible to ignore all the things just begging to be eaten around you.
Like square vanilla bean custard cream puffs:
And pumpkin sponge, chestnut cream, salted caramel layer cake topped with three types of vanilla cream puffs:
And of course melon bread, it’s the one thing I always, always have while I’m in Japan (and usually several different types. This time I think I had 4 different types.)
Funnily enough 99.9% of my photos feature food. That’s partly because I felt less embarrassed taking photos of food because everyone does it and partly because I don’t feel like a tourist when I’m there so I tend not to take photos of scenery.
Along with the sweet stuff, I also had copious amounts of ‘real’ food. Unfortunately with one of my travelling companions not able to eat fish, there was a lot of meat. Meat, meat, meat. I’m not a heavy meat eater and so it was pretty challenging for me (I ended up passing a lot of my meat to the most canivorous member of our team.)
This is some pretty pricey thinly sliced wagyuu for shabu shabu (it gets poached quickly in stock before being dipped in ponzu or a sesame sauce for eating) :
And these were lamb chops at a french restaurant that were way too rare for my liking:
Ultimately I’m at my happiest eating this:
Isn’t it beautiful?
And in terms of raw fish, this gives me a sushigasm:
Tsubugai (sea whelk/sea snail). It’s chewy and crunchy and makes the best sushi. ever.
I think the ‘food’ item I was the happiest about was being able to purchase some Caspian Sea Yoghurt culture and bring it back with me. I conceived my yoghurt baby just an hour ago and in about 12 hours or so I should have my first batch. It’s the only culture I know of that allows you to make yoghurt at room temperature and once you’ve made some, you just keep saving a small amount of starter to make your next batch.
You may now refer to me as the Yoghurt Queen from here on in.
I’ll write a few more posts about Japan over the next few days (I still have 120 photos of food I haven’t shared so prepare yourself…)