yet another travel post! it may seem like i go on a lot of adventures, but really this year is an exception. normally in my free time, i sit at home and twiddle my thumbs and cook to keep insanity at bay... heh heh. but this trip was a long time coming. even before my husband and i were married, we fantasized about going to japan together. we had only traveled twice together besides to and from our respective homes; new york and new zealand. we had a blast together and were looking forward to doing it again. fast-forward to 4 years later and we haven't traveled to any new places at all. luckily when we got married, my parents gave us money towards our honeymoon. and that's what this was, a belated honeymoon to japan. ^^
oh, the food. the service was impeccable at every restaurant we ate at; i am not used to servers being so polite after living in copenhagen for 4 years... ok! that's the first and last jab at denmark for this post. while my husband was more interested in eating as much quality sushi he could fit into his tummy, i was looking forward to comfort foods like freshly-made ramen/udon/soba, katsu-sando, tarako, pretty much anything with tofu.. i did get to eat all those lovely things, but i feel like i didn't eat enough noodles. the ones i had were all very good, with perfect bite and length. nothing sadder than a short noodle when you are expecting to slurp. (;
they have a tendency to eat eggs quite raw in japan; which i have absolutely no problem with, since they take the necessary precautions. i never got sick from food in japan, even though i was served almost raw eggs to crack on top of the tsukemen pictured above. and the yolks are bright orange! you can also get them already cooked (somewhat) at convenience stores if you have a craving. seems like those shops are much better in asia than any other place in the world, or at least it seems that way to me. i only ate breakfast once in a hotel because you can always find a delicious bento at the convenience store and they will warm it up for you. or if i wasn't feeling hungry, i'd just buy an umeboshi onigiri for later. everything was delicious, i don't remember tasting anything i didn't like. even tomato chocolate.. it took a while, but it grew on me. ^^
along with seeking out and ingesting all the food, we did do some sightseeing. in tokyo we went to koishikawa korakuen gardens, tsukiji market, and attempted to enter the imperial gardens which turned out to be inexplicably closed on the one day we had time to go. it was closed sunday, and monday was a national holiday.. 'health and sports day.' grrrr! i highly recommend visiting the other two places, though. contrary to what i've read online, you don't need to show up at tsukiji market at the crack of dawn unless you want to watch the tuna auction or line up at sushi dai or daiwa zushi. we weren't interested in a 5am wake-up call, so we moseyed along at our own pace and reached the outer market at about 11:30. it was still bustling with activity and we sat down to a delicious (and reasonably-priced) sushi lunch at a random spot. afterwards we poked our heads into the actual fish market, which was all but shut down. merchants were hosing the place down and the boxes were empty, but we did get to witness two guys wrestling with a slice of tuna.
we only got to see a fraction of the city so i'm hoping i can go back someday. especially for the shopping! be on the lookout for places like tokyu hands, muji, and 100 yen shops for cool stuff that won't put a dent in your wallet. besides not eating enough noodles, my other regret of the trip was not buying enough groceries and clothes! especially packs of umeboshi and seaweed at tsukiji. i did get some but my suitcases were almost halfway under the weight limit. it's very unusual for me to not be right at 23kg! i should have bought more stuff... but i was thankful for the lower weight once we got home. we live on the second floor (third floor to americans) of an apartment with no elevator, so coming home from trips is hard in more ways than one! my husband was probably also grateful, as i tend to squeeze provisions into every corner of the flat. but he'll thank me when the zombie apocalypse is upon us...