Japan day 14: Lazy Bear bday

It’s Lazy Bear’s birthday today! Hooray!

Here is a drawn cake.

Feeling lazy to blog. But we ate delicious fresh ramen noodles. Photo and story will come later.

Tomorrow we will be going back home. Have a good Friday!

Japan day 13: knife and Kappabashi

Toshimi Saitou, chef of Yokohama Ramen Saito, suggested me to visit Kappabashi “Kitchen Town” in Tokyo. Lazy Penguin suggested to buy a good Japanese kitchen knife. So today’s mission: buy a knife in Kappabashi.

The street is close to Ueno Station, this blog has a detailed story about the location. Today is Labor Day, so most people are having a free day.

When I arrived at Kappabashi, half of the stores were open.

I found a knife shop (Kitchen World TDI Knife shop) and I was overwhelmed by all the Japanese knives.

The owner told me that any knife is good. The prices range from 4000 yen to 40.000++yen (30 euro to 300 euro). Probably even higher, but I didn’t dare to look at those.

My budget: 10.000 yen. I picked a knife which looked nice and was nice to hold and cut. The curly waves in the blade come from 37 layers of steel. It’s called Damascus steel. Wikipedia says: This “Modern Damascus” is made from several types of steel and iron slices welded together to form a billet, and currently the term “damascus” (although technically incorrect) is widely accepted to describe modern pattern welded steel blades in the trade.

I bought the 4th one from the left, a black handled knife with dimples. The dimples create air between the ingredient, so it will not stick to the knife. For example, when you cut a cucumber, the slice will fall from the knife easier.

I can’t wait to use it at home! Internet says it’s very sharp and it stays sharp for a ling time. When I am going to sharpen it, I will need to do some research to do it properly. So I won’t damage my precious. I will let you know the experiences by then!

Have a lovely day!

⬆ One of the kitchen shops

Japan day 12: Tokyo Gyukatsu Motomura

We are back in Tokyo again. Tokyo is really a metropolis compared to Kyoto. Broad roads, tall buildings, big and hip shops..

But Tokyo also has the smallest restaurants like Beef Kontatsu “Gyugatsu Motomura”. I think I found this restaurant on Google maps with 4+ stars. The place has one stroke of walking area, with the kitchen across of the eating counter. There are 9 seats I believe.

When we arrived there was a short line, about 40 minutes waiting. But it was really worth it; soft beef in a thin crispy dough layer. You could dip it in soy sauce and wasabi, which reminds me of sashimi. And there was a horse radish sauce, which was my favorite. We ate very fast, because people are waiting outside and it was so quiet. Everyone was just enjoying the food.

The price for all of this? 1200 yen, which is about 9 euro. So cheap for such high quality meat. Lazy Bear and I agree, this was more delicious than Kobe beef. 😬

When we left, the line was twice as long. But it’s worth it!

That’s it for today. Let’s end it with a smore ice cream from Dominique Ansel Bakery.

Japan day 1-2: Ochanomizu and Akihabara

The first day was on a plane and the second day started early in Japan. Some hightlights of the two first days.

1. We got Movenpick ice cream on the plane. Always nice to have an ice cream snack middle in the night (/flight).

2. I have to say, they really are thoughtfull here in Japan. For example, at the airport station they show you which train to take and how it looks like in photos.

3. The weather is lovely here. 10-15 degrees with sun and a breeze. Autumn colors are showing.

4. In our short walk around the area we already saw two temples. This is the exit of a black one.

5/6. Since it’s hard to read Japanese, we are happy that there are photos on the menu. And guess what we have ordered. Coco Curry with soba noodles and tempura don with soba noodles The dish came out after 3 minutes. A fast meal, but very satisfying.

Akihabara

7. We went to Akihabara, anime/game/arcade heaven. So much anime figurines and games. There were two pro players playing an arcade piano game, similar to guitar hero, but way faster.

8. There are a lot of beautiful buildings/houses here. This one looks like it came from a Ghibli movie.

9. A friend of ours who lives in Tokyo took us out for dinner. We ate shabu shabu (hotpot) at 温野菜. Our soup base was half sweet soy broth and the other half was 12 herbs broth. Both tastes so good! Meat quality was also very high. The portions are quite small, but it’s all-u-can-eat, so you can order a lot. A good food start of the food holiday.

First day conclusion: although I was mostly in zombie mode, it was really nice to experience all these Japan feelings again. I have been to Japan before in 2009.

I learned that if you want attention from the waiter, “sumimasen” is a very powerful word. They instantly react to that. English words and waving, not so much. Also “sumimasen” can be used as “thank you”. You are then saying “excuse me” for bothering you. “Arigatou gozaimasu” (thank you very much) can be a bit long to say.

Tomorrow: Odaiba.