Tokyo food coma

Hello everyone,

As you might have already guessed, one of the main things I like to do in Japan is eating! So it’s probably not a big surprise that I found myself in several food comas that brought me directly to food heaven during my journey. But the first was probably the most memorable, because it comprised not only all sorts of different foods from salty to sweet and everything in between, but also some new fun cooking experience.


It was a gorgeous Sunday morning in Tōkyō; the sun was shining, people rushing around and me in the most relaxed state of mind with a cup of ice coffee in my hand – Just a perfect start for a day full of fun with my friend Erika-chan and yummy Japanese food. We met at Tsukiji-ichijō (Tōkyōs most famous fish market), which opens every morning at 4 with a big tuna auction, where the local sushi chefs try to get the best catch of the day to serve them to their customers only a few hours later. Also you can watch the chefs cutting the tuna in front of your eyes…


But we decided to skip the auction and meet a little later in the morning to just walk around the streets and that are packed full with tourists, who are looking for a good spot to eat something fishy (joke intended) like grilled sea urchin. Oddly, two of the markets’ famous food items have nothing to do with fish or sea creatures…

The first is tamagoyaki – a rolled sweetish omelet on a small wooden stick served with freshly grated radish. You will find the store that sells it very easily, because that’s the one with probably the longest queue. But it’s nice to watch how the make it.

The second is ichigo-daifuku – a mochi filled with a creamy sweet paste with flavors like matcha or custard cream and a strawberry on top. For such a small thing it is surprisingly filling… 😉


At some point the crowds were just overwhelming and I couldn’t handle the constant state of being squeezed between people anymore, so I asked my friend to leave towards place with a little more personal space. So we headed towards Tsukishima (the moon island), which is an artificial island located right next to the fish market (walking time of maybe 15-20 min). This Islands’ specialties are Tsukudani – pieces of meat, fish or insects that are broiled in a sweet soy sauce or Monjayaki – a runny pancake like dish that comes in all sorts of flavors.

Around lunch time we decided to go to a Monjayaki restaurant, where you can prepare your own food at a hotplate at the center of your table… I let my friend decide the flavor and she went for Mentaiko (spicy fish eggs)/cheese/mochi. (Turned out to be very delicious)

First, you have to put some oil on the hotplate, the shovel the cabbage on the plate and fry it, while moving it around with spatula like tool. When it is fried a little, you make a circle out of it and pour the rest of the ingredients in the middle, wait a bit and mix everything together. Then it’s ready to eat. (It should be still a little bit runny – not completely firm)

It was a really fun experience even though, because I have never seen it before and wasn’t sure what I was doing. Only down part was, that it was freaking hot in this restaurants. Imaging a medium sized restaurant, stuffed with tables with hot plates (all switched on) and also stuffed with sweating people on a summerly day… can you envision it? So I recommend you get yourself a cool drink like Ōlong-cha to refresh yourself!


We left the place stuffed full and deeply satisfied to go to Asakusa (a quarter more in the north of Tōkyō) for a bit of shopping and walking around the streets. We shortly stopped by my hostel, so that I could put on some less warm clothes… I totally miss calculated the temperatures that day…


After that we went to the Sensō-ji temple and while walking down Nakamise-dori – seeing all these traditional Japanese sweets – we decided it’s time for a dessert…

Agemanju – fried mochi with filling

 

That was the point, when I saw the food coma coming, but there was still some space for more…


Dinner time came around faster than expected… we went for Kaitenzushi – this kind of sushi restaurant where the chefs prepare little plates with different kinds of sushi and place it on a conveyor belt for the customers to pick whatever they like…

… Whatever it was I liked it a lot and I think by now I probably now more fish and sea food names in Japanese than in German or English.


That night I went to bed with a stomach full of amazing food and deeply satisfied knowing that more of days like this were yet to come! 🙂

See you

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