daeva_neesan: (Default)
[personal profile] daeva_neesan
For this new post about my whereabouts in Japan, I want to focus on the fun food that I tried during my travel.

Since the curiosity that inspired me the manga Ekiben Hitoritabi, I decided that I wanted to try some of the local bento sold at the main train stations on my way, plus I wanted to finish my tour of the Gundam Cafe and of course there would be always room for some WTF snack :D

Well, on my arrival to Tokyo the first thing that I went to check was the Gundam Front as I wasn't sure if I would have a chance later.
Once I was done with the visit, I entered the Gundam Cafe there for a snack.

Contrary to the other G-cafes, this one is take-away exclusively, but since it had peculiar designs that couldn't be found in the other branches I really wanted to visit it.
I delighted myself with a chocobanana gunplayaki and a latte, both of them in Zaku fashion ^^

In the evening I transferred to Nagoya, where I met this abomination labeled McDonald's: a special hamburger released to celebrate Halloween, which main ingredient was SQUID INK.

--It wasn't as bad as it looked, even if the fish/meat flavours together were a bit bothering to deal with...

A Nagoya meshi that I wanted to try since the last time I visited the city was the popular tenmusu, an onigiri filled with a fried shrimp. In this version that I bought at the station, the riceball is filled with A BUNCH of baby shrimps fried together...

They were so big! I had a hard time trying to get them with my chopsticks XD

The morning after it was the day of the Nagoya Matsuri and the day of my meeting with Teap >o< ♥ !!!

While I waited for her arrival, I woke up with a castella sandwhich.
In case you're wondering what's the point of having a sandwich with sponge cake inside-- I tried it to find an answer too, but I couldn't, LOL.

In the afternoon since we were in pure nagoya meshi mood, we went to a cute restaurant in the station, where I ordered a delicious combo of misokatsu and ebi fry:
--I nicknamed the ebi "The Imperial Shrimps", as they reminded the kinshachi of Nagoya Castle x'D

In the evening we joined the vibe of the festival and I had some typical Japanese matsuri food, takoyaki (here in a octopus/beef mix) and a beer :3

Food during festival is quite expensive! These two thingies costed me over 1000 yen! The beer alone was 600 yen D: !

The evening after Teap went back to Tokyo ;_; and I bought this ekiben at the station, dedicated to Nobunaga (!):

It's from the samed place where I got the tenmusu, so they followed the same recipe.
It wasn't very tasty, all that coloured rice tasted no different from simple white rice, but I loved the tiny misokatsu :9 !

The day after I was leaving for Kyoto.
As I was getting to my Shinkansen, I got to notice this ekiben that I really wanted to try! Its main ingredient is the Cochin chiken, or better, a special variety of Cochin breeded with Nagoya native chicken, famous for its red plumage and tasty meat:

I loved how the juice of the meat dressed the rice, giving everything a delicious taste!
I took the first picture on the Hikari to Kyoto, but I got to eat this delicacy only once in Kyoto, during my walk at Daitokuji. I ate it in the temple precints, in a resting area :D

Now, a little break to talk about the snacks sponsored by anime and the like: they can be found everywhere, but they are usually related to combini and the like, as they are part of special promotions and lotteries... I took pictures of some, featuring Durarara! and Vocaloid stuff:

By now I'm pretty "desensitized" towards them, but when I spotted these chips featuring Shingeki no Kyojin I HAD TO GET THEM:

Too cute!!
There was a gift card in it, with the characters dressed as employers of Lawson x'D
I found Sasha! The back portrays Krista:
I wanted to get my cute Levi, but I was happy the same...
When I got into another Lawson a few days later, I realized that the chips were no longer on sale ToT !! Damn, I had to buy all of them when I had the chance ToT !!
...I munched these while waiting for the Jidai Matsuri to start :3

This said, one of the delicacies of Kyoto that I wanted to try was this ekiben consisting of sushi wrapped in persimmon leaves, the "kakinoha sushi":

Back in the days, people used to wrap their lunch in leaves of persimmons or bamboo to keep it clean and preserve it during their long walks. This is a tribute to the old days.
The sushi was delicious! It had a little vinegar-y flavour to it that I loved!

The day after I went to Hiroshima to see Miyajima and its red torii.
Right after I got off the train I was "assaulted" by commercials about the famed momiji manju XD
So, the first thing that I did once I reached Miyajima was getting them :D I picked a regular one with red beans jam, and another one which was chocolate flavoured.
--The second thing that I did, was getting to find some cool place where to eat them... Here I am savouring them on top of a tiny waterfall, behind a deserted temple *_*

--You love my Autumn-themed tabi socks, don't you XD ?!

I really wanted to try some anago in Hiroshima, but I was very low on cash ToT
--Fortunately I found this cute ekiben at the station, featuring three specialties of the area in onigiri format: fried oysters, octopus and the delicious eel:

Very good and filling!
I loved both the oyster and the eel :3 The octopus was a bit vapid :/
I took the first picture on board of the Sakura Shinkansen, but I ate it in my ryokan in Kyoto once I got back ^^

The day after I went to visit Amanohashidate, and on the way back I passed to Azuchi to get some sweets dedicated to Nobunaga from Mangoro:

It was my intention to nibble them under Nobunaga's statue, but it was already so dark that I preferred to enjoy them back in my room in Kyoto >3> !
The designs were simply eandearing, but I didn't find them very tasty... My favourite was the "Nobunaga's Army Pie", probably because of the shortcrust!

On my last day in Kyoto, I managed to leave with one of these lovely "takekago bento", after I ordered it one day in advance at the shop :D

Kyoto cuisine at its best, it's a long tradition serving food into baskets, a reference to the uses of ancient nobility.
--Personally I didn't like it very much ;_; The look was lovely, but the food tasted so vapid and boring ;o; ! Fortunately there was some fried chicken and some maki to revive my taste buds-- But it's been a nice experience :3 --Now I can say for certain that my favourite Japanese food is the one coming from Nagoya x'D

So, once I arrived to Tokyo from Kyoto, I decided to explore the station area, expecially because it was time for some light lunch and a stop to the second Gundam Cafe on my list, the one located in Tokyo Station!

This place had some really interesting pasta dishes, but I opted for this slice of bacon dedicated to Dozle Zabi ^^ It's called "The Deeds of Arms of Dozle", LOL.

After this light lunch, I met with my friend Echo: she brought me to some interesting place where we tried some Japanese beers... How cool!
Japanese beer is famous for being very little alcoholic, but after three glasses of stout (one of it was acerola flavoured!) I felt a little dizzy D: --We visited the Imperial Palace and the area around the station to get sober again after a looooong fujoshi talk ^_^ !

In the evening I decided to have dinner at the third Gundam Cafe on my list, the one in Chiba :D

Here I had the dish dedicated to Gihren Zabi, "The Speech of Gihren Zabi", a delicious curry rice with beef, mushrooms and onions ♥ I had a beer with it (best thing ever for curry rice!).
I really liked this G-Cafe! The area of the mall where it was placed ("Japan Pop Jungle") had some interesting otaku shops! It was interesting taking a stroll around once I was done with dinner ^^ !

The day after I went on a "pilgrimage" to Takeda Shingen's hometown, Kofu.
I was looking for an ekiben dedicated to Shingen called "Furinkazan", but I couldn't find any shop at the station that sold it ;_; so I picked this one:

It's a bento to eat under the sakura while watching Mount Fuji.
It was October so no blooming sakura for me, on top of it, it was a sunny day but the damn Fuji-san was wrapped in all kind of clouds so I couldn't see anything D: but at least I had a nice pork-based meal! Again, the juice of the meat flavoured the rice... I LOVE WHEN IT HAPPENS!
I had it in the grounds of the Takeda Jinja ♥ ^^

In the evening I met with Teap, since we managed to reserve a table at the CHARACRO of Akihabara, that was having a TIGER & BUNNY event at the time ^^

I had the dishes dedicated to Antonio (a don with hamburger, sausage and cheese sponsored by Sukiya) and the beautiful manly friendship between Antonio/Keith/Ivan (a pizza with three different toppings, tuna sashimi, Caesar salad and grilled veggies)... For the drinks, I got an analcoholic drink dedicated to Nathan and the roseé wine dedicated to the trio Kotetsu/Barnaby/Ryan.
--Everything was delicious! And pricey x'D but we really had lots of fun :D !!
Teap, I miss you T^T

The day after I went to Sendai :D
I bought this lovely ekiben in Tokyo, and I ate it on the train ^^

This ekiben is dedicated to the Tsubasa, the E3 series covering the Tohoku route from Ueno to Fukushima.
I don't know if it was a bento for kids, but I found it really good! The rice was dressed with a shrimp-flavoured sauce that made it red-coloured :3 Very tasty!

I went to see Matsushima, and there I got myself an ice-cream dedicated to Date Masamune, the local hero of the whole Tohoku, the "Masamune Parfait", LOL
Japanese ice-cream is not that tasty D: but it was a nice snack ^o^ !

At the station of Sendai I bought this interesting ekiben for dinner on my way back to Tokyo!
I was really curious to try it! It's one of those ekiben that you can warm up by pulling a string out of the package! How interesting!

It's a don featuring one of Sendai's delicacies, cow's tongue.
It was good, but as much as the gyutan that I had once at a BBQ restaurant in Tokyo :D

The next day I went back to Gifu and Nagoya to check some special events related to Nobunaga :D
Now, you probably don't know, but this year is the 50th anniversary of the Tokaido Shinkansen line, so many ekiben and drinks are dedicated to the event.
I decided to celebrate too, and I bought myself a drink and an ekiben dedicated to this anniversary∼

The ekiben was interesting! It featured some specialties of the cities along the Tokaido route ^^ --I finally had the chance to taste the famous shumai of Yokohama x'D !

In Gifu I got to buy this sweet at Mochinobu:

It's dedicated to the sakura of a temple where Nobunaga went to practice archery-- He was used to rest his bow against this sakura in its precints.
Of course I went to the temple, checked on the tree and ate the tiny cake there. It was delicious!

After checking out the pretty kiku ningyo in Gifu park I got back to Nagoya to see the ritual of the mochitsuki at Banshoji∼
I even got to eat some of the lucky mochi that once blessed Nobunaga by saving his life against an attempt to kill him >o< !!
I don't usually like mochi, but this one was pretty good! Probably wrapped in almond flour..?

On the way back to Tokyo, I bought some interesting "misokushikatsu", meaning some skewered misokatsu bits ^^

--I got the Shinkansen water bottle too ^o^ ! Too fun, I had to buy it (so I could make a set with the Tsubasa's lunchbox)!

The day after was already time to go back home, it's been two full, fullfilling weeks... On my way to the airport, I gave myself another little culinary challenge-- So that I could close this post with the revelation that the espresso coffee of Doutor is better (and cheaper!) than the one of Starbucks >3< !

And that's all for this subject, see you next time with something about the "Nihon Sankei"... Get ready by googling it!

Date: 2/11/14 16:59 (UTC)
m3n747: (Default)
From: [personal profile] m3n747
I got an analcoholic drink
Sigmund Freud would be so proud of you! XD

It all looks really delicious! And now I'm hungry. XD

Date: 3/11/14 11:52 (UTC)
m3n747: (Default)
From: [personal profile] m3n747
I meant the Freudian slip, but I like the way you think. XD

I guess that happens a lot when eating in other countries. Apparently, many Italians are reluctant to try barszcz, but love it when they do make up their minds.

Date: 3/11/14 13:46 (UTC)
m3n747: (Default)
From: [personal profile] m3n747
Well, it's as close as it gets on a keyboard. XD

It's quite delicious! But apparently Italians aren't exactly fans of beetroots, or at least so I've read somewhere, which makes them wary of our amazing soup. :D

I ate some octopus and clams on a pizza a long time ago - I remember the octopus was rather hard and rubbery, but all in all, not that bad.

Date: 3/11/14 16:57 (UTC)
m3n747: (Default)
From: [personal profile] m3n747
I think I've read an article about people from other countries living in Poland. If I remember correctly, there was something about food shortages during WW2 forcing people to eat beetroots, which were mainly used as cattle fodder at the time, and therefore the idea of making beetroot soup didn't sit well with people. I wouldn't vouch for any of that information, but that's what I seem to recall.

That red pasta looks like gagh! :D That must mean the Italians are actually Klingons. XD

Date: 3/11/14 19:56 (UTC)
m3n747: (Default)
From: [personal profile] m3n747
Like I said, I can't be sure how true that is, but it did stick in my mind for one reason or another.

My grandmother spent a part of the war in a German camp where she, and other prisoners, had to subsist on lettuce soup. O_o

Date: 3/11/14 20:55 (UTC)
m3n747: (Default)
From: [personal profile] m3n747
Okay, you're the expert here! :D

And when the Russians liberated Poland from the Germans, they also liberated us from a whole lot of our stuff - I guess that's a common theme with armies. Fuck the whole lot of them! XD

Date: 3/11/14 21:20 (UTC)
m3n747: (Default)
From: [personal profile] m3n747
Evolution is only about the diversity of life, not about not being dicks to one another. XD As for wars, I'd say the best cure for them is widespread education.
Edited Date: 3/11/14 21:23 (UTC)

Date: 4/11/14 10:23 (UTC)
m3n747: (Default)
From: [personal profile] m3n747
No, you got it wrong. Evolution is a process of change in inherited traits over generations of organisms, leading to diversification of species and their adaptation to a given environment. Not repeating old mistakes is simply learning and it's a cognitive process, whereas evolution is purely biological: if an organism is born with a trait that helps it survive, find food and breed (stronger legs, sharper talons, keener senses etc.), it will likely pass the genes responsible for them to its offspring, who might be born with those traits slightly more pronounced and so on. It's a blind and slow process, we humans haven't really changed in the last 50,000 years or so. (So it kinda annoys me when people talk of Pokémons evolving. XD)

Sadly that's true, but nonetheless, education is a step in the right direction. As the old saying goes, there is no knowledge that is not power.

Date: 2/11/14 23:25 (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
This post made me so hungry i had to leave my bed for a little snack xP Now i nibble chocolate and crackers on my pillow, you sweet devil Q3Q
Also, i was just admiring your socks and thinking "i love these" as i read your comment.. wow lol
I would love to visit Japan someday, but unfortu ately i dont have anyone i could travel with. Do you think it would be ok to go there alone, what are your thoughts on traveling just by yourself?

Date: 4/11/14 22:35 (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Brilliant, thanks for these hints! <3

Tutto questo è meraviglioso!

Date: 3/11/14 03:49 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] momographica.com
Prima di tutto questo tuo articolo mi ha dato la certezza che quando andrò a Nagoya tutti gli sforzi della mia dieta andranno a farsi benedire e ingrasserò di mille chili! Scherzi a parte,ti sono grata per questo post incredibilmente dettagliato, sei riuscita ad assaggiare tante delle cose che mi ero ripromessa di testare durante il mio prossimo viaggio e tutto questo mi tornerà molto utile. Sarà mia premura dare il giusto spazio alla cucina di Nagoya (leggi = mega gamberi) che,come immaginavo,è deliziosa e la scorsa volta, a causa delle poche ore a disposizione e alla sempiterna allergia della mia genitrice a crostacei e affini, non sono riuscita ad assaggiare. Devo dire anche che quel bento con "Nobunaga" sull'etichetta del codice a barre è meraviglioso. Il signor Nobu sarebbe lieto di essere diventato così famoso da avere il proprio nome anche sugli scontrini dei bento, cinquecento anni dopo (no, in realtà non so come reagirebbe, probabilmente tagliando un po' di teste).

L'emozione più grande è stato scoprire che sei riuscita ad assaggiare il "kakinoha sushi", un cibo che trovo spesso sui miei blog giapponesi preferiti e che desidero assaggiare da molto tempo. Quanto è bello e quanto sembra buono!
Concordo con te in tutto a proposito della cucina di Kyoto. La tempura vegetariana che avevano provato io e mia madre durante lo scorso viaggio era delicata ma davvero insipida. Non vedo l'ora di tradirla per i sapori di Owari.

Credo di essermi persa per strada come un mochi abbia salvato la vita di Nobunaga...non vedo l'ora di conoscere questa storia!

Per finire, quel parfait di Masamune è semplicemente meraviglioso! Grazie per questo fantastico articolo :)


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