Mazushī echiketto

With so much convenience food readily available I found it strange to learn that it is improper to eat while walking. I’m not surprised, really I’m not, Japan has a strong etiquette code, it’s not strictly enforced or anything and I have seen some of the youth walking and eating. With that in mind I…

Gyoza Gourmand

I assume these Gyoza will set the benchmark to beat for the rest of my life. I love dumplings and I fear this rather superb meal will ruin every Gyoza I eat after this. They were worth waiting outside for in the light drizzle with inadequate cover and a poxy umbrella to hold. The seating…

About town

Hole in the wall. I’ve seen a few of the Sakura markets in different cities now, I’m really surprised how similar the food is at each of them. It’s getting late and I don’t feel like things on sticks, besides there wasn’t anywhere to sit and eat the things, all of the nice illuminated space…

Yakitori proper

I really wanted to have good Yakitori, I had missed out on the ideal experience in Nara and had been hoping for a better opportunity than the meal I had experiences to present itself. With Kyoto littered with many superb older houses I was happy when an opportunity to eat in a well reviewed Yakitori…

Full bloom

Visiting Japan at this time of year is an excellent decision and it is with some luck that I have managed to arrive in Kyoto during full bloom. There are sakura all over the city, in back yards, near housing estates, along the banks of many of the city’s waterways, occasionally a bonsai version can…

Kyoto

Kyoto is on the must visit list for almost every tourist that comes to Japan, with good cause, it’s a manageable city dripping with history and interest. There is great food, stunning temples and shrines, awesome sakura, nice parks and excellent shopping opportunities. There are many cool laneways and alleys to explore, and for me…

Okonomiyaki – Hiroshima style

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese dish that is barely known abroad, it is associated in particular with the Kansai and Hiroshima regions and seems to be hugely popular. Like many dishes there are slight local variations between regions but the core principles of the dish remain the same. Okonomiyaki is really tasty and incredibly filling, I…

Shima ga taberu

With so many takeaway stalls available in Itsukushima town I was in grazing heaven when wandering around exploring the nooks and crannies of this pretty little town. There were loads on manju cakes around town, all made with the same maple leaf motif, apparently Itsukushima is even more beautiful in autumn when the deciduous trees…

Eel or oysters

There is a restaurant in Miyajimaguchi specialising in anago-meshi a local dish of broiled conger eel on rice. Unsurprisingly the restaurant is very busy and is full when I try to secure a table, on the upside they sell beautiful takeaway boxes prepared fresh for day trippers to Itsukushima. The box was so nice we…

Itsukushima

Itsukushima is the name of the island commonly known as Miyajima, just 20 minutes by ferry from Miyajimaguchi. Itsukushima is a lovely place to visit, with many temples and shrines, the much photographed Tori gate and a few walking routes through the virgin forest that covers the entire island. As I arrive, the small town…

Cross country

After completing the 380km trek from Nara to Miyajimaguchi on the slow train network I really am in awe of the Japanese rail system. I had bought a regional rail pass that didn’t extend to the super fast Shinkansen bullet trains, meaning I was stuck on the local trains, unless I wanted to fork out…

Mochi

I love mochi! They are a delightful treat that I really enjoy, it’s the chewy gelatinous texture and combination of subtle filling I love. It’s a hard to describe texture adequately, my initial thought is that of an untoasted bagel, but less bready, or perhaps a gel lolly but with less of the gelatinous springiness….