The Japanese have a word for picnicking under the fleeting cherry blossoms Hanami. In every park with the blossoms in bloom it is possible to find tarpaulins stretched out with people stretched out, eating, drinking, or playing with their kids. Sometimes it’s pretty cold out, it is early spring after all, but many people are entirely undisturbed by the temperature, they have determination to enjoy the bloom. I wonder if this Hanami phenomenon resulted in the food stalls near popular cherry blossom spots, enabling people to just bring their tarpaulin and to collect the food and drink on site. Whatever it is, I took advantage when visiting Kanazawa’s fantastic Kenroku-en gardens, grabbing some sweet potato chips along with a sausage and egg okonomiyaki from the stalls located just outside the incredibly busy main entrance to the gardens, open free to the public during the bloom.
As I sat on the still warm park bench I enjoyed the view of the gardens, watching the gardeners up ladders pruning some of the larger bonsai while eating my pancake style okonomiyaki and the flowery sweet potato chips.
My next picnic wasn’t in such a beautiful locale, it was enjoying the streetscape of the small geisha district in Nomachi. It was a simple meal with a can of hot tea from a nearby vending machine, an egg enrobed rice parcel and a fat sushi roll. It’s a cold day for spring and the perch I’m on is straight stone, so I can’t say I lingered too long.
I’m pretty sure the food I bought from the Omi-cho market on the day I left can’t be classed as a picnic, I was most certainly indoors when I ate it, the tempura prawns never made it out of the market building, nor did the scallop skewer. While both the cold crab and rice bowl, which was fantastic by the way, and the fatty tuna belly nigari, that looked a lot like raw pork, where eaten on the bullet train, bound for Tokyo.
With no other post working to include an honourable mention of a meal worth recording, but not quite worth a full post. They were good bowls of ramen ordered late at night when I had been walking around phone in hand searching for ramen for some time, with most places closed I got into this train station venue in time for last orders. It was clearly not my first choice, but ended up working very well.
The pork bone ramen, seasoned with soy, served with vegetable and thick noodles was definitely more soy than pork but with a great full flavour.
The butter flavoured ramen was a light and delicate salt ramen with loads of vegetables, the lack of meat made up for by the plateful of pork gyoza it came with.