Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Last Shamurai

Well, despite all of our attempts to confound the universe, the sun finally rose on the morning of our last day in Japan. Over are the days of playing samurai, the temple tourings, the bowls of little fishes... well, actually, not yet. Our flight's tomorrow... enjoy it while it lasts! Today, I eat like Samurai.
Yoko took off work to spend the last day with us, so we had a nice breakfast; more of those golden Japanese eggs, this time scrambled, and more of those awesomely huge and delicious Japanese peaches.
Then, for our last journey we headed out to
Kamakura, a beach town with an enormous Buddha whose shrine was destroyed in a tidal wave way back and now sits, towering in the
sunshine. Then we headed over to another beautiful temple and then took a train to get
some lunch.
Apparently in Kamakura the specialty is Shirazu, which are these little, and I mean tiny, white fishes that you get served over rice or however - so of course I had to have them. We found a small, but incredibly busy little restaurant, and with Yoko's help I ordered a salad of greens and the famed Shirazu in a light soy dressing, topped with seaweed and tobiko (roe). It came with miso soup and two kinds of pickles, and needless to say it was awesome.
Also of note was the beautiful plate of sashimi that Dad ordered.
From there, we went to another beautiful temple, but the great thing is that though you might start to think that once you've seen one temple, that you've seen them all, the next proves to be even better in some way. Each has something unique about it, for example this one had a huge lake with a veritable forest of giant lotus plants covering it.
After that we headed home and I stopped at 7-11 and the mini mart and LOADED up on Japanese snacks like bags of various dried and smoked creatures, salty seaweed, bean cakes and Green Tea Oreos, that should tide me over for a week or so if I ration carefully...
After a brief rest we headed to dinner at one of Yoko's favorite restaurants, and as always, she didn't steer us wrong!
Like so many of the restaurants we've been to in Japan, it was very very small, and at first we were the only people in the place.
The meal began with a round of drinks (a final sake for this samurai, of course) and complimentary plates of edamame and also jellyfish marinated in sweet soy and topped with shredded cabbage.
For some reason we ordered an appetizer of spring rolls filled with potato, cheese and bacon, which everyone else liked, but wasn't Japanese enough for my tastes. For dinner, the cook made special for Kathryn a bowl of chicken and egg on rice, although it wasn't on the menu, because it's her absolute favorite dish in Japan so far, and she orders it every chance she gets...
I ordered the broiled sea eel in a sweet mirin and soy sauce, and a bowl of steamed rice to wash it down.
The other three split three wonderful dishes; first there was a plate of 5 small, whole roasted fish that were mildly fishy and delicious with a squeeze of lemon, and second was a basket of absolutely delicouse fried shrimp, prepared tempura style, but i suspect the batter was salted and seasoned beforehand because they were unusually flavorful. Lastly was a plate of chopped chicken, marinated and roasted in a sesame chili sauce that was reportedly moister than moist and served with salad.

We finished up, made a few toasts, took some pictures, and headed home to do some packing.
And tomorrow - let me rephrase that - at 4 in the morning, we get picked up and head for the airport, where we are bound for an entertaining, fun filled 13 hours and gourmet food. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAH, right...

1 comment:

  1. oh, that platter of sashimi looks divine. lucky you.