I know it is inauthentic but it’s a long way from pot noodle, ingredients are accessible, easily recreated and unapologetically absolutely delicious.
All in all, a fantastic foodie trip to Japan – the freshest sashimi found at Matsushima Bay, yakatori both great (Kyoto) and not so great (Ginza), weird and wonderful ox tongue (Kyoto) and horsemeat sashimi (Matsumoto), deep fried oysters (Miyajima Island), Okonomiyaki (Hiroshima), the most amazing tempura (Kyoto) as well as the most refreshing soba noodles (Kyoto & Nagano). The simplicity of the vegetarian food at Buddhist Temples in Koyasan, to all the beef stops (Osaka, Tokyo, Takayama) whether served in a burger, sizzler, hot plate or bbq. The sophisticated yet classy approach of Ayuko’s cookery class to the hysteria of train sushi and the sugar coated cuteness of breakfast at a Maid Cafe; I relished every single moment!
Part 5: Osaka
Takoyaki – described as Octopus Balls, think of these are the savoury version of a cake pop
Part 3: Kyoto & Koyasan (Mount Koya)
The two tempura chefs, master and protégée, set to task, organising the different pieces that they would be using to create our tempura. Individually frying each piece.
Part 2: Matsumoto & Takayama
I thoroughly enjoyed this experience – dressed in my Yukata, sat cross legged at the table, sampling all the delicious components that made my extremely, healthy and well-balanced breakfast. A great way to start another hectic day of sight seeing and travelling. My only advice if having a Japanese breakfast is that you cannot be in a rush. There are so many parts of the breakfast to get through you need time to enjoy them all!
Part 1: Tokyo & Nagano
With my limited Japanese and pointing at pictures in a menu, I ordered a set meal with a bowl of ramen – a Japanese noodle soup dish which was flavoured with ox tongue – and spicy chicken pieces served over rice and the ubiquitous miso soup.