My First Trip to Japan

2020 UPDATE: After regular yearly trips to Japan, with my language skills very slowly but gradually improving, meaning a better understanding of this distant country (at least to the level a regular tourist might comprehend!), the below text seems to me very naive, especially concerning the “human” part of my impressions, so if you read it for the first time and if you know Japan or are Japanese, please be indulgent… Nevertheless, I still love certain aspects of the Japanese society and most of all my love for Japanese food hasn’t changed !

Many of you have certainly noticed my passion for the Japanese cuisine and read more than once about my desire to visit Japan. I have been learning Japanese, dreaming of this magic, distant trip… Finally my dream has come true and a couple of weeks ago me and my husband had the chance to taste the marvels of the Japanese cuisine, most of the time guided by my gourmet Tokyo friend (who, like me, loves shochu, shopping and long city walks). As ridiculous as it may seem, I can affirm I fell in love Japan after only one week spent in Tokyo. Apart from the amazing food, I was impressed by the Japanese politeness, the mutual respect, the dynamics, the flawless organisation, the cleanliness, the high standard of services, the feeling of safety at any time of day or night…. How could I not love the country where finally no one makes disgusted faces when I ask for chicken cartilage, where my favourite geso (squid legs) are often on the menu and where I am not the only adult who gets excited at a visit in the Moomin Café (see the photo above)! Paradoxically, my enchantment is the main reason why I have taken very few photos. In fact, I am one of these people who, faced with strong emotions and/or excitement simply forget to take out their camera and immortalise the moment… unless a kind soul reminds them they have such a thing in their bag. I hope you will forgive me the small number of photos and most of all their poor quality.

I thought I should start with you the most extraordinary gourmet moment since my discovery of foie gras. Imagine eating thick, hard snow infused with green matcha tea… This is the only way I could describe the experience I had while tasting shaved matcha ice cream for the first time in my life. The colour was so stunning, it seemed unreal, while the bitterness and grassy aroma of my beloved matcha were perfectly soothing on a humid and hot summer day. The balls you see around the ice were made of rice and were really delightful as well as the light green, “standard” matcha ice-cream portion (although they were largely shadowed by the huge mountain of shaved ice).

We had this matcha dessert in a small and very friendly tea shop in a quiet part of Chuo-ku. As a big matcha fan I couldn’t go away without drinking this gorgeous matcha ice tea. After the sweet dessert this bitter drink was a perfect thirst quencher and a real feast for the eyes. Having such a double matcha treat was an experience I hadn’t even dreamt of.

Talking about cafés and tea rooms, I couldn’t stop myself from showing you this box because it illustrates so well the Japanese ingenuity, practicality and care for the client’s comfort. As you see you can put there your handbag, shopping bags etc. instead of squashing them on your chair or leaving dirty on the floor (although floor in Japan never seems dirty!) and I have seen it in several cafés or tea rooms. Another thing I loved was the plastic film they put on shopping bags during rainy days so that the items you have bought as well as the paper bag stay dry. I have never seen either in any European country. Am I the only one under the charm?

Another marvellous taste experience I wanted to share with you is unaju (a dish of caramelised seasoned eel served on a “bed” of rice). As a child I have always loved eel, but  all I had in Swiss restaurants were fishy-smelling, tiny portions of tasteless slabs of a fish vaguely recalling eel. My Japanese friend, who lives in Tokyo and who knew my fondness for eel, took me to an old an old, eel-serving restaurant. I have had there the best eel dish in my whole life (excuse me the unappetising photo). The eel was served in a lacquered box (jubako) with two things I tasted for the first time in my life: black miso soup and small slimey nameko mushrooms. Sprinkled with the Japanese sansho pepper, it was the most exquisite lunch during my whole trip (and also one of the best ones in my life).

Unfortunately I have no photos to prove it but the izakaya you see above serves the best skewers in the world (at least among the several izakayas I have tested during my trip) and is the first place where I had a dinner in Tokyo. This is also the place where I have had a most unusual experience with rare chicken breasts. I still remember how surprised I was when I first read at Shizuoka Gourmet’s blog about rare chicken breasts served in good Japanese restaurants. Robert-Gilles (the blog’s author) also posted a fascinating article about the way certain chickens are bred in special hygienic conditions in order to be served half raw in total safety. Since then I promised myself I would taste rare chicken breasts during my first visit to Japan and I did. Slightly grilled, rare chicken breast smothered with freshly grated wasabi made me feel in heaven… It was so extraordinary I ordered them five times! (I knew I would never be able to taste them outside of Japan if it’s a good explanation of my gluttony). Thank you so much, Robert-Gilles! Without your enthusiasm and knowledgeable posts I would never know such a miracle existed. Apart from the sensational rare sasami (chicken breast), the above izakaya serves succulent, state-of-the art tsukune (ground chicken skewers) and other delicacies I could have every single day for the rest of my life… I found the address of this and other great Tokyo izakayas in Izakaya: the Japanese Pub Cookbook by Mark Robinson, the book I have already mentioned (I have prepared several successful recipes from it, such as Ume Shiso Chicken Skewers or Chicken and Leek Skewers (Negima 葱鮪)) and strongly advise to all the Japanese cuisine fans.

Another experience I will never forget is the Japanese beef. I often mentioned that I am not a beef fan. When I say “meat” I think “chicken” or “pork” and apart from well made steak tartare I go crazy for, I never take beef in restaurants. After reading and hearing lots of enthusiastic stories, I started however to dream of tasting the famous wagyu. Our Japanese friend took as to an exquisite yakiniku (Korean-style grill) dinner. The restaurant, owned by a butcher guaranteed the highest quality and freshness of the meat and also offered a huge array of cuts. You will understand why I say I love Japan if I confess that during this evening, for the first time in my life, I preferred beef to pork!

Unfortunately the grilled beef disappeared too quickly and the above raw meat photo and the one I took outside are the only ones I have taken.

Oh, and this magnificent picture with beef cuts comes from the restaurant too! All I need to do is learn them by heart before my next trip to Japan and I will be ready to order in any yakiniku place 😉

Takoyaki, the simple, unfussy dish par excellence, were also an obligatory item to taste. Takoyaki are fried balls, similar to doughnuts and filled with octopus. They are served in casual cheap shops and are as good as an octopus fan can imagine. The ones we had in a takoyaki-dedicated chain restaurant were simply perfect and I still regret that the takoyaki pan was too heavy to transport to Europe because I would love to experiment with this cute snack.

I could go on forever with the desriptions of other gourmet moments I had such as korokke (breaded pork) hamburger (my favourite hamburger in the world!), mentaiko onigiri (rice balls with spicy fish roe) or monjayaki (a close cousin of my beloved okonomiyaki), Japanese potato salad, stir-fried burdock, tiny fish (shirasu) I had every day for breakfast, fantastic sushi or different kinds of my beloved shochu “rokku” I drank every night… The thing I have absolutely fallen in love with is myoga (see the Wikipedia link here), an aromatic flower bud from the ginger family which at first made me think of the European shallot, but which has an unequaled, complex flavour and which I am desperate to cultivate on my balcony if I ever find bulbs. The funniest thing is that I haven’t tasted even a tiny part of what I wished to, so there is plenty food to explore during my future trips to Japan.

Apart from the clothes and beauty products which probably do not interest the majority of my dear readers, I have brought home some cooking gadgets, such as a fish scaler:

or the tiniest mandolin I have ever seen:

or the tiniest, cutest ginger grater in the world:

Several bags of konnyaku jellies (my favourite grape flavour) were heavy and made me abandon many other planned buys, but I don’t regret at all. They are one of the most addictive sweet treats I have ever tasted and are now impossible to get in Switzerland. I don’t regret the excess luggage we had to pay!

Last but not least, I have also brought a wasabi root!

I you have any ideas how I could wisely use this extraordinary vegetable as well as the two yuzu fruits I have also brought, I would be extremely grateful. I already plan yuzu shochu cocktails for next weekend drinks and chicken skewers (of course well cooked!) seasoned with freshly grated wasabi.

To sum up, one week was not enough even for one city! I came back with a huge motivation to learn Japanese more intensely then ever and to go back to this amazing country as soon as possible. For me Japan is definitely not a country one visits only once (or even twice). Even though I plan to visit other regions (Shizuoka is on the top of my list and I regret not having been able to see it this time), as a big city fan, I find Tokyo highly addictive. I am already hungry for next trips and not only in the culinary sense of the word.

Hereby, I would like to thank my dear friend Nami from Just One Cookbook for her precious and kind advice concerning this last-minute trip.

53 Replies to “My First Trip to Japan”

  1. Thank you for sharing! I envy you… Think I had a similar eel dish at a korean restaurant, delicious. I know of one source (in Germany) selling Myoga plants. It is this
    They ship the plant in a pot. This nursery is specialized in growing rare or exotic or ancient almost forgotten plants for eating or healing or plants/herbs with lots of perfume. And I ordered there a lot of plants before (if not I would have never mentioned them at all). And they ship to other european countries too. Mail English should be fine.

    1. Thank you so much, Kiki, for the address and for the advice. I love myoga so much and have been looking for some Swiss shop selling the bulbs, but in vain… It is very kind of you.

  2. What a lovely post, I enjoyed it thoroughly. I love Japan too and it is so nice to see it through other’s eye. I wish to get there some day as well! The matcha ice looks amazing and actually I would love to try the eel, it looks good!

  3. Sissi, your title made me smile when I opened email this morning. I had to wake up to make bento but I couldn’t stop reading your story. As I told you before, you describe things in such details that lack of pictures doesn’t matter. I thoroughly enjoyed your post today and wished that I could be there at the same time. Having your friend around was the best help in this short trip because you didn’t waste any time. You can spend a month and year or even lifetime in Tokyo but there are still good restaurants hidden somewhere and so many things to do in this tiny but big city. I enjoyed your view on things like a basket at a cafe or rainy day bag for customers. They are just normal thing that we take it for granted and didn’t feel anything special. We get spoiled sometimes (even without paying tip!). Hope you have part II Sissi! With or without pictures, I would love to see how you spent a week there. Lastly thank you for your kind mention. Next time you go I hope to be back too so we can hang out!

    1. Thank you Nami for all the compliments. English is not my native language and not even the second language so I always feel as if I were unable to express what I feel or what I want to say, not to mention the simplicity of my English vocabulary which makes me furious. Therefore, I have a huge smile reading your comment and kind words 🙂 I’m happy you don’t think my writing is hopeless.
      I totally agree with you! Even the district we were in would take us months to discover. I discovered only the day before we were leaving that behind huge office buildings there was a cute couple of streets with delicious looking restaurants where workers went for lunch.
      I haven’t also made what I wanted (like going to a hairdresser! I was impressed by the Japanese women’s neat beautiful haircuts and I saw one hairdresser with English “menu”… anyway, I will do it next time!).
      There are so many incredible tiny details I was commenting throughout my trio “live” to my friend and she was surprised I noticed them and were enchanted by them (like the umbrella package system in the shops! or the fact that as long as you are in the shopping/restaurants area cheap umbrellas are available everywhere, so you don’t have to carry yours all the time and you don’t have to worry; we brought two such umbrellas as a souvenir 😉
      I also hope next time we can go together! It would be extraordinary! I certainly will go next year.

  4. Very interesting reading, and nice pictures (I don’t know why you keep apologising about the picture quality).
    A Japanese friend visited this week and she brought for me a bottle of shochu. On the bottle its written “Awamori Ryukyu”. It sounds similar to the one you mention. I will drink it on a special occasion.
    Rare chicken is interesting. And I’ve tried it. A not so good restaurant served it (not on purpose) and I think if I complained they probably wouldn’t have fixed it so I decided to eat it. Nothing happened, I was lucky, but I cannot say I was comfortable eating it. The proper rare ones is something I would love to try.
    Those gadgets look practical and handy.

    1. Thank you, Mr. Three-Cookies for such kind words. I spend hours trying to photograph dishes (and I am most often not happy with the result) so here, when I tried to be discreet and take photos quickly (especially in restaurants), most where awful.
      What you mention is not shochu!!!! You have a very original alcoholic drink from Okinawa (look here I think the best idea would be to have it first with ice and a slice of lime maybe? Please let me know how it tastes. I’m very curious.
      I have also had once a rare chicken experience (in Europe!), but sent it back to the kitchen. I was really scared. If you look at Shizuoka Gourmet’s article and photos, it’s not easy to breed chickens in a proper hygienic way. Somehow I trusted the Japanese and the izakaya where I had it was a very high quality place (although old and casual looking at first). All other skewers I had in other places were well cooked.

  5. Sissi, I am glad you are the one who went to Japan and wrote about it, because I can almost taste the delicious foods just from reading your descriptions!

    Visiting Japan has been a dream of mine, though due to the costs and distance, this is something we are majorly saving up for. I can imagine your excitement as you were visiting the city, and talking about the awesome food must make you want to return as soon as humanly possible. I can relate because it’s the feeling that still lingers in my mind after my trip to San Francisco, the spicy ramen still haunts me, and I can not imagine what would happen when we finally fly to Japan, I might just sit in a ramen shop 24/7 eating bowls after bowls of noodles!

    1. Thank you so much, Jeno, for kind words. Our trip was partly business, so it cost us less than usually (hence the last-minute decision). Moreover, we have found really cheap tickets (and with a good company!). I haven’t been on holidays for… well I prefer to forget how long, so I think I merited it 😉
      You are right! Now that I know that special prices to Japan are quite easy to find, I have decided to go every year. Next time I promise to take more photos! We also had several ramens, but no photos 🙁

  6. I love how you tell of your adventures in Japan … I feel like I’m there with you! And also possibly because I’d just come back from a review of a Japanese place with an izakaya concept and also talked to someone about the raw chicken dishes you’d mentioned. A huge coincidence!
    I feel your happiness and excitement. 🙂

    1. Thank you very much, Ping. I’m so happy you liked the post because I always feel as if I were unable to express my feelings when I write in English… What a coincidence! Rare chicken breasts were a surprising delicacy (I knew the beef will be great at least for beef lovers, but I was a bit afraid the chicken will be nothing special, so I was happily surprised).

  7. I’m so pleased that you’ve just experienced one of the best trips of your life Sissi — and thanks for sharing such a detailed post about your travels! I too often get so caught up in the moment that I forget to take pictures! From your descriptions of the the matcha shaved ice, to rare chicken, to the plastic rain covers for shopping bags, I realize that there’s so much to learn about the Japanese food and culture. This makes me want to find an good izakaya restaurant in Toronto — and soon!

    1. Hi, Barb. I’m glad I’m not the only one who forgets to take out her camera! I feel that next time I will discover many incredible details too. Japan is such a rich country in every sense of the word.

  8. love the photos and all the little goodies you got! And pooh about what you said about not having disappointing pictures,I think they show jst how lovely japan is. it’s always been a country I wnt to go to, perhaps when I’ve saved up enough one day.

    1. Thank you so much, Shuhan. I was trying to be discreet and not to attract the attention to myself as a tourist, so shots were quick… Check out special prices because I was surprised at how cheap (well compared to other far destinations) the tickets can be.

  9. Hi Sissi – I’m so pleased you posted some photos… it was such a lovely post to read and see, and brought back many memories from my own trips there. Did you buy the little implements (mandoline etc) from a 100 Yen store? I loved those places, although they annoyed me because they always said “One Coin Shop” on the front which is completely false because they charge sales tax at the cash desk!!

    I bought a wasabi root too! It seemed to vanish during my flight though and I couldn’t find it anywhere and yet it somehow miraculously appeared as some mouldy, black stump in the refrigerator two months later!

    Lovely post Sissi – thank you for the wonderfully entertaining read!

    1. Thank you so much, Charles, for all the compliments. I’m really happy you have enjoyed it because, as I told Nami, I find it very difficult to express my emotions and thoughts in English. Apart from the fish scaler (bought in an impressive knife shop and made in Japan) every gadget was from the Daiso shop! Now everything costs there 105 yens, not 100 yens.
      I kept the wasabi in a thermal bag (even two!) and it is in a great shape I think. (We were lucky to have an empty fridge in our hotel, so it spent a night there before travelling). Thank you again for kind words, Charles. I really appreciate them.

  10. Sissi, what an incredible trip…the food, the shopping, the whole experience sounds amazing! I’m so glad you were finally able to get to Japan. You’ve made me want to go!!!

    1. Dear Robert-Gilles, I also regret we haven’t met, but we “have ALMOST met” which is a huge step considering the distance between the place we live in! Next time I must visit Shizuoka (and it’s possible it comes from Shizuoka because the shop above which we had the tea and dessert has several different teas from Shizuoka; I have actually bought some matcha, it was just above the middle in the price range, but I have no idea if it comes from Shizuoka, I must compare kanji). Thank you so much for the wasabi advice. I will grill something this weekend then. I will maybe make chicken skewers, but well cooked alas 🙁

    1. Thank you, Elisabeth. I have been dreaming about a fish scaler as soon as I realised such a tool existed and when I saw it in a knife shop I had to get it. I often buy whole fish which is too small to be scaled by the shop assistants (it’s a fish shop for restaurants…) so it will be handy.

  11. Thanks for sharing the photos!

    Did you visit any depachika (department store basements), supermarkets, conbini (convenience stores), or 100-yen shops? If so, what were your impressions?

    I was born in a residential area of Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, so the photo of Morimoto looks familiar to me.

    1. Hi, Hiroyuki. I have visisted three department store basements, two of them with my Japanese friend who made me taste incredible things like dango (sorry for the mistake) dusted with black sesame or pickled myoga… (These dangos were in a shop in Ginza and not a single dango afterwards was so soft and mouth-melting). I have bought yuzu and wasabi in one of such basements too.
      Morimoto is 5 minute walk from the Shibuya station, when going upwards and then on left behind the big street. There were many small delicious-looking places there. In spite of the number of people, I really liked Shibuya. (More than Shinjuku for example).
      Even as a European I could see that their skewers were superior to all the skewers we had afterwards. The ground chicken skewers were unforgettable (I have read that they grind it with cartilage and skin hence the juiciness) and the atmosphere was incredible too (my husband said it was a Shinya Shokudo specialising in skewers 😉 because most people were visibly regular clients, of different age, status etc. and in general the place looked “homey”).

    2. Oh, yes and I have visited the 100 yen shops! (Daiso) All the gadgets I have bought apart from the fish scaler come from there! I must thank you because I still remember you saying you bought some things there and that they proved to work quite well, and then I decided I would visit this chain of shops. I must say the gadgets work great in spite of the price.
      I have also bought several ceramic bowls and then saw the same ones 5 times more expensive! These shops are a paradise for me! I even bought there seeds! (Among them mizuna seeds because it’s horribly expensive here and available for a short time).
      There was a conbini not far from our hotel and I have explored their maki sushi and onigiri. Maki sushi were surprisingly good and onigiri were excellent. I have discovered the spicy mentaiko this way and I have fallen in love.
      The only thing I haven’t “visited” was a standard big supermarket. I must do it next time. I think I could have written a book about my Tokyo impressions 😉

  12. Sissi – Sounds and looks like you had a wonderful trip and crammed in as much as you possible could in a short period of time. I have to admit that I am totally blown away with the beautiful plate of matcha ice! You are so right – what an extraordinary gourmet moment! All of the food looks quite memorable. Of course it’s hilarious that you travel to Japan for a week and come back with more pictures of food than anything else. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing your lovely experience!

    1. Thank you so much, MJ. It’s difficult for us to go on a trip longer than one week, but if I could I would spend one month in Japan. I am glad you like the ice. And there was no artificial colour there! I also have some pictures of myself with…. food 😉

  13. What a lovely time you must have had Sissi! What good fortune that you were able to combine a holiday with business, particularly in such an expensive place as Japan. In reading Jeffrey Steingarten’s book he talked about raw chicken in Japan and I take my hat off to you for trying it. I must admit I would not be able to get past my preconceived notions about raw chicken and the texture, perhaps one day. It sounds like you were in food heaven and thank you for posting the photos, it’s so nice to see how you spent some of your time.
    I bought that same ginger grater about a month ago…but frankly I prefer freezing my ginger and grating it on a fine microplane.
    Is that an actual, real wasabi root? I’m just curious what the cost was? I have never tried the real thing and would love to have a small sample! I can hardly wait to see what you do with it.

    1. Thank you so much, Eva.
      Japan is not expensive at all. I don’t know why it has such an opinion. Maybe it’s expensive compared to Canada? Restaurants and bars (in general going out) are incomparably cheaper than in France (I don’t even mention Switzerland or other more expensive European countries). I already knew Japan is not expensive (Robert-Gilles posts often prices on his blog) but I was surprised that such a quality of food can be obtained at such low prices. Of course if you want to go to Michelin-starred restaurants, it will cost you much more, but those I checked on internet are ridiculously cheap compared to Michelin restaurants in France.
      Yes, it’s real wasabi! I had freshly grated wasabi with my half-raw chicken skewers on the first night of our stay (a wonderful way to start the holidays!) and advised by Robert-Gilles, I will use it on grilled meat (probably skewers) because it’s a pity to mix it with something or to use on my ordinary maki sushi. It cost me about 10 euros. I was surprised it wasn’t more expensive (I was afraid it would be like a truffle and I wouldn’t buy it…).
      I wouldn’t try half-raw chicken in any country in the world apart from Japan (maybe in Korea too?). They serve it, people order it and if anyone was ill, they would stop. I trusted them and was right: both the texture and the taste were excellent. The texture was particularly soft compared to normal chicken breast.

  14. Oh my Goodness Sissi… where does one start with a post like this? So extraordinary – and many moments where I felt I could share your sheer joy and excitement – not the least is that shaved matcha ice cream – how cool (and enormous? ;-)) is that? You describe it perfectly. I’m also intrigued by the tea room decorum (I’ve never come across the courtesy of the plastic wrap on rainy days either… north americans might view this as wasteful – that would be the purported excuse anyway ;-)). I have never seen a wasabi root before!! My husband adores wasabi (I like a dilute version with soy sauce and lots of ginger :)). Most of all, I loved reading about your personal joy and exhilaration upon fulfilling a life’s dream… I’m so happy for you Sissi that you were able to go on this incredible trip and have so many wonderful memories from it. Thank you for sharing some of them with us; I thoroughly enjoyed.

    p.s. “finally no one makes disgusted faces when I ask for chicken cartilage” (heehee – one of my favourite lines!).

    p.p.s. if you can believe it, my ginger grater is even tinier! (but yours is cuter ;-)).

    1. Kelly, thank you so much for such a long, friendly, kind and warm comment.
      The Japanese are very ecological from what I saw, but they don’t make themselves suffer from the ecological lifestyle the way our authorities want us to do. Some things, such as respect for the client, are more important than the plastic which will be recycled anyway. I also think that their way of selling small packages of everything results in a much smaller food waste at the end. I didn’t talk about it (I could write a book… already my post was much too long) but I was also impressed by the natural, instinctive, wise and respectful attitude they have to the nature. It’s not an authorities’ show off (like in many European countries), it doesn’t make people’s life difficult (I have a friend in Brussels who has a small flat with a tiny kitchen and she has to keep five different trash bins which take half of her kitchen, two of them are only picked every two weeks, so she is forced to wash yogurt packages etc. otherwise it would smell horrible and this is a typical way of seeing ecology in some countries alas). Anyway, I loved the small details that make people’s life easier.
      All the shops also have special “umbrella machines”. You slide your umbrella and it gets coated in a fine plastic cover. This way you don’t splash the rain around the shop and don’t have to leave the umbrella outside. I was enchanted by these!
      Thank you once more for kind words. I am glad I didn’t bore you too much 😉
      PS I cannot believe you have a smaller grater!
      PS2 I had a pleasure and a big chance to taste the real, freshly grated wasabi (it was also the first time I saw it “live”) the first night when we had the half-raw chicken skewers, so since we both love wasabi, it was an extraordinary way to start the Tokyo trip. The real wasabi haas much more aroma and is much stronger than the artificial one.

  15. I hope it’s ok but I have just used your recipe for peche de vigne and cassis jam on my blog. And had it verified by my neighbour as something that she would have done with her peaches. Thank you.

    1. Hi, Rosie. Thank you so much for your message. I hope you have enjoyed the jam. Since you have put my blog name (thank you!) and cited the recipe source, it’s a natural thing to use my recipe. After checking your blog… do you think you could leave only my recipe on your blog (not the whole copied and pasted post)? I hope you don’t mind my asking this. I am more than happy to share my recipes with other bloggers (also if they post my exact recipes), but I would prefer the whole posts (texts + photos) to stay on my blog (unless I guest post for someone of course). I hope it’s not a problem.

  16. Dear Sissi,

    What a fabulous post, looks like you loved your trip. Your post made me realise so many things that we take for granted here in Sydney like we can get vacuum packed unaju that can be reheated in a microwave oven within 2 minutes and it would taste like those in restaurants. The wagyu beef especially those with high marbling content is truly heavenly and I totally try to stay away from those konnyaku jelly and grape also happens to be my favourite too. I honestly cannot stop if I pop just one into my mouth!

    1. Thank you so much, Chopinand. I am glad to learn you are a konnyaku jelly fan. It’s a rare jewel here.

  17. Wow Sissi-that is one fantastic post. You have such an eye for detail and the whole trip just comes to life reading your words-photos are not needed all the time as your prose here confirms!!

    1. Thanks a lot, Green Dragonette. (You are very kind, but “prose” is probably too big a word for my clumsy attempts to write in English…).

  18. Looks like you had fun and a lot of nice photos you brought back. I wish i could go to Japan too and I’m sure it will be someday. Sorry for late comment, Sissi. Just sooo busy the last two weeks and I’m really catching up.

    1. Thank you so much, Ray. I have had lots of fun indeed. Unfortunately I haven’t taken much photos and the ones I took were mostly really bad…

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