We arrived at Kurokawa Onsen (Kurokawa Spa) yesterday and checked in to the stunning Ikoi Ryokan. The Japanese love to visit such places for their hot springs and the baths attached to it. So after the hosts understood that we are not going to do everything wrongly – there are tons of rules the westerners are not familiar with – we started our typical onsen day. Soaking, eating, sleeping.
The pictures speak for themselves.
In case we had a doubt we were in an Onsen. Reality Check. Breakfast this morning with 12 different plates including rice porridge and salmon.
Amazing variety of taste and color.
Somehow the distant memory of Nutella is still active in the back of our minds. The worlds smallest coffee cream was also located here!
Our last diner in Tokyo was a lucky shot. We aimed at a carefully pre-selected Korean BBQ restaurant (Yakiniku) to find a fully booked place. But we were in the bustling Shimbashi Station area and just started to walk and read the menus (of course none of us reads Japanese but almost all Japanese restaurants provide picture rich advertising, often with a plastic version of the popular dishes in front of the entrance). So we stumbled over the enticing advertising of the Shu-en TEN (www.fuerte-j.biz/shu-en) and went up to the 5th floor. We loved it. The waiter spoke a very broken English but – unless like many Japanese – liked to practice his skills with us. No other longnoses around otherwise. We got sake and red wine for free and chose meet of all categories for comparison… what a treat it was…
This evening, we got down to a full Kushikatsu Omakase. The Kushikatsu, those delicious fried skewers are absolutely outstanding.
Crunchy on the outside, a world of surprises in the inside…
The mix of vegetables and meats or fish, wrapped in ginger or pickled vegetables result in an explosion of tastes. Served with several sauces, a mustard sesame sauce or vinigar, you can simply dip your Kushikatsu and let the discovery begin.
The average customer eats 16 Kushikatsu before stopping.
We don’t do average.
We ate 19.
“Tofu is a white, wobbly, rather tasteless meat substitution, in the western world typically consumed with a thick sauce, or better, submerged in some liquid.”
Today we had lunch at a very pretty, traditional, japanese tofu restaurant located on the 4th floor of an unexciting office building. A separate room with a tatami floor hosted us four, Yasuko`s friend Tokiko joined in, and a beautifully surprising meal.
The eight (8) dishes came soupy, liquidy, firm, wobbly, salty and sweet, with lots of different mountain vegetables you need to come over to Japan to taste. The whole meal came at about 30 USD per person. See for yourself… and if you come to Tokyo go for the experience, a must do which will make you leave that place with a big 🙂