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Samen, ramen and a dancing squid


14-day foodie adventure in Japan in a nutshell:

Day 0: Depart DXB (Dubai International Airport, UAE); arrive at HAD (Handea Airport, Tokyo)
Day 1: Beginning of airbnb stay at guest house in Shinjuku; browsing anime book shops; shopping at arts and crafts shops; dining at unagi (eel) restaurant.
Day 2: Meiji shrine park tour; Korean cheese BBQ with an old friend from Kai’s high school days; discovering the beauty of bargain shopping at Donquijote (“Donki”)
Day 3: Tour of Tsukiji Fish Market; first attempt at visiting the sumo stablesof Ryogokugan; dinner in Korean restaurant in Shinjuku’s Koreatown; tour of Memory Lane — a.k.a. “yakitori lane”
Day 4: Second attempt to see sumo wrestlers training in their stables; lunch at Uyghur restaurant with Kai’s erstwhile classmate from Princeton; sensation overload at Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku; dinner another of Kai’s friends from Princeton in the Shibuya district


Kawaguchiko view of the Mount Fuji

Day 5: Travel by train to Fujikawaguchiko via Town of Fuji; bike tour around base of Mount Fuji; surprsingly delightful dinner at 7-11 (all other places were closed)
Day 6: Depart by bus to Mishima; stopover in Mishima with a small tour in park; train to Kyoto; dinner at popular (long queue) ramen shop; check in to capsule hotel; night stroll around Kyoto

Samen Kyoto

Samen in Kyoto

Day 7: Fushimi Inari Shrine of Kyoto; lunch at samen restaurant 麺好坊 蓮; tour of Imperial Palace park; A fish shabu-shabu dinner with father and son chefs from Osaka
Day 8: Train to Osaka airport; flight to Shin-Chitose Airport (Hokkaido); train to Sapporo; dinner in “Ramen Alley”; snack at an oyster “standing bar”
Day 9: Lunch in fish market trying local uni (sea urchin) special; *fresh* sashimi shrimp snack; travel to city of Hakodate via train; ascend to top of mountain in Hakodate to catch the sunset; night tour in park eating street food; check in to traditional guest house followed by homemade ramen dinner
Day 10: Trying local specialty odori-don (“dancing squid bowl”) in fish market; travel to Sendai via shinkansen (bullet train); izakaya dinner with Tohoku professors; overnight at “9 Hours” capsule hotel

Animal shaped pastries from Japanese bakeries.

Animal shaped pastries from Japanese bakeries.

Day 11: Rainy day in Sendai; shinkansen to Tokyo; arrive in Ueno district and check into airbnb guest house; visit of Hachiko (Shibuya’s immortalised favourite loyal dog) and tour Shibuya; live horse mackerel sashimi in alleyways of Ueno district
Day 12: Kai presents “Power Language Index” at Keio University; dinner in traditional university bar with students after the presentation
Day 13: Walk around Ueno Park; tour of Tokyo University; shopping for rare Kit-Kat flavours at Donki; dinner at unagi restaurant with GRIPS professor

Grand Sumo Tournament-2016 -- Ryōgoku-Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan

Grand Sumo Tournament — Ryōgoku-Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan 2016

Day 14: Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryōgoku-Kokugikan Stadium; lunch with one of Kai’s friends from his youth; dinner at salaryman fish restaurant in Ueno; train to HAD and return to DXB

Few more foodie snapshots from around Japan:

© Natural Born Vagabond, 2016


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