Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Discoveries and Kyoto cuisine

The joy (and sorrow) of living in a big city like Tokyo (or any other major Japanese city) is that there is simply so much to take in and do. For instance, just looking out the window on my Toyoko-line route I see dozens of restaurants, bars, stores that call to me. But, who has time time or money to visit each one?

The issue is further compounded by the fact that Japan lives vertically. The cute little izakaya you see on the ground floor is only the start, there are bars on the higher floors, hidden stores only known by connaisseurs, little restaurants hidden in the rojiura (back streets), out of sight until you turn the corner.

It would take a lifetime to discover everything Tokyo has to offer. I find that both exciting and a little sad. Exciting because I will never run out of new discoveries. Sad because I want to know everything, and can't! (yay for Type A personalities?)

But, I am grateful to those who become my teachers and companions in exploring the city, showing me their favorite hideouts from the rush of the metropolis. For instance, last Sunday I met with Y-kun for drinks, then dinner at Kokoro-ya in Nakameguro. A native Osakian, Y-kun spent his university years in Kyoto, and so found this little piece of the old capitol in the new. Definitely a place I would recommend, with the delicate, mostly vegetable based cuisine I miss so much :) The yuba shashimi and Japanese turnip with white miso were particularly amazing!


  1. i feel the same way when i ride the train in japan, i watch all the shops and restaurants go by, i too wish i could visit them all~~!

  2. Oh good, I was worried it was my A blood-type taking over ;p

  3. you'll have to help me! i'm going to japan (mostly tokyo) for the first time next year and i'm overwhelmed just reading about others being overwhelmed. i don't know where to begin!

  4. Hi there :)
    I'm not sure it is a case of being overwhelmed, more a case of being a die-hard explorer with limited time ;p
    I think the secret to visiting Japan (or anywhere really) is to not rush around. Take your time to savour a place, and it will stay with you for far longer than trying to see everything.
    Let me know if you need suggestions or help :)

  5. Tokyo is not my town. I'll be outta here soon.

  6. Hi BIJ,
    I'm sorry to hear that, I hope wherever you go next is a better fit for you.

  7. Kokoro-ya sounds amazing. Just out of curiosity I was wondering if you knew how to make yuba sashimi!? I used to eat it with rice, edamame and yuzu miso for breakfast.. those were the days!

    I know how to make actual yuba but the sashimi part eludes me...


  8. Hi there Natalie,
    I'm afraid that the actual making of the tastiness that is yuba sashimi is beyond me... perhaps you ust make yuba, create a thick layered block, and then put it in the fridge?