Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Strange culinary experiences, and where to find them

Being a vegetarian in Japan kind of precludes one from most of the 'weird' culinary experiences so many people have when visiting or living here (raw chicken or horse sashimi, fugu, dancing shrimp, Kobe beef etc...).

However never fear, there is enough weirdness to go around, even for us!
One of the oddities I have come by recently is the new 'SpoonVege' ice cream from Haagen-Daaz (which comes in cherry/tomato and orange/carrot flavours). I tried the cherry/tomato version, which was interesting. I have actually had tomato softserve in Aizu before, and this was a much richer version thereof. I could barely make out any cherry in the mix, but it was certainly not unpleasant. I intend to try the carrot one as well, to see if the fruit flavour is more noticeable.

The second interesting spot is a 'instant curry' and canned food restaurant (if one can use that term) right near Ekoda station. They have a HUGE selection of curries, from vegan curries from India to grape-flavoured curry from Yamanashi, and everything in between). They provide rice, drinks and, if you need something extra, lots of canned delicacies (from the usual yakitori, to more exotic things like snails and dolma). Sounds like a fun, cheap night out to me!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sunday in Style: Nezu Museum

To tell the truth, lately things have been a bit tough for Ms. Godzilla. 
Nothing life threatening, but my confidence has been shaken and am not feeling quite like myself (whoever that may be).

When these things happen, I find two things very helpful to get some perspective: going somewhere beautiful and taking on a slightly different persona.

Hence, last weekend's trip to the Nezu Museum (which is near Aoyama, not Nezu). The art collection is mainly Asian artifacts, displayed in a few small galleries. While certainly pretty, they are no match for the extraordinary gardens. 

The Japanese gardens are filled with bright green momiji, which conceal a wealth of interesting statues and traditional teahouses (including one in a small boat, how exquisitely iki). The purple iris' were in full bloom, and the whole ensemble was simply breathtaking.  

As for the different persona, putting on a kimono is one of the fastest ways to accomplish that. You need to walk straight-backed, at a stately speed, with the long shoulders of a murderous queen... it certainly gives me  boost (it also helps that one also gets complimented by passing strangers.)