Japan 2014 I

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Due to unforeseen circumstances (my complete lack of giving a fuck/the GOT leak) I have decided to make 1 maybe 2 posts about the rest of my Japan trip.

Let me just say that Japan seems like the kind of society we should be striving towards, sure there is the questionable fashion, the fucked up game shows and all that weird sex stuff (super weird, you’ve been warned!), but any place that has an abundance of vending machines and convenience stores that are actually convenient is doing something right.

The first thing I did when we landed was hit the airport vending machines for a beverage. This apple cider, like most things in Japan I would soon learn was excellent, and that’s when I knew this trip was going to be life changing, like that movie EAT LOVE PRAY only with less boring middle aged woman, more eating and zero praying.

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DSC02912Pressed mackerel sushi

DSC02915Raw quail egg sushi

The otoro (fatty tuna belly) in Japan is infinitely better than what we get here and about a quarter of the price.

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Asparagus sushi.. lolz.
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Lotte Ghana chocolate is legit, this cost about $1.

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Milk tea in a carton, it wasn’t bad.

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Mochi balls with a sweet soy sauce at Osaka Castle – I wasn’t really feeling this, the sweet soy was actually not so sweet.

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Sweet potato at Osaka Castle.

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Had to try the prawn burger at McDonald’s – actually pretty great.

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Since returning from Japan I’m big into the Udon scene.  One of our favourites in Japan was plain noodles with a raw egg. Perfect!
We had this one at a little stand up restaurant near Osaka Castle surrounded by salarymen who even though they looked as if their job had long ago crushed their dreams and they were one bad performance review away from seppuku, seemed to be really enjoying their food.

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Deep fried errythang from Kushikatsu Daruma restaurant, which is a chain found all over Japan.
Quail eggs, capsicum, cheese, okra and a few others I can’t recall.
There is a big bowl of communal katsu sauce on each table for dipping, but you never double dip!

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How do you make cheese better? You deep-fry that shit!

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Deep fried Okra.

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Japanese soft serve is definitely the best soft serve I have ever tasted.

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They take their fruit real serious in Japan it’s all killer, no filler – just look at these grapes, although they did cost about $1 each.

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Apart from the vending machines the convenience stores in Japan are incredible, they have so much good shit I can’t even begin to explain it. This was my go-to breakfast if we were in a rush, rice balls filled with tuna and an OJ.

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I picked up this bad boy near our hotel in Osaka – Karaage chicken with egg.

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And to go with my chicken what else but a cherry flavoured Fanta.

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Came across a Haagen-Dazs vending machine on the street.

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Below Kyoto train station is an amazing food hall where you can get pretty much anything you want, then hop on the elevator up to the rooftop garden to eat.

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We picked up this vegetarian bento box and…

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this salmon sashimi, and…

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this deep fried chicken stick.

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On the middle level of Kyoto train station you can start your morning right with some donuts at Mister Donut, and seeing as we were having donuts for breakfast we went for a few scoops of ice cream too.

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You’ll find Soup Stock Tokyo in the shopping centre under the station, try the lobster and tomato bisque.

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When we just cbf to go out for dinner we could always rely on Lawson convenience stores.
We picked up a couple of rice balls for less than $1 each and on the left is a pancake filled with cream for dessert.
They also sell pre-cooked eggs to add to your noodles.

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Crunky is where it’s at, like the Ghana chocolate but crunchy.

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This was from another place under Kyoto station I forget the name – shredded chicken, mushrooms, pickles and egg with a pot of broth.

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Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto was fucking incredible as you can see from the photo.

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And that’s where we got this half vanilla half matcha soft serve.

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Soba noodles in a bun from Family Mart convenience store… Oh Japan, what will you think of next? Oh this.

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In Japan it’s often the unassuming places that end up having the best food. This was probably the best udon I consumed in Japan, and it was from a tiny standing room only joint that had a curtain for a door on the second level of Kyoto train station.

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Some late night MOS burger in Kyoto – cheeseburger with bolognese sauce.

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This traditional Kyoto style sushi was from Izuju in Gion, which has been around for over 100 years.

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Seaweed rolls containing 8 different types of seaweed and Hakozushi which is sushi made by pushing the rice and fish into a wooden box.

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A traditional meal near the bamboo forest in Arashiyama Kyoto.
Tempura fish on a bowl of rice, soba noodles and pickles.

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After we rode our bikes to Monkey Park in Arashiyama we stumbled on this little old women running a riverside restaurant

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and ate this udon cooked in an earthenware pot.

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Family Mart has a mental selection of cup noodles.

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Convenience store saké.

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Chips!

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Ice cream selection.

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We ate these in a Starbucks after getting stranded in the rain in Kyoto on the way back to our hotel.
These little chocolate covered ice cream cups were the BEST!

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I read about these barbecued mochi balls served with powdered soybean on a blog before I left for Japan.
They’re served up by a little cart on the side of the road in Gion that opens after about 9pm.
The balls have a smokey flavour and the sauce has a molasses like consistency.

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They are super strict about no photos but I got one on the down low anyway #YOLO. Each stick cost about a dollar and we stopped by every night we were in Kyoto.
I still dream about them.
Defs in the top 3 things I ate in Japan!

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This is the inside of a traditional Kyoto style okonomiyaki from this fucking weird place with all these freaky looking mannequins. It tasted ok but I definitely prefer the more common flat pancake style.

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They weren’t much for conversation.

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Grape gummi fettuccine.

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Ginger Spark!

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On the way up the Fushimi Inari Shrine I needed some refreshment so I got what I thought was pear juice, it was actually this strange pear and milk drink… not cool.

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But at about the half way point they sell this tofu soft serve, sounds mental but tastes incredible and was the best ice cream I ate in Japan.

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And once we’d finally made it back to the bottom we picked up this taiyaki which you can find in a lot of places, it’s a fish shaped wafer that can be filled with different things, we got whipped cream, fruit and chocolate sauce.

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Part II up soon.

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3 thoughts on “Japan 2014 I

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