Kanazawa easy to visit

Kanazawa is becoming very accessible with the Shinkansen in 2h40 from Tokyo. Also, Cathay Pacific will start operating in April to Kanazawa so our neighbors will discover this jewel

please check Kanazawa but also Food in Kanazawa and Kanazawa market. Highly recommend to visit Kenrokuen, one of the 3 most beautiful gardens of Japan

 

My favourite chic Soba

Soba are buckwheat noodles, very common in Japan, they date back from the Edo period where it was discovered that this wealthy dish, unlike white rice eaten by wealthy citizens, was not developing a disease at the time

there were at least a couple of soba places in every village in Japan. Nowadays, they are everywhere almost, from very basic to very sophisticated. Here is my favourite one, Honmura An.

Located just off the Roppongi crossing in Tokyo, it is very easy to find although in a tiny quiet street. the style is minimalist, modern, light wood, concrete because the owner was inspired by his New York times when he reviewed the place.

This is a family business, when the parents grew old, they asked their son to come back and run the place, which he did. Until then, he was running his own Honmura An in New York and it seems everyone knows that one rather than the Tokyo one.

it is always friendly, excellent service, food is amazing, fresh produce in season, prepared simply to enjoy the taste. I had the best Matsuyama potatoes for example. Every time I have been, it has been a delight! Yukiko San, thank you for introducing me to the best soba

Before that, I was not too keen on soba that I found sticky, tasteless, nothing fancy really. Now, I can tell you I became a fan BUT with high standards

 

IMG_5997

 

Department stores

Japan is a consumer market, people love to spend, buy, they love brands, but they also love details, nice things, brands, luxury, quality. Along with that, for over a century, there have been a lot of department stores (Takashimaya, Matsuzakaya, Isetan, Mitsukoshi, etc)

My favourite remains Isetan for the B1F, food department and the 5F, tableware. I must say I also like Takashimaya historical building in Nihombashi for the architecture and the style.

They sell beautiful cakes made by Dominique Ansel and delicious Swiss Chocolate Laederach that I highly recommend

If you ever read The Ginger Tree, wonderful book written by Oswald Wynd, you will read part of the development of these stores in the early 1900’s

 

Food and more Food – this country is about food

Japan has so much to offer when it comes to food. I have 2 friends visiting currently for 2 weeks and both of them never eat raw food nor seafood. I thought this might be a challenge but we are reaching the end of the 2 weeks and we have not finished yet our wishlist. this is endless and always so delicious, oisshiii!!

I took them for lunch on a couple of occasions, restaurants are a commodity here and you can get a set lunch for JPY750 to JPY900 easily and that will always include a bowl of rice, pickles, a bowl of miso soup and the main dish, sometimes a fruit portion, it is excellent value, almost always good and healthy at all times

 

seafood – fish & co

really yummy place in Roppongi – right next to Midtown shopping mall, the place is called Uoshin Nogizaka. the atmosphere is like an izakaya and they provide a lot of different fishes and seafood in a great atmosphere

2nd floor is smoking area. prices are ok, menu is in Japanese, there is a limited simple English version but the fun is to choose randomly

excellent address – make sure you book in advance as it is packed Monday to Sunday steadily

 

Japanese Dinner

Last week end, I had a memorable dinner at a friend’s place. She prepared and I watched the beauty of a nice Japanese evening

Tofu is always a win, light, you can spice up with a lot of different things

IMG_1661

Of course, a Japanese meal always include pickles (Tsukemono), boiled vegetable and rice

The highlight of my evening was this sweet potato mousse, very creamy, rich, tasty, I loved it, I have the recipe and will rehearse and practice. As a European, I am not expert on sweet potato but this is an absolute delight

 

Arigato Gozaimasu Sawako San, you made my day and taught me so much that day