Mmm..Why call it Gatorade when you can call it Pocari Sweat.... sounds so... alluring!
They really do give away tissues to everyone
Japanese schoolgirls -- luckily I don't have a mo', aviator sunglasses and a comb-over, otherwise I would've been arrested
Plastic food! Looks so life-like!
Except for those dodgy egg sandwiches
More plastic food
Custard-filled choux puffs are everywhere in Japan. They cost about AU$1.60 and the smell permeates the air with sweet, eggy, intoxicating allure.
Ahhh so that's what Papa Smurf had to do to bring in the dough when Smurfette got 'into trouble'
Our hotel was in Ueno near Ameyayako, or the American Markets. Fertile ground for plenty of food photos!!! And for anyone curious, AU$1 = about 80 yen. My trick was to pretend yen amounts were cents and then add 25%.
I think this is salmon roe as it is laid. It was in these fish-like shapes.
Yes that must have been one helluva giant octopus
Mushrooms - not sure what kinda but they were very expensive!
EDIT: The consensus is these are matsutake mushrooms. Thanks for the tip Fae and PinkCocoa!
Lottery ticket seller
Gorgeous looking street cleaners
Chefs in a tiny kitchen which opened onto an alleyway
Ticket machines at Ueno JR Station
Andersens Bakery at Ueno JR Station. Andersens is a gourmet Danish bakery chain throughout Japan. Mmm...
I had lunch in one of the ubiquitous noodle shops located outside most train stations. Choose your dish/es, pay into the vending machine, receive ticket and hand to efficient friendly noodle woman. In 30 seconds a bowl of noodles is handed to you with a smudge of wasabi on the side. Season with chilli and pepper and consume standing up along with countless other businessmen! The cold noodles were most delicous and the soup was cool providing much need refreshment given the 30C heat outside.
The trick is being able to recognise the Japanese characters for the dish you want to order (no English on these vending machines!). I was aiming for the bottom meal on the bottom of the sign, and yay! I was successful (go the high school Japanese lessons recollection).
It's all so efficient inside with everything pre-made and waiting for assembly. Maybe they should it McUdon, but it tastes soooo much better (and you don't get asked if you want to upsize your udon, or "Would you like a nigiri with that?").
Post-lunch I ventured to Ueno Park, the first public park in Tokyo, as pushed by the Meiji government. A peaceful sprawling oasis of green, the park is packed with families on weekends.
I love the sinister feel of this shot. The big white ducks are pedal boats.
This was the one remaining flower in bloom in the enormous pond.
You just know they're about to break out into YMCA!
Along with towels and facewashers, guests in Japan are always provided with a yukata, or robe (the blue and white patterned fabric). I loved how the robe ties were folded into cute stars.
The bathtub was also very Japanese.
This was the view from my hotel balcony. Very cool. The green "lawn" is actually the fronds on the giant lake (check with the first Ueno Park photo).
Nipped back out to the Ameyayako markets for a quick snack. This is okonomiyaki or Japanese pizza. Batter filled with cabbage, onion, a fresh egg and some herbs--cooked both sides then smothered in a thick sweet hoisin-like sauce and drizzled with plenty of mayo. I found it a little bit doughy but for only 200yen/AU$2.50 who's complaining?
Met up with my tour group (Intrepid Japan Gourmet Traveller) and had our first group meal. We had shabu-shabu which is like Japanese steamboat I guess. Shabu-shabu is the noise the beef is supposed to make when you put it into the bubbling stock.
The staff here were so patient, teaching the ignoramus gaijin (foreigners) how to cook everything properly.
Check out the marbling!!! The beef was oh-so-tender and only required 4 seconds in the stock to cook. Mmm...
Our accompanying veggie platter. Don't you love the stars cut out of the mushrooms? The white squares are mochi, or sticky rice cake. Starchy, gelatinous and highly addictive!
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9/10/2004 11:59:00 pm