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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Kanazawa gold leaf soft serve, giant seafood and the Ninja Temple

Gold leaf soft serve in Kanazawa, Japan

A soft serve cone covered in edible gold leaf?! You bet we ate one. Cos if you're gonna add bling to your street snacks, it may as well be the 24 karat kind. It's no coincidence we found this beauty in Kanazawa which translates as "marsh of gold" in Japanese. They've been making gold leaf here since the late 1500s. Today the city is responsible for 99% of all gold leaf produced in Japan. The gold leaf that covers the famous Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion in Kyoto was sourced from Kanazawa.

Travelling from Tokyo to Toyama to Kanazawa, Japan

Our trip to Kanazawa only took thirty minutes from Toyama. You can get there from Tokyo in about 2.5 hours thanks to the newly extended shinkansen, or bullet train, route. Before the Hokuriku Shinkansen commenced in March this year, the journey to Kanazawa from Tokyo took over four hours and at least one train change. It's a huge leap forward for tourists to what has long been considered one of of Japan's secret treasures.


Omicho Market

Fishmonger at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Fishmonger at Omicho Market

Our first stop in any city is always the local market. Omicho Market is huge with about 200 stalls undercover. Peaked skylights overhead give a sense of the outdoors while providing cover. The market has a long history behind it. The original Omicho Market commenced trading in the mid-1700s.

Hokkadio crab at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Hokkaido crab

Most stalls focus on fresh produce. There's a dazzling array of fresh seafood, fresh fruit and vegetables. The place is teeming with tourists by midday.

Fishmonger at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Cleaning fish

Squid at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Squid

Shopping at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Market shopping

There are plenty of locals that shop here too. Stall holders are adept at dealing with both.

Prawns with roe at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Prawns with roe

We're immediately drawn to the sight of prawns with visible stockpiles of roe.

Eating fresh seafood at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Eating fresh seafood at the markets

Your hotel or ryokan may not have a kitchen, but the great thing we discover at Omicho Market is the number of seafood stalls that will sell you items to eat - raw or cooked - on the spot.

Prawn skewkers at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Skewered prawns for grilling 500yen / AU$5.50 for two

It means a visit to the market immediately turns into a seafood crawl, our eyes darting from one stall to the next as we're tempted by a non-stop array of snacks.

Extra large scallops at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Extra large scallops the size of an iPhone

Extra large scallops are so huge they look cartoon-sized. We have to hold up an iPhone next to them to get a sense of scale.

Blowtorching steamed scallops at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Blowtorching the steamed scallops

Scallops this size can't be passed up. We join the gaggle of tourists and add our order. They're steamed for a minute or a two in a huge bamboo basket, then blowtorched under a watchful eye until they brown at the edges.

Blowtorching giant scallops at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Steamed and blowtorched giant scallops 600yen or about AU$6.60

The scallops are presented whole, complete with roe. You need at least four bites to get through this, a tricky operation given the disposable chopsticks provided. It almost feels like a meal in itself. The disc of scallop flesh at the centre is the grand prize. It's luxuriously tender and sweet.

Botan ebi prawns with roe at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Botan ebi prawns with roe

A few stalls along we spy botan ebi, or spot prawns, swollen with a precious carriage of eggs in pale blue.

Sashimi prawn with roe at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Sashimi prawn with roe 350yen / AU$3.80 each

They'll peel the prawns for you to eat on the spot, the crystal pink prawns yielding a sticky sweetness that's accented by a gentle splash of soy. The huddle of prawn eggs have a salty edge. The texture is what makes these so memorable, these perfect spheres rolling around your tongue until you claim each one with a pop.

Giant oysters at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Giant oysters

Oysters? They've got 'em here by the truckload. They're magnificent specimens that loom large on beds of ice.

Shucking oysters at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Shucking oysters

Watching these being shucked is a performance in itself. The bivalves are expertly prised open with efficiency and minimal fuss.

Shucking oysters at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Removing the oyster from the shell

Rinsing oysters at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Rinsing the oyster in water 

Always a fan of au naturel, I ask if I can have my oyster unrinsed so that I can relish the natural seawater within. The staff are aghast at the thought. "No rinse, no eat!" the man declares with stern authority. They laugh among themselves at the ludicrous suggestion.

Giant oyster and uni sea urchin roe at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Raw oyster 1,000 yen or about AU$11
and uni sea urchin roe 800 yen or about AU$8.80

My iPhone 6 is about the same size as the oyster, thrust toward me with a smile. It's a beautiful beast that is creamier than we expect. There's still good flavour within it too, even with the mandatory baptism in water.

Fresh sea urchin at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Fresh sea urchin

I can't resist the fresh sea urchin either, eaten straight out of the shell. The petals almost quiver with butteriness, almost collapsing at first contact with your tongue.

Fresh bamboo shoots at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Fresh bamboo shoots

We end up stopping at Omicho Market every day we're in Kanazawa. It's constantly busy with people and each visit, we always discover something new.

Fresh fruit at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Fresh fruit

Rockmelon juice at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Rockmelon juice served in the melon itself 1,000 yen / AU$11

The fresh juices served in the original fruit are oh so cute, although even we can't bring ourselves to pay AU$11 for a liquefied miniature rockmelon!

Grilled octopus at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Grilled octopus

Deep fried frogs legs at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Deep fried frogs legs


Uouma

Sushi counter at Uouma inside Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Sushi counter at Uouma inside Omicho Market

Within the market are various small restaurants including ramen, udon and sushi. We pick Uouma based on the theory that a queue of locals outside is a reliable endorsement.

The restaurant is a cosy set-up of six stools around the sushi counter and two larger tables that seat 12 people at most. We end up waiting about thirty minutes for a seat.

Kaisendon sashimi on rice at Uouma inside Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Kaisendon sashimi on rice 1400 yen / AU$15.40

Kaisendon is the main drawcards here, big bowls of sushi rice with an assortment of sashimi laid over the top. It's like a deconstructed sushi bowl, where you get to control the amount of rice you have with or between each slippery slice of sushi.

Sushi combination at Uouma inside Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Sushi combination 1800 yen / AU$19.80

The brief menu includes a couple of sushi board options too, starting at about AU$20 for 9 pieces with nigiri sushi with six mini sushi rolls.

Toro tuna belly sushi at Uouma inside Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Toro tuna belly on the deluxe sushi combination board 3100 yen / AU$34

I went with the most expensive dish on the menu, a thirteen-piece extravaganza for AU$34 that still seemed reasonable given the seafood included.

Ama ebi spot prawn with roe at Uouma inside Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Ama ebi or spot prawn with roe nigiri sushi

I don't really know where to start at first, like a kid in a candy store with a selection I want to simultaneously eat everything all at once as well as savour each one slowly. I meander my way through firm slices of plump salmon, a thick slab of toro tuna belly in the palest shade of pink, and a curl of raw spot prawn that sang with sweetness.

Nodoguro blackthroat seaperch at Uouma inside Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Nodoguro blackthroat sea perch nigiri sushi

"Nodoguro," whispers the waitress as she motions towards one specific piece of sushi. The blackthroat sea perch (also known as a rosy sea perch) is an elusive and prized sea creature, adored by the Japanese for its fatty and tender flesh. It's a treat to try this hard-to-find fish.

The sushi rice, too, is well formed and perfectly seasoned.

Crab with mustard battleship sushi at Uouma inside Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Crab with mustard battleship sushi

A trio of gunkan-maki or battleship sushi carries three of my favourite cargo. Sea urchin has a briny creaminess and the glistening orbs of salmon roe provide bursts of pleasure but my highlight is the crab, smeared with its own guts or crab mustard, that gives a thrilling hit of pure crab intensity. It's just like sucking a prawn head - all the goodness is in the guts.

Queuing customers at Uouma inside Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Queuing customers outside Uouma

Sweet potato soft serve at Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Japan
Sweet potato soft serve 350 yen / AU$3.85

And there's time for a soft serve at the markets too. The sweet potato soft serve is impressively smooth. There isn't a strong taste of sweet potato, but it melts on the tongue like a dream, piled up high in a waffle cone with plenty of crunch.

Pork cutlet curry with udon noodles in Kanazawa, Japan
Pork cutlet curry with udon noodles 930 yen / AU$10.20

Lunch on another day finds us slurping down udon in a basement of a major shopping centre.

Paper bib protection in Kanazawa, Japan
Paper bibs for splash insurance

We love how they provided paper bibs for everyone ordering the curry udon, a lake of sweet Japanese curry crowned with a juicy crumbed pork cutlet deep-fried until golden.

Katsudon pork cutlet on rice in Kanazawa, Japan
Pork cutlet over rice with cold udon noodle set 950 yen / AU$10.45

If Japanese curry isn't your style, you can still pig out on katsudon, the pork cutlet laid on a bowl of steamed rice and then draped with a sweet and salty mixture of egg and dashi stock that's immediately comforting.

Cold udon noodles in Kanazawa, Japan
Cold udon noodles 

A side serve of cold udon noodles - ready for dipping in a mild sweet soy - makes for a carb-o-licious set meal.


Musashimaru Ramen

Tonkotsu ramen at Musashimaru Ramen, Kanazawa, Japan
Tonkotsu ramen 680 yen / AU$7.50

One cold night we're drawn into the warm inviting booths at Musashimaru Ramen. The tonkotsu broth is just what we need to warm our toes, the rich pork broth topped with pork slices, a boiled egg, fish cake and pickled bamboo shoots.

Panfried gyoza at Musashimaru Ramen, Kanazawa, Japan
Gyoza 500 yen / AU$5.50 for ten

The gyoza here prove to be some of the finest specimens we encounter during our trip, their lacy edges extending like a fancy doily.

Panfried gyoza at Musashimaru Ramen, Kanazawa, Japan'
Panfried gyoza

Underneath the golden blanket is a silky dumpling skin, wrapped around a huddle of seasoned pork mince.

Clam ramen with extra butter at Musashimaru Ramen, Kanazawa, Japan
Clam ramen with extra butter 896 yen / AU$9.85

I go with the clam ramen that evening, a clear seafood stock packed with clams that are plump and juicy. Requesting an extra pat of butter feels mandatory.

Clam ramen with extra butter at Musashimaru Ramen, Kanazawa, Japan
Ramen goodness

The noodles are noticeably thicker here, almost square if you examine them head-on. They hold up well against the flavoursome stock. It's a terrific dish overall, resplendent with fresh clams, a slick of butter and finely chopped shallots that bring everything together.

Sushi boxes at the department store food hall depachika in Kanazawa, Japan
Sushi boxes at the department store food hall in the basement

We stalk the local department store food hall, marvelling at the wall of sushi bento boxes that start from AU$5. If you head to these basement floors in the early evening, most of these will be reduced to half price. We ended up having several supper time sushi parties courtesy of end-of-day bargains.

Ama ebi or spot prawn fritters in Kanazawa, Japan
Fried school prawns

Marbled wagyu in Kanazawa, Japan
Marbled wagyu AU$275 per kg

The meat cabinets are another world of marbled beef glory too.

Karaage fried chicken delivery bike for Koozzy's in Kanazawa, Japan
Karaage fried chicken delivery bike for Koozzy's in Kanazawa

I was more than a little excited to find a bike with karaage, or fried chicken, number plates. We made a mental note to order delivered fried chicken from Koozzy's but unfortunately ran out of time and stomach space.

Bikkle yoghurt drink by Suntory from a Japanese vending machine in Kanazawa, Japan
Bikkle yoghurt drink by Suntory

And our stalking of Japan's ubiquitous vending machines - they're everywhere - unveiled Bikkle, a yoghurt drink similar in taste to Yakult but with less of a cloying sweetness.

Bridge over the Asanogawa River in Kanazawa, Japan
One of the many bridges over the Asanogawa River in Kanazawa

We walked everywhere in Kanazawa, taking in the bridges over the Asanogawa River...

Myoryuji also known as Ninjadera or the Ninja Temple in Kanazawa, Japan
Myoryuji commonly known as Ninjadera or Ninja Temple

and visiting Myoruji, more often called the Ninja Temple. No ninjas ever lived here, but the myriad of secret security measures at this Buddhist temple originally built for Lord Maeda Toshiie, gave rise to the ninja-associated nickname.

The building itself is a tour of clever deception and ingenuity, including hidden additional floors, secret staircases and doorways, sliding doors with hiding places and booby traps for unwanted visitors.

The tour is hosted by Japanese guides but folders with photos and English translations of what the guide is explaining are provided. Unfortunately no photos are allowed inside either.

Kanazawa Castle, Japan
Kanazawa Castle

We also end up at Kanazawa Castle.

The former moat of Kanazawa Castle, Japan
The former moat of Kanazawa Castle

Kanazawa Castle, Japan
Kanazawa Castle

The castle was first built in 1580 but has been destroyed and reconstructed seven times since then.


Kenrokuen Garden

Kimonos at Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa, Japan
Kimonos in the garden

Adjacent to the castle grounds is Kenrokuen, once the private garden for Kanazawa Castle but now a sprawling 11-hectare estate that is today regarded as one of the top three gardens in all of Japan.

Soft serve machine in Kanazawa, Japan
Soft serve machine

There's a modest entry fee to enter the garden (about AU$3.50). There's also a souvenir shop before you enter where we're immediately distracted by the promise of soft serves.

Green tea and vanilla swirl soft serve in Kanazawa, Japan
Green tea and vanilla swirl soft serve 400 yen / AU$4.40

We marvel at the picture of the gold leaf soft serve but baulk at the idea of paying AU$11 for one. Instead we settle for the green tea and vanilla swirl, exactly the sustenance we need on a hot day before hitting the gardens.

Oldest fountain in Japan at Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa
The oldest fountain in Japan, built in 1861. The fountain uses natural water pressure from the Kasumigaike (Misty Pond) up the hill

Kenrokuen has been cleverly landscaped so there is always something to admire regardless of the season. The grounds are big enough so there's always somewhere quiet to escape the crowds, and the design and details are beautifully harmonious and well-considered.

The teahouse on Hisagoike Pond at Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa, Japan
The teahouse on Hisagoike Pond

The teahouse on Hisagoike Pond at Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa, Japan
Kenrokuen garden originated around Hisagoike Pond

Kasumigaike Pond at Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa, Japan
Kasumigaike Pond. The centre island represents perpetual youth and longevity.

Paths and greenery at Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa, Japan
Paths and greenery

Sakura cherry blossoms at Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa, Japan
Sakura cherry blossoms

We spot our first sakura or cherry blossoms here. The cherry blossoms arrived two weeks earlier than normal this year, so we're excited to catch sight of these still in bloom.

Sakura cherry blossoms at Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa, Japan
Sakura cherry blossoms hang downward

Sakura cherry blossom soft serve at Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa, Japan
Sakura cherry blossom soft serve 500 yen / AU$5.50

And then we find sakura, or cherry blossom soft serves! They have real cherry blossom petals embedded in the soft serve, adding a subtle complexity of slightly bitter cherry flavour with a touch of cinnamon.

Sakura cherry blossoms at Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa, Japan
Sakura cherry blossoms in pink and white


Nakayasu Ryokan

Ryokan kaiseki dinner at Nakayasu Ryokan, Kanazawa
Ryokan kaiseki dinner

If you do get the chance, it's worth staying at a traditional ryokan during your time in Japan. We stayed at Nakayasu Ryokan for three nights, sleeping on traditional futon mats that were rolled out for us each night. We had a private bathroom but I ended up using the shared onsen bathrooms. You wash yourself using a hand-held shower hose while sitting on a stool and then soak in a shared hot tub afterwards for complete relaxation. This is all done in a communal bathroom (male and female facilities are separated), butt naked with whoever happens to be in there at the same time. The initial terror is eclipsed once you get into the hot tub. The water temperature is perfect, and all your muscles relax into putty.

But it's the kaiseki meals that are the best part about staying at a ryokan. It feels like a royal feast with seasonal dishes served on a never-ending parade of exquisite crockery. Our breakfast was included each morning and we opted for two dinners during our three-night stay.


DINNER DAY ONE

Cooked whelk at Nakayasu Ryokan, Kanazawa
Cooked whelk

Our group scores a private dining room for meals, accessed by a sliding door after you remove your shoes. The first dinner is an eye-popping extravaganza that included whelks (tender with a gentle chew), sweet crab and more of that amazing hotaru ika or firefly squid served with a zingy mustard sauce.

Hotaru ika firefly squid at Nakayasu Ryokan, Kanazawa
Hotaru ika firefly squid with mustard

Jibuni stew at Nakayasu Ryokan, Kanazawa
Jibuni, a local specialty stew made with chicken, shiitake and bamboo simmered in dashi

Beef and vegetable hotpot at Nakayasu Ryokan, Kanazawa
Beef and vegetable hotpot cooked at the table

The majority of dishes are cold but there's always one component that is cooked at the table. We have a beef and vegetable hotpot on the first night, the waft of caramelising onions making us even hungrier as we ate our meal.

Beef and vegetable hotpot at Nakayasu Ryokan, Kanazawa
Cooked beef, onion, carrot and broccoli

Clear consomme with prawn ball at Nakayasu Ryokan, Kanazawa
Clear consomme with prawn ball

The surprise highlight is the consomme, beautifully clear and pure in taste, with a fragrant prawn ball floating in the middle.


BREAKFAST DAY TWO

Japanese breakfast at Nakayasu Ryokan, Kanazawa
Breakfast Japanese-style with fried mackerel

A traditional Japanese breakfast usually involves fish, rice, pickles and seaweed sheets. The inclusion of fresh fruit is a welcome addition. We relish the fatty slab of mackerel and admire the textural contrast of simmered tofu skins with sticky mountain yams and the wobbly chew of konnyaku jelly.

Mountain yams, rolled tofu and konnyaku jelly at Nakayasu Ryokan, Kanazawa
Mountain yams, rolled tofu and konnyaku jelly


BREAKFAST DAY THREE

Japanese breakfast with grilled salmon at Nakayasu Ryokan, Kanazawa
Japanese breakfast with grilled salmon

The next morning's breakfast features a slab of grilled salmon, simmered lotus roots and fish cakes.

Traditional dining table and seats at Nakayasu Ryokan, Kanazawa
The low set table and hard-backed chairs

Fish cake, lotus roots and tofu at Nakayasu Ryokan, Kanazawa
Fish cakes, lotus roots and simmered tofu

Umeboshi pickled plums and vegetables at Nakayasu Ryokan, Kanazawa
Umeboshi pickled plums and vegetables


DINNER DAY THREE

Traditional ryokan kaiseki dinner at Nakayasu Ryokan, Kanazawa
The dinner spread

Our final dinner includes crab gratin, sashimi and grilled golden eye rockfish. Dressing in our yukata robes for dinner is half the fun.

Sashimi plate at Nakayasu Ryokan, Kanazawa
Sashimi plate

Crab gratin, beef nabemonon and grilled yanagibachime fish at Nakayasu Ryokan, Kanazawa
Crab gratin, beef nabemono, grilled yanagibachime fish and dried fish snacks

Beef nabemono is tonight's hot dish, a tasty mix of tender beef slices simmered with an assortment of enoki, shiitake and chestnut mushrooms.

Grilled yanagibachime fish at Nakayasu Ryokan, Kanazawa
Grilled yanagibachime or golden eye rockfish


BREAKFAST DAY FOUR

Japanese breakfast with grilled hachime fish at Nakayasu Ryokan, Kanazawa
Japanese breakfast with grilled hachime fish

We're sad to leave on the last morning, commemorated with grilled hachime fish, more fish cakes and sweetened honey beans that I enjoy eating one by one.

Grilled hachime fish at Nakayasu Ryokan, Kanazawa
Grilled hachime fish, similar to cod

Honey beans at Nakayasu Ryokan, Kanazawa
Honey beans


Higashi Chaya District

Kimonos in the old district of Higashi Chaya, Kanazawa
Kimonos in the old district of Higashi Chaya

We also go hunting for geisha in the old district of Higashi Chaya, the former tea house area where geisha - known in Kanazawa at geiko-san - can still be seen.

Old Japanese teahouses by the river in Kanazawa
Teahouses by the river

Many of the tea houses have been converted into tourist spots and souvenir shops, but if you squint your eyes and ignore the crowds you could almost imagine the sound of wooden geta shoes clip-clopping their way past in days gone by.

Old teahouses in Higashi Chaya, Kanazawa
Former chaya or tea houses where geisha used to entertain guests

Bamboo shutters on old Japanese teahouses in Higashi Chaya, Kanazawa
Bamboo shutters that prevent passersby seeing in

We don't spot any real geisha, even when we return later than evening, but we do hear music and the tinkle of laughter from a few houses. The bamboo shutters maintain complete privacy so we can't see in.

Gold leaf soft serve in Higashi Chaya, Kanazawa
Soft serve with gold leaf 891 yen / $AU9.80

But we do cave in and order a gold leaf soft serve at a store aimed squarely at tourists. It's a tremendous sight to behold, especially when the carefully applied gold leaf sheet starts to pucker from the moisture of the soft serve, tightening around the curves of each swirl.

Every passerby stops to stare at the glittery sheen. We can barely believe the luxurious sight that's about to be eaten ourselves. And you know what? It was amazing. The gold leaf is more about visuals than taste - the gold leaf just dissolves on the tongue without any flavour - but the soft serve itself is a wonder of incredible creaminess. It's smooth and silky and intensely milky.

Kanazawa. Thank you. You were a wondrous treasure indeed.

Kimonos and yukata in Higashi Chaya, Kanazawa

>> Read the next Japan 2015 post: Nagano snow monkeys
<< Read the first Japan 2015 post: Toyama black ramen and firefly squid

Japan 2015: Toyama > Kanazawa > Nagano > Kyoto > Nara > Osaka > Kobe > Kagoshima > Hakata > Hiroshima and Miyajima Island > Sapporo > Otaru > Hakodate Tokyo


Musashimaru Ramen ラーメン武蔵丸
34-2 Shimotsutsumicho, Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan
+81 (076) 232 2234
Open Monday to Saturday 11am-3pm and 5pm-11pm, Sunday 11am-9pm

Omicho Market
50, Kami-omicho, Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan
Stalls open approximately 9am-5pm (many closed on Wednesday)
Market map in English

Uouma at Omicho Market 魚旨
19-3 Shimotsutsumicho, Omicho Market, Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan


SEE:
Kenrokuen Garden
1 Kenrokumachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan
Tel: +81 (076) 234 3800
Open 7 days 8am-5pm (7am-6pm March to October 15)
Entry fee: 310 yen

Myoryuji 妙立寺 also known as Ninjadera or Ninja Temple
1 Chome-2-12 Nomachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan
Open 7 days 9am-4.30pm (4pm in winter)
Entry fee: 800 yen
Reservations required on Tel: +81 (076) 241 0888


STAY:
Nakayasu Ryokan
1 Chome-10-31 Owaricho, Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture 920-0902, Japan
Tel: +81 (076) 231 3128

21 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 5/31/2015 03:03:00 am


21 Comments:

  • At 5/31/2015 9:19 am, Anonymous Francesca said…

    What a wonderful journey Helen.

     
  • At 5/31/2015 9:25 am, Anonymous John | heneedsfood said…

    Ok, so when I eventually get to Japan, Kanazawa is most definitely on the agenda. Amazing place. The markets - those scallops! - the streets, gardens and temples. Magical. Oh, and I need to try that gold leaf ice cream!

     
  • At 5/31/2015 12:54 pm, Anonymous Kelly @ MsBrulee said…

    Such incredible experiences you've had not just food related ones although they are especially noteworthy. I'm committed to trying a gold leaf ice cream now thanks so much for posting your holiday in Japan I'm really grateful to use your blog as a guide for when I do visit the country myself :)

     
  • At 5/31/2015 4:10 pm, Anonymous Fleur @ Changing Shores said…

    So interesting reading about all the amazing food you tried. I'm craving sushi and soft serve! Thanks for sharing.

     
  • At 5/31/2015 7:21 pm, Anonymous Gourmet Getaways said…

    Love it fresh. Alesah would eat sea urchin straight from the shell, plus spicy vinegar or lime juice anytime. The gold leaf soft serve looks amazing!

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

     
  • At 6/01/2015 1:14 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    what i wouldnt give to eat uni straight from the shell right now!

     
  • At 6/01/2015 9:59 am, Anonymous Hotly Spiced said…

    What a wonderful tour. I do like the look of the gold leaf cone but I think I would rather try the cherry blossom soft serve. I didn't know so much gold leaf was produced in Japan. I have to say I've never tried deep-fried frog's legs xx

     
  • At 6/01/2015 11:08 am, Anonymous Swah said…

    What incredible photos Helen, but I can't get past the gold leaf soft serve. Wow! This is making me want to go back to Japan SO bad hehe

     
  • At 6/01/2015 7:51 pm, Blogger Jacq said…

    What a cool place! Home-delivered karaage is such a good idea. We need that in Sydney!

     
  • At 6/01/2015 11:02 pm, Blogger Sarah said…

    I can't stop staring at the gold leaf soft serve! So purdy!

     
  • At 6/02/2015 12:01 am, Anonymous Martine @ Chompchomp said…

    Gorgeous photos as always Helen! I am very excited to hear about giant sized oysters AND scallops! Im not sure I would eat anything else!!

     
  • At 6/02/2015 7:50 am, Blogger Ramen Raff said…

    Epic post!! That scallops looks amaze haha and I want that ramen. Can't wait to visit Japan now!

     
  • At 6/02/2015 9:13 am, Anonymous Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said…

    I'm gobsmacked by the amazing array of food in this post but I'll admit the gold leaf on the ice cream does it for me. It's such a wonderful bit of fun.

     
  • At 6/02/2015 6:14 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    !! So much squid, so much octopus!!! Loved the photos here and on your instagram - it looks like you had such a great time! Alex

     
  • At 6/02/2015 6:34 pm, Anonymous Racy_staci said…

    Miss mama san's cooking, the epic kaiseki meals and the seemingly endless procession of dishes

     
  • At 6/02/2015 7:49 pm, Anonymous Padaek said…

    Hi Helen,

    Everything looks so good, especially the seafood. Many ingredients that I've not heard of or seen before. Thanks for sharing this trip. :)

     
  • At 6/02/2015 10:39 pm, Anonymous Shellie - Iron Chef Shellie said…

    it was so much fun following your adventures whilst we were over there at the same time. So sad we didn't get any bling bling softserves like you though!! haha

     
  • At 6/04/2015 10:01 am, Anonymous ChopinandMysauceopan said…

    Dear Helen,

    The seafood and those scallops look seriously orgasmic! Thanks for sharing a wonderful experience.

     
  • At 6/08/2015 11:58 am, Anonymous Dee @ The Casual Food Blogger said…

    Beautiful pics Helen- those monkeys are soooo cute!

     
  • At 6/10/2015 1:20 pm, OpenID jennychews said…

    WOW! This is going to be my bible when I go to Japan later next month!! I actually gasped out loud when I saw the gold leaf soft serve!!! That's insane!

     
  • At 4/09/2016 12:04 pm, Blogger ban8nna said…

    Thank you for ur tips! We are currently on the Shinkansen to visit Kanazawa. Needed some ideas where to visit and esp where to eat. Thanks!!

     

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