For the second year in a row I went to Japan to go snowboarding with my friend Evan. This time we went to Happo-one instead of Nozawa, but I had been to Happo many times before.
First off, Tokyo. Returned to my favorite ramen place in the entire world, So Kan To.
I don’t think I really need to talk again about the attention to detail to making a simple pork broth noodle soup – I mean there’s entire movies which state it more eloquently than I can in my simple blog. But the pork toru buta ramen is reason enough to move to Tokyo.
Of course, some katsu-don was eaten.
Cyndi Lauper is coming! (to Japan)
It was SNOWING in Tokyo
Then we headed up to Nagano – Hakuba where it was snowing even more!
Evan at lunch
The water was delicious.
The Japanese face mask – very useful when it was snowing.
Then we had some yakitori – which was amazing
And then the second night, we had an amazing chanko-nabe meal. That’s right sumo wrestler food. This was so unbelievably tasty, and yet an under-represented portion of Japanese cuisine. I mean I had only heard of it via Tony Bourdain’s book – but I’ve never seen a chanko-nabe restaurant outside of Japan, but now I’ll be on the look-out. It’s basically Japanese hot-pot, with a heavy focus on vegetables, chicken and more vegetables. Then the post-cooking broth is used to make soba and the diner finishes off with a big bowl of soba noodles. During a sumo tournament, wrestlers only eat it with chicken, but since neither Evan nor I were in line to complete in a sumo tournament, there were also pork meatballs.
A return to Tokyo meant a return to Hina Sushi as well as Komen for more ramen.
Not really a whole lot of conclusions to draw except how much I enjoy Japan!