Japan – Week #1

A quick start of summarising the last month, before the rugby quarter-finals start, and I’ll probably be too distracted to do any updates for another week or two.

Sapporo – brewery, watching rugby in Fanzone (after brewery, super nervous about South Africa, and therefore reasonably drunked)

Hakodate – typhoon, and seafood… particularly squid. Dancin’ squid. Trying to eat the entire body of a squid while it’s moving, and with suckers which latch onto one’s lips/teeth… difficult. Next morning, while trying to get some squid noodles – once again I ended up with dancin’ squid. This time, the lady showed off the dancin’ to me, then took it away, and chopped it up into manageable pieces. I wonder still, whether the first restaurant was intending to do that, but then decided to enjoy the show of the foreigner trying to eat the whole squirming mess.

Morioka – castle remains, a cherry blossom tree growing out of a rock. Not much else. But – Wanko Soba. A woman looming over one, refilling the small cup of soba noodles constantly. Begging for mercy doesn’t help, putting one’s hand over the bowl doesn’t help… she’ll only stop when you put the special lid over the bowl. I managed 111, just so that I could get the special plaque for >100… but a bit more so that it wasn’t so obviously “just get the plaque, without throwing up”, I decided on the “Nelson” as the stopping point. The guy sitting next to me got through 200… but he came dressed for the occasion… when you see a guy wearing the loose denim overalls… you know he’s come to do some serious eating.

Tokyo – first experience of a “capsule hotel” – although these were rather large capsules… standing-room, and effectively a double-bed. A nice gentle introduction to the concept. A night wandering around Ginza district, and a day-trip out to visit another brewery – Ebisu this time – along with a lazy hour (or two) in a craft beer bar I discovered on the way.

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