Neighbourhood tour and Sidney’s arrival — December 23

 Didn’t get much sleep our first night in Japan. Not knowing what Sidney was doing and awaiting her arrival didn’t help. We kept texting her but getting no reply.
I booked a neighbourhood tour with Context Travel so when  our docent, Alex arrived, we went out planning to head to the hotel where we hoped the bus would drop Sidney.
Started at the shrine next door, Hikawa, where Alex showed us the purification ritual of rinsing your hands.
Tree where wishes are tied on and our guide Alex.
Vending machines everywhere.
Koban–corner police station:

Tokyo Broadcasting System office in Akasaka:


7 Elevens everywhere, but these sell sake and beer.

Restaurant specializing in fugu, poisonous puffer fish.
Tori gates leading up to Hie Shrine:

Hie Shrine at the top of the hill

A bit of Christmas?
We finally heard from Sidney. Instead of getting off at the ANA Intercontinental Hotel, she got off at the Ritz Carlton, so we headed there.
Paused for beer and a few snacks: cabbage with miso and crab dip, and octopus in tomato sauce:
Christmas decorations in Midtown Mall
We then walked a bit in the Roppongi district

Then back to Akasaka to get travel cards for the subway:


We said goodbye to Alex. Allie made us a dinner reservation at a place roecommended by Alex. After a bit of shopping, we returned to the apartment to put up our feet and sample some sake.

Christmas tree building:

We went to dinner Warayaki, whicn translates as straw cooking. The specialty is food cooked over burning straw. First the sake menu:

Fire at the grill:


The lamps in the restauant have either a wave or smoke pattern

Salmon amuse bouche

Warayaki salad with three dressings:


Not sure what some of the vegetables were, some had a radish like texture, possibly a turnip or jicima.

Then bonita:

nice sake glasses

A blurry shot of whale, The dark was meaty but very mild flavour. The paler pieces were belly and fin, called bacon, and eaten with miso. It tasted fishier.
Another blurry shot of horse which was also quite mild and tender served with shoyu.  By Sidney’s hand is chicken which was served with a lemon dipping sauce shown in the foreground.
Eel which was flavoured like the canned unagi but much softer texture, bigger and quite fatty making a very rich dish.
Hot sake:

Allie had a creamed brulee and Robin had citron sherbet for dessert but I was getting too tired to take any more photos.  All my energy was going into staying awake.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s