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Our first meal in Japan

Kyoto Travel Blog

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Jeff's own personal heaven

After nearly an entire day of traveling in Japan with no yen and therefore having to literally eat only peanuts while watching the other passengers around us enjoy sushi, sashimi, and bento boxes, we finally struck gold - or as they say here - GOrudo.  (Yes, a lot of real Japanese just sounds like a Japanese person trying to pronounce english words, seriously!)  We asked our hostel host Jin (Gene) to suggest a nearby sushi place for lunch.  He drew us a map and suggested a place called Sushi-ro, which loosely translated means "THE MOST AWESOME PLACE OF ALL TIME EVER!" (or maybe just "sushi restaurant")...  He told us it would be about 50 cents per piece, but we were sure he misspoke in his broken english.  Anyhoo, it was only about 2 blocks away so we headed out, ready to finally eat some real Japanese sushi.

We arrive to a full house of Japanese lunch guests.  After getting our number in line, an elderly woman entered and we gave her our seat and said "dozo" or "please go ahead".  She spent the next several minutes thanking us and blabbering on in Japanese about who-knows-what and laughing and bowing.  We bowed and smiled and hoped she wasn't expecting a response.  Nope!  Sweet.  I think that counts as a converstion with a local - check!

Ok so they called our number and sat us in a booth.  To our left, like an endless stockpile of deliciousness, was a moving belt carrying dozens upon dozens of sushi and other japanese dishes.  the belt went all the way around the restaurant by every single table.

19 plates later...
  People were grabbing stuff off of it, but it kept coming back out of the kitchen full of fresh yumminess!  We nearly passed out.  The host staff showed how to make our own cup of "o-cha" (green tea), which is free everywhere here, and explained in Japanese how things work (ready for this): we grab a plate off the belt, then eat what's on it!  That's it!  As Jin had said, each plate - which usually contained 2 pieces of sushi - was 105 yen ($1.05).  We eat as much as we want, stack our plates, and they count the plates at the end.  Yellow plates meant there was wasabi; white plates meant no wasabi.  Ok?  Ready?  GO!!!!

For the first twenty minutes we discovered how hard it is to eat when you are giggling hysterically in awe of the awesomeness.

  We kept pinching ourselves.  Is this place for real?  This...  is...  AWESOME!!!  Everything (almost) was absolutely delicious!  No need for a play-by-play on the dishes, but we tried everything from regular ol' tuna & salmon to stuff like squid with tentacles in tact, salmon belly, and "nato" (fermented - or moldy - beans, a staple in Japan... yes they were disgusting). 

All in all, we were able to clear 19 plates, 1 bowl of noodles, and 1 bowl of salad - all for less than $25!!!!   When we got back to the hostel everyone asked how many plates we ate, and they weren't that impressed.  Next time we better shoot for 30. 

Later in the day we visited the Golden Temple "Kinkakuji".  It was pretty cool; we took some nice pictures.  Honestly, we were both still in shock from lunch.  All in all, a great first day in Nihon (Japan)!

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Jeffs own personal heaven
Jeff's own personal heaven
19 plates later...
19 plates later...
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Golden Temple!
Golden Temple!
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Kinkauji
Kinkauji
Most of these were Jeffs.  Notice…
Most of these were Jeff's. Notic…
Looked disgusting.  Found out it w…
Looked disgusting. Found out it …
yummy
yummy
squid with tentacles, slippery yet…
squid with tentacles, slippery ye…
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photo by: ys484