A little break from the still ongoing Report of food story in Japan.
When I go back to Japan I take some little gift to my family. I found it is quite hard to find something nice that the gift-receiver can enjoy and also not be too expensive… So now I always take some FOOD.
This time I took some Butter and Clotted Cream as well as some sweets. WHY Butter?? Well, you may find it strange but there has been a shortage of Butter in Japan for years! As soon as the Butter section shelves are filled in a supermarket, it empties very quickly. And they are much dearer in Japan. It is same for other dairy products such as cheese or fresh cream.
I like Clotted Cream. Of course I don’t have it regularly. It’s too rich but having it on Hot Cross Buns is a Must to have at Easter time. You normally don’t find it in Japan. This was not the first time I took Clotted Cream to my family. I know it is a little too fatty and high calories for my mother but having it once a year does no harm and I just wanted her to enjoy something she doesn’t usually have.
So I made Cranberry Scones to have with the Clotted Cream.
During my stay in Japan I went to several restaurants and enjoyed Japanese food very much. Only the problem was that I tend to forget taking photos. So these are the only photos I can show you here and the rest of the food just stays in my mind and my stomach. Sorry.
My home town Nagoya became one of the Foodie Capitals (check ‘Nagoya Meshi’) in the last 10 years or so. That was after I started living in the UK so I am not quite sure which food actually belong to this category, however, I can tell you that the biggest of all Nagoya-Meshi is certainly ‘Hitsumabushi’.
‘Hitsumabushi’ – Grilled Eel in O-Hitsu the wooden pot
Huge Cat statue at Okage Yokocho in Ise says ‘Please do not wake me up because I’m so full up’
Now I am going back to my report on visiting Japan.
When you go to stay in Japan there are many things you really should do (apart from viewing Sakura blossom in springtime). One particular thing you should NEVER miss is staying in ‘Onsen (Hot Spring) Inn’. Unlike the western hotels the evening meal and breakfast are strongly part of the stay and they are rather good ones. Japanese Inns quite often serve very traditional food with lots of local delicacies.
During this time of my stay I went to visit Toba where locates by the sea and went to Ise for visiting one of the biggest Shinto Shrines ‘Ise Jingu’ the following day with my mother.
After checking in to the Onsen Inn we were welcomed with a little Japanese sweet and ‘Matcha’ Greet tea. After resting a little in our own room we moved onto our mission – bathing in Onsen! The Onsen had an outside space which faced to the sea directly.
By the way Onsen is normally a public bath sharing with other visitors. All the Inns have a separate bath for men and women but there are some baths for both genders occasionally.
The plaque on the wall says the Health benefits of Onsen water, such as Neuralgia, Joint Pin, Frozen Shoulder …
One thing you should have in your mind is that if you have tattoos on your body you are normally not allowed to get into a public bath in Japan. It is because the people who have tattoos are always associated with ‘Yakuza (Japanese mafia)’ in Japan and tattoos frighten other guests in the public bath.
Anyway, right after bathing we were served very refreshing ‘Yuzu’ flavoured sorbet in the lounge. Yuzu is one of the many citrus fruits we produce in Japan. Because of its fragrant scent it became very popular in the UK recently. Lots of chefs use it nowadays and you hear the name in TV programs like MasterChef of even Great British Bake Off.
In this Inn that we stayed in the dinner was served in our own room.
The Dinner menu
The first round of the dinner at the Onsen Inn