Our fifth day in Japan was one of the longest, and also by far one of my absolute favorite days there. You’ll see why in a moment…
We got up early, and headed out to the Tsukiji Fish Market.
Wait a minute…
So we, being the silly confused tourists that we were… got lost. Well, not entirely. We were in the right general area, but we ended up going to the “Shops and Restaurants” section of the market… not to the actual fish market itself.
I actually think we were there too late to see anything very interesting at the fish market, and the tuna auctions were closed to the public anyways. *sigh* Next time, maybe?
So instead, we went to get sushi for lunch.
I was a very, very bad girl.
But… to be fair, I almost never, ever eat tuna. Ever. And I figure this is the kind of thing that I should try once, since I was at the fish market in Japan!, but obviously won’t be doing on a regular basis. Even if I go back to Japan.
You forgive me, right?
After lunch, we explored the shops a little more.
We bought lots of nori and a few rolling mats (that I’m giving away to you!), some itsy bitsy fried crab cracker things, and…
… apple buns. Yum. This, more than anything, shows the value of giving out free samples. We wouldn’t have bought any, if not for the samples the vendor gave us.
After the fish market, the guys insisted on going to the Pokemon Center, which they had seen a poster for at the train station. It turned out to be just a store, I think, but… boys will be boys, right?
We still had a bit of time to burn, and Son wanted to see the ocean, so we walked over to the nearby Hamarikyu Gardens.
And promptly lost the rest of our group. Again.
Failing to locate anyone else we had arrived with, Son and I went to the nearest train station (which ended up being a different one than the one we had arrived at), and headed back to the hotel.
Back at the hotel, our group reunited, and then… we got to meet up with Keizo!
Who is Keizo, you ask? Only the ramen man… he started writing about ramen on his blog, Go Ramen, when he lived here in Los Angeles, and then last year, he uprooted his entire life to go live in Japan and work at a ramen shop. The man took the leap and is living his dream… which I think is beyond awesome.
Of course, if you’re meeting the ramen man, obviously you have to go eat ramen, right? Luckily for us, Keizo knows all about the ramen scene in Tokyo (and most of Japan!), so he took us somewhere we would have never discovered on our own – the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum!
A ramen museum? Well, what’s so special about that? If you’re not much of a museum person, like me, it doesn’t sound all that exciting.
But this isn’t your average museum.
Nope… they have ramen you can eat. And not just one place… there are 8? 10? different mini ramen shops inside of the museum! Excited yet? You bet I was.
Of course, first we had to decide which ones we wanted to try…
Even better, each little ramen place has mini bowls of ramen – so you can try several different bowls in one visit.
It just gets better and better.
First one we tried was a shoyu ramen. The restaurants switch out from time to time, and since this shoyu ramen place was fairly new to the museum, Keizo wanted to check it out. So Son and I decided to tag along… yum!
We met back up with the rest of our little group, and went to a tonkotsu ramen shop in the back right corner of the bottom floor (the restaurant section of the ramen museum is two stories high in the basement of the building, and then on the main floor there is an actual museum and a gift shop).
*waves* Hi, Keizo! ^_^
There were two main types of tonkotsu ramen, so Son and I got a bowl of each type.
The last shop we went to was a spicy miso ramen. Too spicy for me, but that’s okay – by then I was stuffed, and only had a bite of Son’s ramen. This was Keizo’s favorite – he was telling us how he finds himself craving this ramen.
Afterwards, Keizo took us to a nearby mall, where we hung out for a little while in the basement – where all the food shops are! And of course, we did a little shopping… yes, we took full advantage of the fact that Keizo can read and speak Japanese fluently. Remember what I said about him being awesome? Yep! He was SO helpful, and more than happy to help us all out. Domo arigato gozaimasu, Keizo!
Don’t forget… just a few more Japan posts left! If you leave a comment on any of my posts about my Japan trip, you’ll be automatically entered to win a rolling mat and nori from Japan! Hey, I might even thrown in a Sushi Day shirt, just for the fun of it!
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