Showing posts from March, 2014

"through the narrow door" | Sushi Yoshitake - 鮨よしたけ - Tokyo

Perhaps it was over-ambitious to have made a dinner reservation for the evening of our arrival in Tokyo, after about seventeen hours of travel. But it seemed foolish to miss any opportunity. As it turned out, we had just enough time to retrieve our bags from the airport carousel, hop on the train, transfer to the subway, get lost in the Shinbashi Station, find our way (with some assistance) to the hotel, check in, drop our bags, splash some water on our faces, and hail a taxi to Sushi Yoshitake in nearby Ginza.

When we arrived, our driver pointed up to make sure we understood that the restaurant was on the third floor of what appeared to be a nondescript office building. After exiting the elevator, we spotted the kanji that matched the picture our hotel concierge had provided us, fumbled with the door,[1] and then nearly stumbled right on top of six diners seated along a wooden counter in a room smaller than many walk-in closets. A hostess politely shooed us back outside, then direct…

Japan - Impressions, Travel Tips, and a List

It is both humbling and exhilarating to be a foreigner in a foreign land. Before our two-week trip to Japan, from which we returned this weekend, I had never been to the Far East. For those who are veteran globetrotters it may sound silly, but I'll confess I was a bit intimidated by the prospect of being literally halfway across the world in a place where we not only didn't know, but couldn't even decipher the characters of, the native language. But that fear was more than outbalanced by our love of Japanese culture and food, and the desire to experience them first-hand.

We needn't have been so concerned. Literally from the moment we arrived, we were buoyed by the graciousness, thoughtfulness, and generosity of spirit of the Japanese people. As we wandered our way through the Shinbashi subway station dragging luggage behind us, a kind lady - who spoke no English whatsoever - helped us figure out where our hotel was, and then walked with us for nearly ten minutes to gu…