Food, Food, Food: Japan Edition
Usually, I don’t have much control over when, where or what I eat when I’m at a race, but Japan is slightly different. I think everyone knows how lucky we are to be in Japan, so there is a little more leniency to go explore and enjoy the local fare instead of always eating hotel buffets. My personal aim was to eat raw fish as frequently as possible.
I wasn’t great with staying gluten-free but I also wasn’t terrible. There was only one night where I actually didn’t care at all. I had worked late doing many, many, many interviews and by the time I could go eat, only two other coworkers hadn’t eaten. It was Friday night and we wandered around for quite awhile trying to find somewhere that was open, had seats and would take credit cards.
We eventually settled on what I would describe as a Japanese pub; it was the type of place you take your shoes off and then sit on the floor around a bar. We let the bartender/waitress pick what we ate and it was quite the experience. All the other diners adored us, despite the fact none of us could communicate with each other. It gave us that true ‘local’ experience that I always look for in my travels.
Utsunomiya is known for its gyoza, which I had never tried and it definitely didn’t disappoint. We also had edamame, soba noodles and a salmon and rice dish.
I was glad I had packed all my snacks, especially on the two race days. The road race is in the middle of a forest and there are literally no options except for the sandwiches the race provides. I stuck with a can of tuna fish and my muffins. I also used the coconut milk and teff every morning; our hotel breakfast was not quite to my taste.
One of the most memorable dishes I ate was actually at the Tokyo train station. I googled breakfast places while on the train and found Tsukiji Sushisay Honten. When I got there, I had three choices, two ochazukes and one sashimi. I just randomly pointed to one of the ochazukes. It was such a perfect meal of chopped up salmon belly that you poured savory tea broth on. Mix in some rice and little rice crackers and it was truly one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. A few tamago slices and ginger and I was set for my day of travel.