We’re back!

I can’t wait to tell you all about it. But I will wait, because I am so jetlagged that I awoke from my nap convinced that we were having a major earthquake, but it was just my head sloshing.

A few things I miss about Japan already:

  1. Convenience store rice balls. In fact, Japanese convenience stores in general. They sell panko, and all sorts of good savory snacks, and banana Kit Kats, and onigiri, rice balls stuffed with a bit of something salty (tuna, cod roe, salmon, umeboshi).

  2. Izakayas. Iris and I spent a lot of time in bars. I got sake and sashimi, and we shared crispy fried stuff. (I did not order the whale bacon on the menu last night, no matter how hard Iris tried to lobby me.) It’s possible people were annoyed that I was bringing my kid into the bar. Since it was Japan, however, they would have been too polite to say so. Heh heh.

  3. Trains. Getting around in Japan is practically free of annoyances. In fact, our entire trip was like being in one of those restaurants where they know what you need a moment before you do.

  4. Futons. Our beds seem so galumphing now.

  5. Restaurants that would never meet the fire code in the US. Iris and I were delighted every time we were escorted up a rickety staircase to sit on the floor in our socks and eat something special.

and one thing I don’t:

  1. Smoking in restaurants.

More soon!

12 thoughts on “We’re back!

  1. Jason L. Cheung

    Welcome Back! I’m sure you had a great time!

    Ugh…Forgot about the smoking in the restaurants. I remember when I flew over when I visited, people were smoking on the plane. I thought I was gonna die.

  2. egirlwonder

    Regarding #1 – you should be able to get onigiri at H-Mart (I was delighted to find these at my local outlet after many years of pining!)

  3. Lauren

    I love onigiri. I wish I could have them all the time.

    You tweeted about Japanese breakfast and I want to hear more about that!

  4. mamster Post author

    It’s true, we did! Many bars in Tokyo are kid-friendly and have wide-ranging menus. At our last dinner, for example, I ordered eggplant with miso and vinegared raw mackerel and a glass of really good sake, and Iris got fried pork belly and negi (Japanese leeks) on a stick. She did taste my sake and was not impressed.

  5. Jason Truesdell

    Hiromi probably spent more time in izakaya during her childhood than the average American kid spends at family restaurants, thanks to two working parents who always ended up coming home late. She was almost immune to the unpleasantness of cigarette smoke until moving here, where she started noticing 15 years worth of stale cigarette smoke in her clothing.

    When you start missing Japanese food again, make arrangements to stop by our place in Madison Valley; we’ll cook something.

  6. Maggi

    Oh! Welcome back! We’re thrilled that you two had a great adventure. My son wants to know Iris’s take on the journey. Hopefully a podcast will be coming soon?

  7. riye

    Glad you guys had fun! The last time we went to Japan the only place that did a good job of segregating smokers/non-smokers was Mos Burger! The smokers all sat in this glassed in section that looked like a terrarium inhabited by cigarette puffing mammals.

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