Monday, November 30, 2009
After my day in Osaka I made my way to Hiroshima to visit my old roommate and sensei Toru Ishizawa and his girlfriend Tomomi. They showed me a fabulous time from beginning to end. Our first day included a visit to Miyajima to visit a famous shrine and see the Japanese maple leaves. The leaves had fallen awhile ago, but thankfully the temple was still as beautiful as ever. Local oysters were the treat of the afternoon. We then headed to a famous sake brewery for a lesson in brewing and of course tasting. I don’t think I have to mention that I greatly enjoyed that part of the trip. For our evening meal, we elected to have a yakiniku (literally, grilled meat). At yakiniku, you buy meat in small trays of varying kinds and cook them on a small grill at your table. My grand finale was yukke, raw beef dipped in a raw egg. I know many of you have to stop reading and go get that taste out of your mouth, but I loved this stuff. Japan has this amazing talent for making raw meat and fish tasty. It may not be the next California roll but whatever. The next day included a trip to the mall for shopping, a movie, a wonderful lunch, and finally OKONOMIYAKI. This is a local special not to be missed if you are within any distance of Hiroshima. Imagine thin grilled pasta, a thin layer of batter, squid, cabbage, shrimp, pork, green onions, kimchi, mayonnaise, cheese, an egg all put in one giant omelet looking mound and topped with shallots and bbq sauce. It may not sound great when described ingredient by ingredient, but this is a taste tsunami. I was sad to have to leave my friends and what could be my favorite city in Japan, but alas, there is English to teach and this Southern Boy is currently the man for the job.