The first night in Japan, I met up with an old high school friend that I hadn’t seen since, well high school. “Billy Dilly” was a year older than me, and I knew him through yearbook. After his stint at UT (University of Texas), he decided to teach English in Japan. I should have done this! Following his year or two of teaching, he decided to remain in Asia and has then been there ever since. Between Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, Billy’s expertise lies in Japan, so much so that he is fluent in Japanese. I’m not even fluent in my mother tongue and here he is fluent in Japanese! Truly, the best way to learn a language is to move to the mother country.
That first night upon touching down, we met near the Hibiya subway station, and Billy took us to traditional izakaya fare. You can find an izakaya at almost all the major JR (Japan Rail) railway stations in Japan in addition to the many convenience and “bento” stores. Even though we ended up having a pretty late dinner, roughly around 9pm due to a delay in departure from Atlanta, it was packed. Some izakayas have only “indoor seating” but the one that we ate at had small tables that came up to your knees lined up on the outside. On an opposing wooden wall, there was a plastic curtain with pockets that held the tabs for each table.
We let Billy order as he was the expert. I only took a few pictures as I didn’t eat much given the numerous fare on business class, but the food was seriously amazing.
Japanese omelette: it was titled “Japanese omelette” on the menu and that’s how it was ordered. It does taste like the tamago sushi that you will find at most sushi restaurants in the US, but it comes out nice and warm at the izakayas here and somehow is extra fluffy. In addition, it isn’t overly sweet or under-sweetened either.
Pork ribs: this dish was extremely … awesome. The meat was well seasoned (not over-seasoned) and falling off the bone. It doesn’t look like it, but when you take a bite, your teeth literally just sink into the meat like a knife going into butter. I honestly could have ordered more but the belly wouldn’t hold it in.
Ramen: I have to admit, the ramen is pretty simple at the izakaya. It isn’t like those fancy places in the USA or even places that are known for their ramen. No wonder the lunch ramen at Tokyo Shokudo back home was fairly plain: that’s how ramen should be! Unlike last time, the soup was not overly salty either. I wish that there was a little more meat and garnishings, but given the amount of soup and ramen, it was just right. I think I was just used to “American-style” ramen. All in all though, it was definitely tasty and just the right amount, especially if you were planning on getting other dishes as well (which I recommend wholeheartedly).
So far Japan is going great. The weather is supposed to be beautiful the entire time that we are in the country: low seventies, sunny, and nighttime temperatures of mid to high-sixties. Can you ask for anything else? Thank you “Billy Dilly” for an awesome meal. It was great to see you after so many years, and I am grateful for your friendship!
I’ve just started to edit and upload some pictures from Japan. Please stay tuned in for the link to the photo blog! Thanks again for stopping by, and hope to see you again.