Our first day in this weird and wonderful country, we are jetlagged beyond belief but forcing ourselves to stay awake and go for a long walk in the sweltering heat. We stopped by the Meiji Jingu shrine and managed to catch one of the amazing Golden Week celebrations entailing a large blessing ceremony and a stage performance of old tales.
Luckily as we were visiting a good friend who happens to live here we were immediately guided to a fantastic restaurant in one of the most fascinating department stores I’ve ever seen, Shibuya’s Hikarie.
The restaurant was on the 5th floor called D47 Shokudo and is nestled between a variety of art filled rooms and is part of Tokyo’s burgeoning art scene. The restaurant has views over Shibuya and specialises in set menus ‘teishoku’ from different regions across Japan which change weekly.
I chose a set with deep fried horse mackerel (a smaller fish) with tartare sauce and shredded cabbage, alongside a giant bowl of incredible and refreshing miso with wakame and fresh shimeji mushrooms. Even just the plain unseasoned rice was outstanding, sweet and with a perfect not too soft not too hard texture.
After a long flight, I truly felt like this lunch brought me back to life.
After just a day in the capital it was clear to see that Japan has a culture dedicated to perfection, from the perfect individually wrapped fruits in the supermarket to the perfectly packaged bento boxes.
It’s fascinating coming from a culture where often ‘good enough’ goes, to see somewhere where nothing but the very best will do is needless to say very impressive.
Shortly after this we passed out from jetlag, but not before we’d had time to buy breakfast for the next day…