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Cooking Across 4 Generations

Using recipes collected from 4 generations of one family

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Tokyo dining

Day 9 Tokyo 2018: Yasukuni Shrine, Aoyama, Meiji Jingu, Za-Watami Dinner

My final full day in Tokyo was grey and dull with a chance of showers but still quite warm. That was not going to stop me making my usual last day visits to Yasukuni Jinja and Meiji Jingu.

First stop though was a coffee and muffin at Dean and Deluca under Yurakucho Station to get me going.

Coffee and muffin Dean and Deluca Yurakucho

I love seeing the ikebana displays at Yasukuni Jinja, they are always quite spectacular and seasonal, although hard to photograph through glass.

Yasukuni Jinja Ikebana Display
Yasukuni Jinja Ikebana Display

After paying my respects at the shrine, I wandered around to the koi pond behind the main shrine building. There is a vending machine to buy food for the huge koi that inhabit the pond. In front of the shrine there is always a letter from a soldier, printed in Japanese and English, they are a reminder that they were just men who were separated from their loved ones. Letters to mothers and wives are the hardest to read.

Yasukuni- jinja Haiden with Hinden behind
Pond Yasukuni Jinja
Koi feeding frenzy

Depending on the season you will often find floral competitions/displays at temples and shrines sometimes there are also plants being sold. I happened to be at Yasukni Jinja for an Iris display, so pretty and a shame I couldn’t buy bulbs to bring home.

Iris display Yasukuni Jinja
Iris
Iris

On my way out I walked behind the Irei no Izumi (Soul Comforting Spring) memorial dedicated to those who suffered or died from thirst during battle situations. At the rear of the sculpture are stones from various battlefields of WWII.

Irei no Izumi (Soul Comforting Spring)
Rear of Irei no Izumi

After walking through the huge steel Daiichi Torii I took a short walk to Kudanshita metro and hopped the train to Aoyama-itchome. This was not the station I needed to get out from but I ended up having a nice walk back to Aoyama/Omote-sando. Even discovered a little festival with food from different areas of Japan, I opted for a burger which featured regional pork and a glass of Japanese white wine.

Daiichi Tori
Festival Burger

After visiting the ceramics shop at the main intersection of Aoyama/Omote-sando for some Kenzan, I headed back across the road and up to Meiji-Jingu.

Walking in to the park is so refreshing in the heat. Wide paths lead around the park to the Shrine, up past the tributes of wine and sake through the Torii and on to the Shrine. They were still replacing the copper roof shingles which Mum and I saw part of in 2016. This was being done ahead of the 100 year anniversary of the dedication of Meiji-Jingu  in 2020.

Then it was back to the hotel for a quick rest and then on to dinner. As it was my last night I had a walk around Ginza and then checked out the restaurants under the tracks again. I found Za-Watami which looked interesting. Quite a large restaurant stretched out under the tracks, multiple dining areas with a selection of seating options.

Za-Watami

I ended up being seated in a small bar area with two groups of ladies either side. The waiter poured sake for the ladies to my right, and he kept pouring, the glass over flowed in to a bowl that the glass was sitting in. I learnt that this is Sosogi-koboshi, there are many reasons for doing this, and the practice seems to have gained popularity after the WWII. Naturally I had to try it, bit difficult to drink and I have since learnt there are several ways to imbibe the generous pouring.

Sake done in Sosogi-koboshi pour

Thankfully the menu was in Japanese and English with handy photos as well. I was quite hungry and ordered, Blue Fin Tuna sashimi, chicken Kara-age, Lotus root and Burdock chips, chicken and leek skewers, gyoza. There were several things such as horse sashimi that had me doing a double take. But dear reader I ride horses I don’t eat them.  

Chicken karaage and blue fin tuna
Lotus root and burdock chips
Grilled chicken and leek skewers
Gyoza

After dinner a farewell stroll through Ginza before heading back to pack. Last night in Tokyo is always a sad night.

Day 3 Tokyo 2018 Dinner at TY Bis

 

Day 3 Tokyo 2018 Dinner at TY Bis

One restaurant I do enjoy going to is TY Bis in Park Hotel Shiodome.
French trained Japanese chef Tateru Yoshino is behind the wonderful food that comes out of the kitchen.
The menu is very French and very delicious. There are two set course options as well as a la carte. I decided on the smaller of the set courses. I love how the set menus you actually get to pick which dishes you would like rather than preselected by the chef.
After settling in I decided a glass of Champagne was a good decision(when isn’t it?) and selected a glass of Deutz Champagne.
Amuse Bouche was a pair of light cheese puffs.

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Cheese puffs for an use bouche

Bread was freshly made baguette and my second piece was pain de compagne. Both delicious.

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Bread trolley

Weingut Heymann and Lowenstein reisling from Mosel went well with my soup and  entree, as it was a drier style of Riesling.
The appetiser was a fluffy beetroot foam over a set bouillon and caramelised onion.

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Beetroot foam, Caramelised onion, gelled bouillon

Soup was a creamy mushroom that was light but full of flavour, several croutons hidden beneath the froth on top gave a nice crunch.

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Cream of mushroom soup

Entree was pate en croute – pork and chicken meat with a bit of foil gras in the mix, served with cornichons and a tiny salad.

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Pate en croute

Main I chose pork. This was served as a large croquette, with white asparagus, cabbage and morels. This was accompanied by Baron Phillippe de Rothschild Cabernet Sauvignon from the Pays D’Oc.

Dessert was chocolate Mille feuille, chocolate ganache, chocolate ice cream, chocolate plaque

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Chocolate Mille Feuille

Coffee was served with petit fours of raspberry macaron and cannelle.

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Raspberry macaron and cannelle

Another fabulous meal from this restaurant and I look froward to returning in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

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