I think I actually put on some weight on this trip. No. Really. Upon my arrival in Tokyo, I had a choice between two notches on my belt – the first, a little tight; the second, a little loose. I opted for the latter and, fourteen days later, that loose notch is actually kind of snug. Wha- happened?! I thought all the walking I was doing would burn off the extra calories. Okay, granted, I have been eating a lot – but no more than on previous visits. I even took a bit of a break today, not so much out of a desire to curtail my culinary spree as it was the fact that I just wasn’t hungry after “the ramen debacle”. I was up most of the night and into this morning nursing a sore stomach and I simply couldn’t do it today.
But that didn’t stop me from trying.
For lunch, we went out for oden, a traditional Japanese “comfort food” consisting of daikon radish, fish cake, boiled eggs, and konyakku, a flavorless potato noodle with a consistency like jelly. It’s all served in a dashi broth and is beloved by many here, including Akemi. Me, not so much, but I didn’t mind. If Akemi was willing to eat deep-fried pork tonkatsu with me, I was certainly willing to eat a giant steamed radish for her. True love, huh?
Otakou: 2-2-3 Nihombashi, Tokyo
After lunch, I was feeling surprisingly “not terrible”, so rather than head back to the hotel, I accompanied Akemi on a stroll through Nihombashi.
Although I still wasn’t hungry by the time we returned to Ginza, I figured I had to get back on the horse, just like a real athlete plays through pain. With only days to go before my departure, I have a lot of ground to cover after all! So we started off easy, sharing a meager two dessert snacks that we picked up at the Peninsula Hotel and brought back to our room:
One of the desserts Akemi was dying to tru was the famed Peninsula Hotel mango pudding, purportedly THE BEST mango pudding ever. So, I had to try it as well. And the verdict? It was pretty damn good mango pudding! I never thought I’d ever say those words.
Akemi also surprised me with a box of assorted chocolates from Madame Setsuko, an Osaka legend. She gifted me a similar box after our first date way back in 2009, dropping them off at my hotel on her way to work the next morning. Sweet, no?
Well, with time winding down on our trip, we’re making the most of our last few days by paying second visits to some of our favorite haunts. Last night, it was L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon for another excellent dinner:
P.S. In retrospect, that Hattendo fresh cream bun before bedtime was huge mistake. I was up all night!