Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

JAPAN DAY 6: Shibuya

Well, this day was a little lacking in pictures and experience because we spent a lot of it on the train, but I did get some good pictures of our dinner.

Day 6, we made our way back to Tokyo by train, ready for the next phase of our journey. Our last days in Tokyo would be spent in areas of a different pace. We would be staying in Shibuya and making the rounds through the crazy shopping of Shibuya, the crazy nightlife of Shinjuku, the crazy fashion of Harajuku and the crazy architecture of Aoyama.

Our first day, we explored our neighborhood. Only a few minutes walk from our hotel was the famous Shibuya crossing. The busiest intersection in the world.

This is Jason with Hachiko the dog. Hachiko was a real dog once, who used to accompany his master every day to the train station here and then come back to wait for him every evening. Hachiko's master was a professor and one day at work he got ill and he died wthout returning home. After Hachiko's master died, the dog continued to come to the station every single day to wait for his master. He continued to come to the station every day for the next ten years, until finally he died on the spot he last left his master behind.

The Japanese were so touched by this faithful companion that they erected a statue of the dog here to commemorate his loyalty. Now Japanese youth use the statue as a meeting place to find each other in this busiest of corners.

After meeting up at Hachiko ourselves, we did some shopping in Shibuya. Tokyo is home of the megastores, where you travel through story upon story to find anything your heart could desire. We also did some shopping a Tokyu Hands, the world's most comprehensive hardware store, and Mandarake, a subterranean dungeon full of all your anime, manga and video gaming requirements.

After all of that shopping, we needed to make sure to have a really good dinner. We chose Toriyoshi Dining. Toriyoshi Dining is an upscale, more romantic version of a yakitori pub. The lighting is dim and amber and the subterranean dining room is arty, classy and artfully arranged to seat dating couples or old friends ready for a long catching up session, while larger and rowdier groups are tucked away in semi-private rooms. As you walk down into the room, signs proudly proclaim the origins of the special charcoal used to grill the chicken.

We started out with an order of what the restaurant is famous for: chicken wings. These things are deadly. Crispy-crunchy and savory, these are as addictive as any bag of potato chips.

This is chicken skin. Just skin. I always thought that the skin was my favorite part of the chicken, but now that I have eaten it all by itself, I think that skin is better when it comes with the chicken. The chicken skin skewer was good, but a little too much by itself. It needed the sobering factor of the corresponding meat to balance it out.

And this? This is my dream. This is cheese wrapped in bacon. It was like salty oozy heaven and I had to shed a little tear when it was gone. Bacon and cheese are my favorite and I've often secretly longed to eat just a pile of the two without any pesky other ingredients getting in the way. My wish finally came true!

After our post-dinner stroll, we stopped in our hotel 7-11 to pick out some dessert. After perusing all of the selections on offer and discarding them as either too much or too heavy, or just no quite what I was looking for, my eyes settled on this lovely and feminine specially flavored Kit-Kat.

Yeah, it's a peach Kit-Kat. Can you imagine? Who could have thought of such a thing? I couldn't imagine what a peach Kit-Kat would taste like, so it seemed obvious that I had to find out.

The Kit-Kat was an interesting marbled color of light peach and brown. It looked like either a rock or a tiger. However, it was yummy. It really tasted like peach. And you might wonder if a peach flavored chocolate wold be good, especially with a wafer in the center. Well, it is.

Jason got this waffle/ice cream concoction. I'm pretty sure it was delicious, since he ate it all.


Tiger kit-kats, rrrraarrrr! I've seen Man Pocky at Japanese stores, what's that all about? I love crispy chicken skin but all by itself would be interesting...

said by furry_feline at 10:19 PM Delete

KT -- the whole trip sounds amazing; sorry I'm not commenting on them, but I am surely enjoying reading them (I don't have much to add besides "that looks cool" or "yummy.")

said by Jeremy at 4:05 PM Delete

I know about that dog from a news report, waht a cool story!
I'm so envious of your trip, I bet you are having the best time ever.

said by Garrett at 9:46 AM Delete

The doggy statue always makes me tear up. So sad! I had a friend who used to use that train station frequently. Whenever she passed by the statue, she'd always give it a pat. I don't think there's a human anywhere who wouldn't be touched by that dog's loyalty.

said by Chubbypanda at 11:43 PM Delete

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