Sunday, 27 September 2015

Japan Holiday Day 6 - Raining puts a damper on sightseeting

It was shopping day instead of sight seeing because the weather forecast said rain all day.  For breakfast, we headed out a bit further in the station to Amici which had western and Japanese breakfasts.  Hubby and I both got the natto option, and I forgot that I had to put a raw egg with it. Natto is fermented soy beans with Bacillus subtilis var. natto. It's an acquired taste, and I don't think I'll have anymore this trip, but at least I can say I had some.

Going to Nishiki market is more like sightseeing anyway rather than shopping and it was nice to go again. This time, we managed to find some funazushi, which is fermented sushi.  Funazushi is a specialty of the Shiga prefecture where carp from Lake Biwa (near Kyoto) are cured with salt.  Pickling them in steamed rice promotes fermentation, yielding the sour taste. It takes more than a year for the process to be complete, and the funazushi we got was aged for 500 days.

It was a day of sampling "acquired taste" Japanese food, and we ate this funazushi in our hotel room with our friends and a bottle of sake later that evening. I'll tell you about that in a moment.

We went to look for Katsukura, a tonkatsu chain (there is also one at Kyoto station in the Cube). Tonkatsu is crumbed deep friend pork cutlet. We ate at this particular restaurant 10 years ago in Sanjodori street/passage near Nishiki markets. We took our friends there - but they had already tried it at Kyoto station.

The kids had great fun grinding the sesame in the bowl with their pestle. It was a good incentive for them to eat their food. I have to remember next time that you put the tonkatsu sauce into the sesame bowl and the side plate is for pickles.

My daughter had caught a cold and was feverish so hubby took the kids back to the hotel and I did more shopping and snacked on Daimaru's underground food including sweetfish (ayu) and some kushiyaki (skewered food grilled on a stick).

For dinner hubby and I headed back into Level 11 Cube food level and had kushikatsu (crumbed fried skewer sticks) at Kushinobo. We had the omakase menu and basically were served stick upon stick until we told the to stop.  The average is 15 sticks - we had 22 sticks each (though we did have to feed the kids as well)

To tell you the truth, it's hard to tell one from the other. They just look like fried things on a stick. But it was a decent filling meal.

So we tried the funazushi with sake when we headed back to our room. When we unwrapped it... pungent was a very mild word to describe the stench of the pickled fish.  It smelt like poo! Admittedly it didn't taste how it smelt, but rather a bit like mullet roe. However, the smell was so overwhelming we were trying to figure out ways to dispose of it without stinking out our whoel room. Hubby disagrees with my perception of the taste, but the others who tried it with us, thought it was a dreadful thing, with no words to describe.  It was unfortunate that we had to throw it out after eating a bit - I wish we had bought smaller portions, throwing out such a delicacy.  But I couldn't stomach it, and that's rare for me.

Next day is our last day in Kyoto then onward to Osaka.

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