Today, Akemi’s and I visited J-Town, aka Japan-Town, aka the land of soy milk and honey-matcha mochi.
It’s located about 90 minutes from our place by public transportation, but I accompanied Akemi because that’s what husband’s do – especially after being guilted for not being more enthusiastic about a rare couples excursion.
So, we walked from our place to the bus stop. From the bus stop to the subway. To the subway to the other bus stop. And from the bus stop to J-Town mall which, to be frank, is less a mall and more a tiny strip mall of a half dozen tiny shops selling Japanese goods. BUT Akemi was thrilled nonetheless.
We started with a preliminary walk-thru, a scouting session of sorts to give us a a lay of the land – and potential purchases – prior to really getting down to it.
But before commencing our official shopping, we decided to grab lunch first. Being J-Town, you would imagine they’d have a plethora of fine Japanese eateries to choose from – but that assumption would be incorrect. The two big izakayas are only open for dinner. And a couple of the other sit-down spots seemed to be still nursing their pandemic hangovers and remained closed. So we opted for a couple of onigirazu, open-faced seaweed-wrapped rice balls stuffed with beef and chicken and ate outside where we could enjoy the just-above-freezing winter chill.
Then, it was off to Yuzu no Ki Cafe, perhaps the only place open for sit-down service, where we enjoyed a cream chouquette and matcha opera cake, both delicious.
Fortified by beef and cream, we then put Operation Kaimono (shopping)!
(P.S. I know be regret not buy-in that couch with the reclining cat}
Akemi grabbed the basic necessities – rice, soy, tofu, miso, yuzu kosho, shisho, sakura ebi, more rice, and snacks in addition to the elusive mirin she’s been on the look-out for since…forever. I, meanwhile, focused on the proteins: four different types of burger, two types of tongue, one cheek, and some monkfish liver.
Rather than hazard the 90 minute trek back using public transportation, we elected to grab an uber which was, admittedly more expensive but undoubtedly easier on the arms given the two 15 lb rice bags Akemi had me carrying.