When Josh got to the station we found a little restaurant and I ordered my new favorite drink--the grapefruit sour.
You combine it yourself, so you KNOW it's fresh! It's made out of shochu (a kind of Japanese alcohol that is made out of potatoes--kind of like a watery vodka), club soda, and a grapefruit that you squeeze yourself. Sometimes when you order a big one, they give you TWO grapefruits. Of course, it's healthy because of the fruit and the workout you get making it :)
The next day we got noodles. Menus can be really hard for me because of all the kanji, so Josh took to just going out to the front (if they had models, which seems to be about a quarter of the time, max) and pointing. He was shocked to find that these noodles were cold. Still pretty tasty though!
Josh drank the only Mountain Dew that I've seen in Japan--said it tasted exactly like it does in the US. I wanted to know what "chiffon" was. I should have read the label closer--milk tea. What is milk tea? Milk mixed with tea. Not tasty. Not tasty at all.
Josh snapped a picture of this sign--I love it! You need to watch for happy ninjas who want to steal your baggage. Look how happy he is!
This sign is great too. "I threw my cigarette butt into the drain. That is to say, I hid it in the drain". I don't totally get it--are you going back for it later? And why is the guy bigger than his car? And that rat is enormous!
In Himaji, where we went to the castle, we saw a little lizard. He had a BRIGHT blue tail. I didn't know they had lizards in Japan, so Josh and I were very excited. He was less excited about seeing us, however, and kept running away.
We also went to the zoo in Himeji. People kept telling us that the zoos here weren't like the zoos at home but I wasn't really paying attention--I didn't know what they meant. They meant that the zoos in Japan are depressing and where the US was in zoos about a hundred years ago. Tiny cages that people can walk right up to, animals that are completely stressed out and pacing, birds that have no feathers because they've plucked them all out. Horrifying. I'm not going to post the picture of the chimp because it was one of the saddest things I've ever seen.
Here's an example--this hippo doesn't have NEAR enough room.
Shockingly, they had baby animals. These cranes had eggs...
I did like this sign though--don't feed things to the monkey, it makes him sick.
The only pluses of this zoo?
They had a big barrel of guinea pigs and I (and with me, about ten Japanese teenage girls) got to pet!
And a HUGE pikachu! So cute!
Ha! Here's a picture of Josh in Ginza, standing next to a sign with his hometown on it. I feel I'm less likely to find "Des Moines" on a sign here, but I'm hoping!
We got really hot when we were wandering around Kyoto so we stopped for something to eat. I got a BLT and Josh got a sundae. The sundae had green tea ice cream (so far so good), and a cute little cracker that looks like bunny ears, a pocky, some other candy, and so on. But...what's that in the bottom of the cup? Corn flakes?? And what's dripping down the side of the sundae...oh no....the ubiquitous red beans. Red beans have NO place being on a sundae. Adding sugar does not make beans dessert! Josh ate the whole thing though.
Ah, mochi, mochi, mochi. I LOVE mochi in the US, where they are a kind of rice dough filled with ice cream. Little did I know that the word "mochi" only refers to the rice dough. Josh and I were PUMPED in Osaka because we thought we stumbled on a mochi ice cream spot. Nooo...it was mochicream--they are filled with a sort of (sadly untasty) cream :( Still on the hunt for the ice cream mochi!
Blue Hawaii Pepsi. I saw a blog about this--apparently they are being sold on ebay for $8 a bottle! It's a limited edition Pepsi that is only available in Japan. So Josh and I tried it. Blech--horrible! It managed to taste nothing like Pepsi and like a disgusting fruit punch with cheap alcohol in it--even though it's non-alcoholic. Don't waste your money on this, unless you are a huge Elvis fan and want it for your collection .
Ah, Beer Pretz, my nemisis. I love these so much that I have been known to eat four boxes in a single day. They are like pretzels without the salt and these are spicy chicken flavored. They aren't spicy and they don't taste like chicken--but they sure are terrific. I only saw one box at the store today, so I'm really nervous that they are a special edition and their time is over...I hope that's not the case!
Josh and I went out in Tskuji for sushi. Tskuji is the most famous area in Japan for sushi because of it's giant fish market--the largest in the world. This place had huge fish tanks of fish that they would fish out and butcher--super super fresh. I was a little nervous because I think sushi restaurants can be really intimidating (even in the US) but this one seemed fairly easy going.
This sushi was fairly good but the mayo type spread on the bottom--truly bizarre.
Half of these were fatty tuna, the other half spicy. The spicy were delicious but they weren't kidding--super spicy! Yum!
More tasty sushi. On the top left, sea urchin, which looks utterly disgusting, but Josh says wasn't too bad.
I told Josh that people would be impressed by him if he ate horse too--so he did. I present to you: horse sushi, lightly toasted:
Josh's beloved...ramen. I swear that is an entire pigs worth of pork around the outside.
There were a lot of food-related things that I was waiting to try until Josh got here and could try them too. Some of them were just things I wasn't excited at all about eating and wanted Josh here to enjoy (suffer) through too.
Food from old blogs that I have now eaten, but not blogged about, yet:
All of the kit-kats!
So Josh and I had a little tasting buffet of all of the KitKats I've collected:
Little ball KitKats--
Mango--not very good, but they did taste like mango on the outside. But cloyingly sweet.
Banana--like all other fake banana treats. They tasted a LOT like Laffy Taffy but crunchy.
Cherry--the most disgusting flavor you could ever imagine in a KitKat. It's like you took you took a ball of KitKat and soaked it in cough syrup for a while. They even SMELL like cough syrup.
Strawberry--not too bad although I wouldn't go out of my way for it. They taste like really cheap chocolate covered strawberries
Full size KitKats
Azuki (red bean)--not as disgusting as it could be. The thing that made it gross was the white chocolate, we couldn't even taste the red beans (a blessing, I'm sure)
Strawberry and blueberry--the fake strawberry totally overwhelmed the blueberry, which I didn't even taste. And the "strawberry" tasted EXACTLY like Nesquick. I wasn't a huge fan of that flavor when I was five, and I'm not now, either.
- Roast Turkey Pringles --These Pringles taste totally differant from the ones in the US--they DO have a roast turkey taste, believe it or not, but they aren't salty or crunchy enough.
- Strawberry Cheetos--Not as bad as I expected! They don't have any cheese flavor on them and the strawberry is pretty satisfying --and so is the crunch. Actually, they are fairly addictive--too bad they aren't on the shelves anymore!
- Ritz crackers, cheese, and salami--Horrible. I LOVE Ritz crackers but these were bland--they needed more salt. The salami and cheese were really weird too--and not in a good way.
- Chestnuts--Horrifying. I don't know if these WERE chestnuts or not but whatever they were--icky.
Food from old blogs that I haven't eaten yet:
- Green tea in giant carton--totally forgot about it again
- Caramel Corn stuff
- Mysterious product with child
- All Apple thingies
- Cake soda
- Coconut pudding
- Panda heads on pikes
- Apple jelly
- Blueberry pocky
- Cesear Salad Pringles