Thursday, September 22, 2011

Japan is Delicious

They're next door neighbors.
Over Korean Thanksgiving we hopped on a ferry from Busan to Fukuoka, Japan.  We were only there for two and a half days and stayed in the city, so I only experienced a tiny corner of Japan.  From what I can tell in that short trip is that Japan has some of the best food anybody will ever eat!  There isn't anything really special to do in Fukuoka except eat and drink, and we over indulged in both areas.  Actually, besides a large sitting Buddha and a couple hours at the beach, I can only remember eating and drinking.

You think you've eaten ramen.  Back in those days when you were a poor alcoholic in college most of your meals consisted of a 27 cent package of ramen and a can of Natural Light.  Then you graduate from school, earn some money, and never look back at those boxes of ramen that could feed you for a week.  Well it turns out Fukuoka is the ramen capital of the entire freaking world and their ramen costs about nine dollars for a whole meal of it.  If you know how to use a calculator that's over a 3,000% increase in price!  Also, that's about how much better it is.  Don't ask me how they do it, but best ramen I've ever had in life: check.
Caroline slurps her ramen.
Next thing we ate was sushi.  I know you've probably already thought about how the best sushi is in Japan because it originates from there and all that.  So it's not a crazy concept that Japan has the best sushi in the world, but it's hard to imagine just how ridiculously good it is.  It was like the first time I heard the sweet sounds of Led Zeppelin, I couldn't believe something could be that good!  I will never forget the first sushi I ate in Japan.  It was simply a piece of salmon, some wasabi, and a ball of rice that I picked off a conveyer belt.  Sushi will never be the same to me.  From now on I'm that annoying guy that states how the sushi is not as good as the sushi I ate in Japan that one time.  Best sushi ever: check.
There's heaven on that plate.

The last thing we had to try in Fukuoka was to eat at a yatai, or a mobile food stall.  As the sun goes down these food stalls start setting up near the river and in downtown.  It features a cook surrounded by about a dozen stools and a bar that wraps around the grill.  It's kind of like one of those restaurants in America where they cook the food in front of you but it's outside and much smaller.  When we found out the cook did tempura we had him deep fry everything he had.  We actually ate all of his mushrooms.  It was addicting!  It was like someone spiked the oil with crack.  Then the cook put a pot of saki on the grill and served it to us hot.  Let me highly recommend that.  The best food stall I have ever eaten at: check.

The Master

Happy Customers

Good stuff right there.

Japan was a great visit but its only downfall is that it's damn expensive.  You could easily blow hundreds of dollars in a weekend without doing anything very extravagant.  I will be back so I can at least taste that sushi one more time, but it's best to visit Japan in small doses.  Unless you look in your bathroom and your toilet is made of gold, just visit Japan for a few days at a time.  However, arguably the best food I've eaten in Asia: check.

More pictures from Fukuoka to feast your eyes on: