Japanese Breakfast

breakfast

I’m usually not very hungry in the mornings, and a hot cup of java is all I need. So you can say that my morning meal at the Hakone inn was an atypical one for me. Look at this spread! All this for breakfast!

In my mind, a typical Japanese breakfast is just a simple rice and miso soup pairing with maybe a small helping of pickled cucumber. Not so at the full service inn, where they pulled out all the stops. Before the food, there was green tea with pickled plum to cleanse the palate. Next came fresh tofu, heated up and solidified right at the table on a single-serve burner. The food kept coming: grilled fish, several different kinds of pickled veggies, raw shirasu fish with shiso leaf and grated ginger, slices of kamaboko fish cake with pickled wasabi, sauteed burdock, Japanese style rolled omelet with ground daikon radish. And of course, rice and miso soup (with fresh clams!). So many lovely dishes, it was almost too pretty to eat. o(^__^)o

The highlight for me was definitely the fresh tofu, which actually reminded me of a similar dish I had at Morimoto in Philadelphia. Fresh tofu is just no comparison to the blocks of tofu you’ll find in your grocer’s fridge. There’s a subtle soy flavor that you can really taste and appreciate in freshly made tofu. Love it.

more »

Onboard the Hakone Romance Car

coffee and ice cream

About a 1~2 hour train ride outside of Tokyo, there’s a famous area of hot springs called Hakone. The private Odakyu line for Hakone departs from Shinjuku station, which was pretty convenient for me, since my hotel was in Shinjuku. It’s feasible to do a day trip, but I stayed overnight at a Japanese style ryokan to partake in the full experience. The room I stayed in had a private indoor bath, which is definitely the way to go for utmost pampering!

Speaking of pampering… There are two ways to get to Hakone from Tokyo via train – the commuter line or the “Romance Car.” You can take the commuter line using the Hakone Free Pass, but for the Romance Car, you’ll need to pay an additional ~700 yen each way. Do it. Trust me, the comfort is worth the extra money, and you’ll get there faster because it doesn’t stop at every station.

Plus you get decent in-transit food service for a reasonable price! I got a coffee and a strawberry “daifuku” (mochi) ice cream. So delicious! It had chunks of soft, chewy mochi that went very well indeed with the strawberry ice cream. Pic under the cut.

more »

 
  • tags

  • categories

  • recent

  • archives