Tuesday, November 13, 2007

11/6/07: Day 5 in Japan Part II - Hiroshima Photo Essay

With Mr. Sakurai’s off to Paris for business, he had to spend the night in Hiroshima. We decided to get there around 1 pm, and do the tour of Miyajima before checking out the scene in Hiroshima at night.

Miyajima is known for their giant Torii (鳥居), palace, and free range deer. The tide was low, allowing for walking access right to the famed Torii, but it made it less picturesque. Here are some pictures from Miyajima (click the pics to enlarge):

Deers roam free

Shochu store in Miyajima

Walking to the giant Torii

The Palace (the front is all water during high tide)

View from inside the palace

Old bridge in Miyajima

One of my favorite views in Miyajima: really old building

Miyajima is known for their osyters and sea eel. We had their Sea Eel Bowl (穴子飯). This was better than what the name may indicate; in fact, this was fantastic!

After taking a train to Hiroshima, checking into our respective hotels, and resting up for about 1 hour, we were off for light dinner and evening around town. The dinner was Hiroshima-style Okonomi-Yaki at Macchan. If Osaka- style is like a pancake, Hiroshima-style is like crepe. I liked this style very much, and it may rival my favorite Osaka-style Modan-Yaki as the best I've ever had.

We were then off to a no-nonsense izakaya called Danjiri with great saké selections. Here, I had the elusive Azumaichi Junmai Daiginjo from Kyushu, indigenous Ugo No Tsuki "Yamadanishiki" Junmai Nama Ginjo, and Japan-only Dassai 39 Junmai Daiginjo. Azumaichi is tough to find in NY, and while it is what I consider more modern and "Western" in approach, it is worthwhile to try. Ugo No Tsuki showed great expression of the Yamadanishiki rice, with fruity/sweet palate leading to long umami-laden finish with balanced firmness. Dassai 39 made me seriously consider it as my favorite of Dassai lineup, having fruity quality of the 39 and good structure of the 50.

Of course, no evening out in Japan (at least for me, it appears) is complete without excessive intake of carbohydrates. Sakurai-san took me to try Hiroshima Tsuke-men (浸け麺), a style of chilled ramen served by dipping in a sesame and hot pepper based dipping sauce. For those familiar with Japanese noodles, this was very much like Hiyashi Chuka (冷やし中華) without the trimmings.

Hiroshima at night

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