Sunday 11 October: Dinner at Hitomi's. Grilled shishamo (smelt) from Hokkaido.

Deep fried yam wrapped in nori, shishito peppers with baby sardines.

Deep fried aubergines.

Squid and scallops marinated in white saikyo miso and grilled.

Chilled sake for the girls.
Tuesday 13 October: Dinner at Kisen. Ayu, local freshwater fish, with spawn, and various mushrooms.

Pan-grilled sweet potatoes.

Kousa vs. river crab.
Wednesday 14 October: Dinner at our favourite restaurant Nomura. Assorted sashimi to start.

Ginko nuts.

Lily root cake in soup. Is it just me who sees a face on the lid of this bowl?

Fried potato with butter.

A big oyster grilled in its shell.

Hitomi's mini seafood donburi - with 3 kinds of sashimi.

Hazuki's rice with seaweed, sesame and wasabi.

I go for more scallop sashimi instead of carbs :-)

Afterwards we walk to the cafe bar Mirai around the corner for coffee...

The bartender brings pickled carrots and cucumbers for Usakousa, on the house.

My glass of local sake, a plate of dried nibbles: squid, fish and seaweed.

Saturday 17 October: Dinner with Mami at Shimanouchi Ichiyo in Osaka. Amaebi (sweet prawns) with uni. Shiitake-shaped chopstick rest.

Sashimi (can't remember what fish, but most likely seabream) marinated in kombu. The greens are baby okras, and the flower made of carrot.

Deep fried sanma (mackerel pike) and aubergine with daikon.

Grilled "black" edamame - they're dark inside and yummy.

Above: Tender cooked octopus.
Right: Plenty of baby veg for Usakousa.
Sunday 18 October: Grilled mackerel maki for lunch - with veinegared daikon, shiso leaves, cucumber and grated carrots.
Monday 19 October: A short train journey to Kyoto in the afternoon, and dinner at Fukushima in Gion district.

We order a bottle of champagne, to celebrate our friend Peko's birthday. Usakousa's friend Kots is also with us.

Amago (river trout), ginko nuts, yam, conger eel with cucumber, and other bits and pieces.
Ayu with spawn - much smaller and more delicate than the one we had in Gifu (see 13 October). A pregnant teenager, I guess?

Buri (Amberjack)?? marinated in sweet saikyo miso, with chives.

Aji (horse mackerel)?? with vinegar sauce. Yum! (As everything else is.)

Seared katsuo (bonito) with ponzu sauce and daikon on top.

A small bowl of ikura (salmon roe) with sushi rice underneath, and tiny flecks of green yuzu peel.
We then move on to Café Indépendants for a couple of glasses of white wine, and an oven-baked onion with anchovy sauce to share. (Apologies for the blurry photo, it was very dark in the cafe.)
Friday 23 October: Back in Gifu, I go shopping at the Hokkaido Food Fair for dinner with our friend Atsuko and her family. The main dishes are Kamtschatka crabs and grilled squid - with daikon cooked in broth...

...and other veg dishes and mini bottles of sake.

Peeled kaki (persimmon) hanging to dry outside the window.
Saturday 24 October: Hitomi treats us and several friends to lunch at Mino Tetsumei.

Right: A slice of deep-fried ayu with spawn - big Gifu size again - with yam, sweetcorn slice covered in quinoa?, assorted fruit & veg, and watercress in lemon dressing. All very yummy.

For the wagyu beef course everyone had, I got a fish dish - kinmedai (splendid alfonsino) I believe - with turnip and sauce made of turnip greens.

Rice cooked with crabmeat and ginko nuts. (Most of us were pretty full by then and asked for small portions.)
Sunday 25 October: Dinner at Trafuku overlooking Nagoya Station.

Usakousa looking at the sunset, as a Shinkansen train pulls into the station.

Shimaaji (striped jack) sashimi - delicious!

Seared bonito with sliced onions and cress. Also yummy.

Monday 26 October: Our last dinner in Japan, at Ginbei. Scallops and seabream sashimi.

Octopus in olive oil with garlic and chilli. Nice and garlicky!

Sautéed scallops and asparagus.

Warm salad of 3 kinds of mushrooms (shiitake, eringi and enoki, with nori strips on top.)

Tuesday 27 October: Sushi breakfast at the airport before flying back to Berlin.

Sunset after take-off from Helsinki.
By the way, at Helsinki Vantaa Airport, next to Gate 21, they have several bunches of mains sockets dangling from the ceiling, where passengers can recharge their units. A very practical idea :-)