Friday 21 October: First supper upon arrival in Gifu, Japan. Seafood bento (crab legs, crabmeat, raw & cooked scallops, prawn, salmon, salmon roe, sea urchin, etc.) from the Hokkaido Fair, plus various veg side dishes.

Saturday 22 October: We're invited for dinner with Atsuko and her family. Kamtchatka and horsehair crabs and shishamo (Hokkaido capelin).

Clear broth with yam, konjac, leek, shimeji mushrooms and prawns.
Sunday 23 October: Our friend Nishio-san invites us for dinner at the organic Mitsubachi Shokudo (Honey Bee Diner). Right: Amberjack carpaccio, quinoa & lentil salad, green salad, mushroom salad, marinated squid.

John Dory with tomato and komatsuna sauce. Very deliate and fresh.

Red seabream with rich bouillabaisse sauce.
Wednesday 26 October: I've always wanted to give this place a try, so why not this evening? (They'd put up those plastic curtains because of the rain, but usually it's all open, with a coal grill outside and tables spilling onto the street.)

A big oyster, enoki mushrooms & daikon, red seabream sashimi, dry sake from Tochigi, grilled dried amaebi, and a bowl of cabbage - and this is only a half portion! - simply with sesame oil, baby sardines and salt. Yum!

A little later on. Additional orders of mekabu (slimy wakame root) and deep-fried fresh octopus. I'm good and manage to resist the temptation to order another glass :-)
Saturday 29 October: Lunch at the natural & organic buffet restaurant Soraku in Nagoya. Lots of veg (and some meat and fish) dishes with interesting flavour combinations.

Back in Gifu, dinner at our favourite restaurant, Nomura, where we're too busy to photograph most of the dishes. Oh well. Here's the sashimi.

Fish called Kinki. Cooked in sweet broth with shiitake and burdock. The fish tastes great, and we like the fish plate too.

Sunday 30 October: Family dinner at Tohtenkoh Chinese restaurant in Nagoya. My soy noodle salad.

Snapper fried with lots of chilli - but these are pretty harmless ones :-)
Tuesday 1 November: We're invited to attend a meeting of the human rights foundation set up by my father. After an hour's discussion, Italian-Japanese dinner is served. Right: carpaccio of... amberjack, I think.

A plate of grilled salmon decorated with maple leaves...

...and rabbits decorated with the same maple leaves.
Thursday 3 November: A 5-course lunch at Miyako Hotel. This is the middle course of various veg & seafood. Inside the bean curd pouch (top) are green tea soba noodles.
Saturday 5 November: Another dinner at Atsuko's house. These amaebi (sweet prawns) from Fukui are really sweet!

Slices of various fish cured with kombu are also delicious, so are the fishcakes made with different vegetables.

And there are grilled squid, scallops sashimi, and some sushi, too.
Wednesday 9 November: Dinner at Kisen. The chef had supplied abalones for dinner for the Crown Prince and Princess who were in town, and kept one for us :-) Very tender and delicious.

Big matsutake mushrooms. We had one grilled, the other deep-fried.

And even bigger grilled tuna head. Apparently took two hours in the oven.

Thursday 10 November: Another dinner at Nomura, where I'm too busy eating and only get to take a couple of photos. Plump oysters fried in butter.

Lightly seared, sashimi-quality squid - very tender and full of flavour, absolutely yummy!

Satruday 12 November: We're invited to Atsuko's house yet again. Ayu, the local speciality.

Various sashimi, baby shrimps, peanut tofu, soft yuba (tofu skin) and veg.

Sunday 13 November: We meet our friend Akiko from Tokyo, who's in Nagoya for a conference, and go to the izakaya En. Braised taro stems.

Kinmedai sashimi, tuna avocado, aubergine with baby shrimps, yuba. All lightly flavoured and yummy.

With each sake ordered, they give you a card with the logo and the origin of the product. We like this logo, for Amaneko (Flaxen Cat) from Akita.

Akiko spotted these chicks at the station cafe: bavarois with crème caramel centre (made with Nagoya Cochin chicken eggs) with sponge crumbs on the outside. Too cute to eat!
Monday 14 November: Last evening in Japan. We hit Marumoto, a new place near our hotel. Cucumber with fresh myoga (Japanese ginger) and grainy miso, sole sashimi and sake. Mmmm...
Usakousa looking at the big salad with yuba and seaweed.
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