Friday, June 14, 2013

A Fulfilling Day

 

 Today, I took a trip to Shinagawa to get my foreigner card finally updated to the new resident card. It's been almost a year already since the new system was set in place, but since the immigration office is only open during work hours and closes early at 4 PM, I never had time to actually make the trip (for a year!). There is the train ride to Shinagawa station, and then a bus ride from the station to the immigration office. It felt strange and yet familiar, seeing these sights again.

 

 The path in Shinagawa station leading toward the exit which has the immigration bureau bus stop. I always found these lined-up screens a bit fascinating.

 

Shinagawa.

 

Finally I was able to get my new card! Now we don't have to pay extra fees just to re-enter the country after taking a trip out of Japan, which is always good. I have long been feeling a bit confused about the new card and how to actually get it, but the process was much easier than I thought. You just need to bring along your old card, your passport, and a photo that will go on the new card (you can take one at a photo-taking booth which appears at almost any station). I'm so glad I finally got this over with.

 

In the evening, I was treated to a special dinner. It was one of the most delicious meals I've had so far! Not only was the taste exquisite, each dish was arranged almost like a piece of art. I felt even the temperature of each piece was carefully timed and controlled. Traditional Japanese food like this is definitely one of my very favorite things about Japan. The subtle flavors, nuances, and textures... simply amazing. 

Look at this little crab! Apparently these tiny things live in clear water and scramble away if you lift up large rocks.

 

 This fish is called ayu, and apparently it is caught by hooking another live ayu to a line and throwing it in the water. Wow, they attack each other ): This one was grilled and seasoned with a special kind of salt. The meat is incredibly soft and savory.

 

Unagi! I think it might be my first time having it in Japan. Furthermore, I've never eaten unagi with wasabi before. I usually avoid wasabi at all costs. But this restaurant always serves the most amazing wasabi, so I actually enjoy it! The sharp flavor of the wasabi brought out the sweet, melting texture and taste of the unagi amazingly well. Such a rare and wonderful treat.

 

 Ume-flavored somen! I absolutely love somen, and this was my first time to try ume somen. The texture of the thin noodles was perfect, chewy and not too soft. The small bowl was topped with shiso. Sooo good.

 

A calm and beautiful night in Tokyo.