Quarantine Travels: Tokyo

One of my top travel destinations post-pandemic is Tokyo. My initial goal was to get there by my 30th birthday, but I will probably have to push back that goal. Of course, I am also very excited for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics this summer!

The Food

I love Japanese food, and I was excited to try making some Japanese foods that I’d never made before.

  • Katsu – This Jew sees Katsu as kind of similar to Schnitzel as meat that is breaded and fried. The NY Times cooking recipe was SO GOOD. The breading was crispy and a little tangy from the tomatoes and was definitely more flavorful than most fried chicken recipes I’ve made. The recipe also included instructions on how to make a side dish of pickles, and those were also delightful and provided a nice bright contrast to the heavier meat.
  • Tomagoyaki (Japanese Rolled Omelet) – While we didn’t quite get the rolled shape perfect, the omelet we made was delicious. The sake, sugar, and soy sauce gave the omelet a hint of sweetness, which I loved. I definitely want to make this again and continue practicing my rolling technique.
  • Omurice (Japanese Rice Omelet) – Antoni showed one of the heros on Queer Eye how to make this dish, and I immediately wanted to try it. The gooey and runny omelet on top of the fried rice was perfect. My ketchup decorating work could use a little refining though…
  • Other dishes we ate (but didn’t make from scratch): sushi, gyoza, tempura, mochi

The Entertainment

When I go to Tokyo, I am obviously going to spend time at Tokyo Disney Resort. We spent many hours watching videos on Youtube from Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea and dreaming about our future trip there.

We also watched Lost in Translation, a movie I’ve been meaning to watch for a long time. It stars Bill Murray as a past his prime actor and Scarlett Johansson as a newly married recent college graduate. The two of them end up spending time together in Tokyo away from their respective spouses. The movie reminded me a lot of Once. It is much more of a slice of life film than a plot driven one.

I also finally finished watching Queer Eye: We’re in Japan, which was a good mood booster. It is always lovely to watch the Fab 5 help people rediscover self-confidence and self-love. One moment of the season that felt especially topical right now was the Fab 5 explaining the Japanese cultural practice of wearing face masks to prevent illness.

I also revisited the “Japanese Week” episode from this last series of The Great British Baking Show. They made steamed buns, matcha crêpe cake, and kawaii (Japanese culture of cuteness) showstoppers. I wish the episode had focused more on traditional Japanese cooking and baking techniques, and I hope that they do that if they revisit the theme.

I look forward to the day when we can go to Tokyo and eat our way through the city and through the Tokyo Disney Resort!

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