cherryfume 2014


Toshiharu, our ryokan in Kyoto, is a cosy and beautiful home built in the Meiji era. The family that run the ryokan were the nicest hosts we could ask for, always taking care of our every needs and there to greet us with a smile whenever we made our way back after a long day out. We were checked in with a cup of hot matcha and warm sakuramochi (sweet pink rice cake wrapped in sakura leaf). Had the best time lounging around on our futons wearing cute sleeping robes after soaking in the hot Japanese cedarwood bath. I want to go back. T_T


Tokyo food diary!

  • Shellfish jackpot (lobster, clam, scallop, mussels, sea urchin) + tuna and salmon chirashi @ Tsukiji fish market
  • Pierre Herme macarons (satine, envie, rose, caramel), coeur de mandarines from Yoroizuka Farm, Valencia cake (candied kumquat, citrus mousse, milk chocolate, caramel-hazelnut praline) + macarons from Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki @ Hikarie’s dessert floor in Shibuya
  • Tonkatsu ramen with pork, kikurage mushrooms, and the infamous half-boiled egg @ Ichiran in Shinjuku
  • Shrimp tempura and kisu fish tendon @ Tempura Daikokuya in Asakusa
  • Earl grey, genmaicha, and black sesame maracons (nice flavor, though no Pierre Herme) from Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki
  • Pork and kimchi monjayaki + cod roe okonomiyaki @ Kura in Tsukishima, where I finally met Erin after 10! years!

Predictably ate a lot of fresh seafood, though what I might miss the most from Tokyo is the sushi rice (and I typically never crave rice!). Will also miss Japan’s dedication to quality bakeries; what do you mean I can’t get a matcha éclair in Chicago? :(


Final Kyoto food roundup! (Thought I’d never get to type those words…)

  • Shaved ice with shiratama + matcha parfait @ Gion Tsujiri
  • Grilled chicken skewer + anko/matcha taiyaki outside Fushimi Inari
  • Matcha soft-serve cone @ Arashiyama
  • Couldn’t leave Japan without hitting up a McDonald’s; their fried chicken sandwiches come with avocado!
  • Sanuki udon with fish flakes & konnyaku (yam cake) @ KIX Int'l airport

See a common flavor theme? Totally going through matcha withdrawal now. :( We spent only one more day in Kyoto than Tokyo, but why does it feel like I had so many more food posts. (@︿@) Quick summary list of Kyoto eats: 10-course kaiseki | ryokan breakfast | yakiniku dinner | Nishiki market | specialty tofu lunch | wagashi desserts. Whew!


There’s something about Tokyo. A constant crush of people and endless concrete stretching far out to the horizon. A part of me will always fall in love with that frantic oppressive overwhelming tidal wave of the city crowd and neon lights, pristine minimalism and bone-deep exhaustion warring against each other every step of the way.


Wagashi dessert-making class @ Kanshundo in Arashiyama! The chef only spoke in Japanese, but he was incredibly hands-on in his demonstration, so everyone still managed to follow along. The other “students” were a pair of girls visiting from Taipei, so we were able to converse in Mandarin among ourselves. Funny language coincidences, yeah? (Bonus apron selca~)

We made 3 desserts: higashi kizato (raw sugar mixed with sticky rice flour) cutouts, jou-namagashi kinton (strained anko shreds), uiro (kudzu starch mixed with rice cake powder) in the shape of a leaf, and neri-kiri (steamed anko with mochiko filler) in the shape of a peach. Would highly recommend the experience; the shop has multiple locations around Kyoto!


ORD —> LAX —> NRT. People always express disbelief at 30 hours of total travel time for a week-long trip, but long haul flights aren’t too bad if you plan them right. Got lucky this time and was seated in an exit row with nobody next to me so I had plenty of room to stretch out. Kind of surprised that no one (not even my parents!) asked about who’s traveling with me in Japan, but I’ll chalk that up as another lucky break because I’m not sure how I’d explain @teafume anyway (´・﹏・`)