It’s been over 71 years since the Enola Gay dropped an atom bomb on Hiroshima. The nuclear debate is still ongoing, and while this is by no means a political blog, the detonations of Little Boy and Fat Man over Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively, effectively ended World War II. While on my trip to Japan last year, I was able to visit the beautiful city of Hiroshima and the Peace Memorial Park, a stark and somber reminder of the devastation that a nuclear weapon can cause.
Believe it or not, I actually had more noodles in Japan than sushi, sashimi…any kind of seafood combined. This includes the snacking at the Tsukiji Fish Market and Nishiki Fish Market in Tokyo and Kyoto respectively.
Springtime in Japan means one thing: cherry blossom season. Also known as sakura, the cherry blossoms begin to bloom near the end of March and the season lasts for about two weeks. Every marketplace, grocery store, Seven-Eleven, and boutique carries something that includes or celebrates sakura.
There is nothing like a good beer after a long day of traveling and exploring. After sight seeing in Kyoto, jumping on and off trains to see the shrines and temples, and finally the Nishiki Market, we came across the Craft Man Beer House next door to a restaurant serving kobe beef.
The Aoyama Tea House is truly a hidden gem in Tokyo, Japan. Nestled in the back of the small Aoyama Flower Market, the Tea House provides a lovely and calming ambience. Fresh floral arrangements decorate the tables and line the walls while friendly staff busily wait on the guests ensuring that their stay is memorable.
A visit to Tokyo is not complete until you’ve set foot at the Tusujiki Fish Market. Established in 1923 and open daily, with the exception of Sundays and holidays, the Fish Market is one of the largest of its kind, if not the largest in the country of Japan. Known for fresh seafood and produce and the intense, early morning tuna auction, the market is bustling with locals and foreigners trying to buy groceries and to grab a quick meal at one of the local vendors.
After no alcohol for five months, a friend of mine and I opted for a couple beers while staying near Bishkek for a night before flying back home. The strongest beer available was the Балтика (Baltika) 9, which is 8% alcohol in a fairly large bottle. And I had two of them.
The beer wasn’t that great but oh the buzz that followed.