Sushi and Cats: Fun Dining in Tokyo
I am so lucky to have such an amazing boyfriend who flew all the way here just to visit me for a week and a half. We did so many fun things while he was here, but I want to share with you two of our most memorable dining experiences. The most important thing you must know about Austin is that he loves cats. In Japan there are so many different types of cafés, its ridiculous (in a good way). A popular genre is the cat café. I had never been to one before, nor did I know where to find one, but since Austin loves kitties, I wanted to surprise him by taking him to one. We ended up going to きゃりこ (Calico), which is in Shinjuku. If you didn't know this before, Shinjuku station is the largest train station in the world. WOOOORLLLD. Every time I go there I walk out of the wrong exit to where I need to go. Currently I am getting the hang of it, but that day, we had to walk around the entire station to get to this place. Emily was grumpy. However, upon seeing Austin's excitement once he knew where we were going immediately made me happy. In fact, I think this was one of my favorite moments with him because he was beaming the entire time. They do in fact serve food and drinks, and the drinks were actually very tasty and cheap. Of course, there are dozens of cats to pet and feed as well. For one hour there it is 1000 ¥, and drinks are only 200¥. So if you are missing a pet from home, or need a way to de-stress, why not unwind with some adorable cats? We were given free drink coupons when we left, so I will be going back for sure. :)
Perhaps the biggest and most interesting thing we did while he was here (besides Disney Sea, because that was pretty big), was eat out at an authentic sushi restaurant. Okay, every sushi restaurant in Japan is technically authentic, but I'm talking about non conveyor belt and non order-what-you-want type of deal. The chef chooses what he wants to give you based on the fresh fish he has. It was terrifying and so much fun! The name of the restaurant we went to is called Sushiryori Inose. I found it on trip advisor, no joke. It is also in Shinagawa, my homeland. It was advised that we make a reservation, so we did and showed up at 6:30 like instructed (shout-out to Emiko who actually helped me get a reservation). We were the first people there, but as time went on it filled up. This place was small though, and there was only one chef, so I can see why the reservation was needed.
Sitting next to me was actually a guy from Philly, and he said that he goes to the restaurant every time he is in Japan. Dang. He was really nice and gave us some suggestions of places to go check out. I don't know how many pieces of sushi I had, but they were all delicious. From what I remember, I know I ate surf clam, toro, anago, salmon roe, and mackerel. At the end of the meal the chef sliced up cucumbers to look like butterflies sitting on bamboo. His wife, who everyone was calling mama or mama San, flitted from customer to customer, serving food, drinks, and making toasts. Never before have I been to such an intimate and lively restaurant. The customers seemed to all be regulars, and mama San and the chef were so adorable and silly. I would go back in a heartbeat if the price didn't take a toll on my checkbook...let's just say it was the most expensive meal I have ever had and had to pay for. Regardless of money though, the three hour (yes, three hours) long experience of eating, chatting, drinking and photo taking will always hold a fond memory for Austin and I. We agreed it was definitely one of the coolest things we did overall.