We have about 3 weeks, and virtually no plan. Ideal conditions for a vacation! The bulk of our time will be spent in Bali, but he have a few other stops along the way. Bali is just about as far as you can get from our home in Denver, about 20 hours flying time, not including layovers. So we have decided to break up the flights a bit and enjoy some time in Tokyo before making our final jaunt to Indonesia. getting to Tokyo take s a mere 12-14 hours, depending on where you start. Luckily for us, we caught the nonstop from DEN right into Narita.
Tokyo is a wonderful place to spend time, no matter how much of it you have. There is so much to do in this city, and lots of great things to eat!
After arriving in Narita, we started the journey into Tokyo. We booked our room at Hotel Emion Tokyo Bay and took the train to the nearest rail station to the hotel. The public transportation system here is expansive, and covers virtually all parts of the city. It can be a little difficult to navigate at times, we really had to keep our heads up and pay attention to the stops we needed to get off at. The train from the airport took us to a connecting station where we caught a subway to the station near our hotel. Since Narita Airport is so far from the city, it took about 75 minutes to get to where we were going.
Once we arrived at the hotel we were happy to unload our bags and freshen up from the long flight. Then it was time to grab some food. We went to a Japanese restaurant a couple of blocks from the hotel and settled in for a great meal. Finding an english menu at a restaurant is not a guarantee in Japan, and i never exclude a restaurant if they don’t have one, but it does make ordering a bit easier. This restaurant did have one, which is nice.
We ordered up some fried shrimp in mayonnaise, a seafood bowl, which included lots of different raw fish on top of rice with a nice sauce, and a cauldron of Chanko Nabe. Chanko Nabe is a hearty stew that sumo wrestlers eat to gain weight. I have always wanted to try this stew and I couldn’t pass it up, it was the star of the meal!
After ordering the stew our waitress brought over a basket of whole fish for me to choose. (I didn’t know I would be doing that) I pointed at the best looking fish, and shortly after, she brought over the cauldron of stew ingredients with a portable gas burner and fired it up on the table. I had no idea that the stew would be cooked table-side. (I learned a lot at this dinner)
The giant pot of stew seemed to have everything but the kitchen sink in it. Cabbage, leeks, green onions, bean sprouts, tofu, sliced pork, meatballs, clams, and of course, my chosen fish, still whole and riding on the top of the pot.
As the stew bubbled away, we enjoyed our other dishes as all of the ingredients cooked down. After awhile the stew cooked down and the ingredients softened. It was time to eat! I spooned piles of fish, meat, an veggies into my bowl and slurped up the goodness. The flavor of the stew was amazing. All of the fresh ingredients blended with the meats and broth to provide a hearty meal full of fat and protein. No wonder the sumo wrestlers use this as a training staple!
We ate so much that I practically had to be rolled out of the restaurant. Thankfully our hotel is right next door. Once we got back to the hotel we jumped right into bed. It was a long day of travel and a great meal to cap it off. Tomorrow we will be heading into the city to see some sites and eat some more great food! I can’t wait to see what’s next!