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Amparo Bertram

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08:02 pm: Exploration
Today I went for a ride past Rittou to the next city down the line, Kusatsu. It has a fairly large shopping area near the station. I wandered around for a while, stopping in every bookstore I found...I had a whole sack full of books by the time I was ready to go home.

I had lunch at a restaurant that specializes in tofu and yuba dishes. (Yuba is the skim from boiled soymilk.) It's located on the 24th floor of a hotel, so depending on where you sit you can get a panoramic view of the city. You also have to take your shoes off when you enter, because the main floor of the restaurant is covered with tatami. It was a very luxurious setting.

After lunch I went to explore the opposite side of the station, where there were more stores. I encountered the most ghetto department store I think I've ever seen in Japan. Most department stores have supermarkets in the basement, but when I went to see the supermarket in this one, I really felt like I was in a dark alley. It was almost surreal.

On the way back, I took some snapshots of manhole covers. Every city has its own design for its manhole covers. On the left is Moriyama's, with a glowing firefly. The one on the right is from Rittou.

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[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:September 4th, 2004 06:22 am (UTC)
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Never mind the atmosphere, how was the food at that place? It sounds like a restaurant I went to when I first came to Chiba...only I was too jet-lagged to properly appreciate it. And I have no idea where it is.

There's a ghetto department store by the Nishichiba station, too. I only ever went there once, but was just like K-Mart. Unless my memory is playing tricks on me, they actually had Martha Stewart brand linen, even.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:September 4th, 2004 02:17 pm (UTC)
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The food was good, for the most part. They did trick me once, with a white blob wrapped in deep-fried yuba that was the same consistency as tofu, but it turned out to be fish.

I had the small set lunch, which was just about right for as much as I could eat. It had okara, "sashimi" yuba, tofu boiled in soymilk, some kind of dumpling, those roasted things with miso-paste on top, chawan mushi, and yuba miso soup with rice. They did have other things on the a la carte menu, like vegetable tempura.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:September 5th, 2004 05:16 pm (UTC)
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They did trick me once, with a white blob wrapped in deep-fried yuba that was the same consistency as tofu, but it turned out to be fish.
I really hate when they're sneaky with food. Other than that, it sounds good. Now we just have to find a good 精進料理 place in Kyoto.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:September 6th, 2004 01:17 am (UTC)
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I'm working on it. I have a couple magazines that recommend places... One of the most often mentioned is Okutan, though there are a couple others. Most of them cost about ¥3000-4000, which is a bit on the steep side, but the food looks great. (And knowing that it's all edible is a real bonus.)
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:September 6th, 2004 05:49 pm (UTC)
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Oooh, it's pretty, too. I don't mind it being expensive, really. It's not like I'm going to eat it every day or anything, I just want to try it and see what it's like. I mean, it really seems like a waste to not ever try the only Japanese food that I can eat without fear.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 4th, 2004 01:30 pm (UTC)

Congratulations!

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I enjoyed reading your chronicle. Today's trip to the bookstore is so typical of you. I am so happy for you because I know this is so important to you. Congratulations and thanks for sharing such interesting details. I will continue to read your chronicle now that I have access, thanks to your mother.

Sister Mary
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