It’s a Monday afternoon in the Tsujkiji branch of the Tokyo Sushi Academy and we’re about to be put to the test. Or I am anyway. Most of the other students enrolled in the Japanese Culinary Intensive course are professionals. They are local or from abroad, just brushing up on skills or adding to their repertoire. My bench mate works charter yachts out of Australia. Our sensei,the chef Hiro Tsumoto, noticed a tattoo on his forearm with Japanese characters and called out: “Hey, that’s my aunt’s name!”
I’m among the civilians whom the academy also welcomes into the course. I’m here for the challenge, certainly. But in this moment, I’m feeling distinctly in over my head.
Mr. Hiro, who is also one of the academy’s founders, has been walking us through the basics of kaiseki, a word used for both the traditional multicourse Japanese meal as well as the skills and techniques required to make it This involves talking about a bewildering range of things, including knife cuts for notching the top of a shiitake mushroom, how to knot a sprig of the herb mitsuba for garnish, as well as the precise temperature to best extract flavor for dashi broth made from kombu seaweed and katsuobushi, or dried bonito fish shavings. On the topic of kaiseki Mr. Hiro grows briefly philosophical, noting that it’s a lifetime practice and thus approaching the ineffable.
“Like the kappa. What actually the kappa?” he says, by way of a winking explanation. “OK, let’s cook!”
I’ll only learn later that the kappa is a mythic reptilian creature fond of cucumbers and sumo. At the moment, I have to dive into the fray of all these pros grabbing pots and grills and assembling ingredients for the fish stew we’re preparing.
My first order has arrived at the imaginary pass: an individual kaisekiserving of clear fish soup, osumashi, for one. My heart is racing. My hands are trembling. This has to be the most pressure I’ve ever experienced on what is supposed to be a holiday. But I am loving it.
There are more obvious ways to explore Tokyo’s food scene. Following the Michelin stars makes a certain amount of sense given that the Michelin Guide lists 198 restaurants with 261 total stars this year, more than any other city on earth. But you could also arrive here without any food plan at all.
Tokyo may seem initially chaotic to visitors, but discovery and luck are key parts of the city’s charms. If you find yourself trying to find a peaceful corner — as you likely will on occasion — you might come across a jewel. For instance, wandering away from the crowds at Tsukiji Outer Market, you might stumble down some worn linoleum stairs off Namiyoke-dori and find yourself in the Tohto Grill. It’s a diner. No Michelin star at the moment or likely. But there are
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I hate using public restrooms. I dislike the sounds, the smells, and the sensations. When I'm exiting the bathroom stall, I hate the awkward shuffle I have to do when I'm pulling the door towards me, while at the same time, trying to avoid touching the rim of the toilet with the back of my legs. But the worst part for me about using a public restroom is people overhearing me.
Located one hour away by bullet train from Tokyo, the prefecture of Shizuoka boasts an array of seasonal delicacies during the autumn and winter months. Below Tourism Shizuoka Japan highlights some hands-on foodie experiences that can be enjoyed over this period, including kiwi and mandarin picking and oyster farming. A boost of vitamin C
Forget underground vaults filled with cash — the next high-tech ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ caper in Las Vegas may be breaking into the dry-aging room below the new Peter Luger Steak House at Caesars Palace. “There’s well over one million dollars of prime steaks in that locker,” says Daniel Turtel, Vice President of Peter Luger Steak House. “Though it would be a lot harder to walk out of the casino carrying 35lb. short loins than stacks of chips.”
Its translucent teal waters, neatly terraced rice fields and ancient Shinto shrines make Iki Island an unforgettable place. But like so many resorts in Asia, it's easy to overlook this out-of-the-way destination — and a five-star hotel like the Iki Retreat by Onko Chishin.
There are the typical Black Friday travel deals and discounts and then there is a showstopping new offer from Air Tahiti Nui, the flagship carrier of French Polynesia. In honor of 25 years of service, Air Tahiti Nu has developed a new multi-flight pass, for $1,525, which includes round-trip tickets to four international destinations to be used over the course of a year.
While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are chock-full of tempting travel and flight discounts, Travel Deal Tuesday or Travel Tuesday, as it’s become known, has actually become one of the best days of the year to score a travel deal, according to the flight booking site and app Hopper.
Looking for an interesting gift idea for your favorite frequent traveler? Or sometimes, you just need that extra stocking stuffer for a friend or family member. Whether they work for an airline, travel for work or just like to explore the world, these are some of the most creative goodies you can gift this holiday season to those globetrotters in your life.
When it comes to bar innovation and cocktail creativity, the world looks to New York. This is a city whose venues feature prominently on the World’s 50 Best Bars list year after year. There’s a whole mix of styles and approaches here, from small-cover bars hidden down backstreets to boundary-pushing establishments so popular, people queue round the block to get in.
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