Sunday 19 October 2014

Japan: An introduction to Tokyo's cuisine

As the 767 taxied away from the terminal at Changi, a group of Japan Airlines' staff stood on the tarmac to wave us goodbye while holding a large banner wishing us a safe journey. The service on board the aircraft was similarly attentive with perhaps the best aircrew ever encountered on an economy flight.

Agnes Hotel & Apartments - Kagurazaka district, TokyoWith only a one-hour time difference to Singapore, the seven-hour flight seemed to whiz by. The journey from Narita Airport to the hotel however, took about half the time of the flight. We had just missed the 5pm bus; the next bus departed with a bow of the staff at 6pm to arrive at the Hotel Grand Palace at 7.30pm. The final leg of the journey required the services of a taxi to the Agnes Hotel, tucked into the side roads of the Kagurazaka district in Tokyo.

Despite the pleasant flight, the entire journey took over 13 hours, so a quick meal in the hotel would have sufficed. After much watch checking, the staff stated that it was too late to dine. The duty manager, however, walked us round the district where he recommended a typically inconspicuous cheap Japanese restaurant. As we were the only customers, the staff prepared sashimi, pork teriyaki and zosui with hinai jidori, a type of rice soup with Japanese free-range chicken, all from scratch. It was quite delightful.

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