Fantastic Feasts and Where to Find Them

DAYS 6 & 7

The title of this post should be used for the previous one, especially because of visiting Wizarding World, but I thought it would be a bit weird if I went back and edited it. Should I? Until then, I'll leave this title as it is. I was meant to upload this last Friday night/Saturday morning, but as luck would have it, I picked up a cold on the flight back. During the second half of the flight, I was already trying to stifle my coughs, hoping that it was just the dry environment that was making my throat itch. I stopped writing this post when the Japanese woman sitting next to me engaged Sean and me in a conversation about Australia. I used this opportunity to brush up my Japanese a little bit, but I still have a very long way to go when it comes to speaking fluently.

I seem to be establishing a habit of writing blog posts while on moving vehicles, as I started typing this on Sean's iPad while heading home from Japan. There're about three hours left of the flight ahead of me, and Sean and I have already caught up on Supernatural, New Girl, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and we've also watched several episodes of Parks and Recreation. We've run out of viewing material, so I decided to write a few posts. This would be the second post I've written on this flight.

After a day of what is basically American cuisine in Japan, we packed up house (hotel room) and ventured out East to Nara, a place known for their tame deer that may or may not have learned the habit of bowing when someone bows to them, in exchange for treats. There are literally hundreds of them in Nara, and the city is a popular tourist spot for this reason. We left our luggage in a pair of lockers at the station and walked for over a kilometre out to a nice park. We stopped by a restaurant that Sean chose, as he had believed they had a vegetarian item on the menu. There was "one", so to speak, but traditional establishments like these have no real grasp on the concept of vegetarianism, so I was served a bowl of thick udon noodles in a soy sauce broth. All would have been fine if it were not for the slice of fish cake floating in it.

Seriously bummed by this discovery and the lack of other vegetarian options, I took out the fish cake, ate the noodles and left the broth behind, and spent the rest of the day in a bitter mood. My bad experience with the dish was put aside come dinner time where I ate at T's Tantan again. I ate the T's Tantan ramen along with a bowl of massaman curry and rice, and I shared a bowl of soy meat with Sean.

We were meant to go to Disneyland on Thursday, but when the weather forecast told us it was going to be raining all day, we were on the fence about going. After getting ready and getting on the shuttle bus headed for the park, we decided that we were better off spending the day elsewhere instead. We got off at Maihama Station and took the train to Akihabara instead. Sean wanted brunch at Denny's, but was disappointed by the lack of a real burger on the menu, so we moved onto Carl's JR. Vegetarians, just so you know, Denny's doesn't have an English menu, but I found and translated some of the dishes to be vegetarian in appearance, though there is no concrete evidence that they are 100% vego unless you ask the staff.

Carl's JR in the USA has a vegetarian burger, but unfortunately, the Akihabara joint did not have it on their menu, so I ended up only having a dismal plate of fries. This, of course, made me irritable, but my spirits were soon lifted when Sean agreed to dining at Sushi Nova in Shibuya for dinner.

Sushi, you ask? Believe it or not, Sushi Nova is probably the only sushi train restaurant chain that makes a variety of vegetarian and vegan sushi. While there are only 4 stores in Japan so far, all based in Tokyo, there are plans to establish 100 restaurants in Japan by 2020, So I have very high hopes that this modern twist on a traditional restaurant will be able to provide vegetarians and vegans a great glimpse on what true sushi is like in Japan. Sushi isn't about the raw fish, it's about the specially prepared and seasoned rice that has been paired with a range of toppings, and raw fish just so happens to be the most common.

You go inside the restaurant, which is underground, indicate the number of people you have in your group, take a seat where they lead you, and then scroll through the menu on the tablet. You add the items you want to your list and press order, and within minutes, with a distracting siren, the food is sent out to you on the conveyer belt.

Sushi Nova Rolled Egg and Wasabi Eggplant Pickle Nigiri = ¥120 per plate

 Sushi Nova Japanese Greens Nigiri, Inari Sushi and Bamboo Shoots with Miso Nigiri = ¥120 - ¥180 per plate

Kappa Maki and Kampyo Maki = ¥120 per plate

I saw a few more vegetarian/vegan items on the menu, but they were marked as 'Coming Soon'. This included red and yellow pepper nigiri, cauliflower maki, and something else. I tried the natto rolls, but I could not bring myself to eat more than one bite of it. Natto is definitely not something that I can foresee myself ever liking. However, I really enjoyed what I had, and even ordered the bamboo shoot and eggplant again. Just so my readers know, be prepared - the toppings have a tendency to slide right off the rice, so using your hands to eat is easier, it's how it's meant to be eaten, anyways.

After that we had some ice cream in choux pastry, drizzled with some melted dark chocolate, along with a latte. This was also quite delicious. At the end of the night the total of the bill came up to about ¥4000, which is incredibly cheap considering the amount of plates of sushi I had, Sean's share of the food, and the dessert and coffee. Satisfied, we made our way back to the hotel. We packed everything up, with the intention of checking out at 6:30am on the dot, and then having breakfast in the lobby of the hotel before heading for the airport. We didn't want to leave the packing till morning when we were likely to be too tired to think properly, most likely resulting in items being left behind.

So that concludes the last part of my trip to Japan. I must admit that sushi was clearly the best way to finish off a trip to Japan, despite the modern twists to the whole menu at Sushi Nova. Before I made the suggestion of going to Sushi Nova, I was lamenting the fact that I would be finishing another trip to Japan without even stopping by a sushi train restaurant, let alone eat sushi in general. Sean thankfully understood this, because why go to Japan if you don't eat their food? My travel companion during my previous visit was not even in the least bit interested in trying Japanese food unless it was chicken, and 9 times out of ten, all she wanted to eat were burgers and Western food, so it drove me up the wall.

I have to thank Sean for coming with me to Japan this time around, and proving to be the most agreeable companion when it came to sampling international cuisine and experiencing new things. "Japanese food is seriously addictive" says Sean. I look forward to our next visit to Japan, and hopefully we'll be able to properly sightsee all around the country, and experience more traditional culture.

Of all of the food that I photographed and published on this blog, which dish are you most interested in trying?


  1. Great! Now I want sushi. Looks like you had an amazing time! Great read. I'd love to try vegan sushi and of course the Ramen.

    1. Haha, sorry! XD It went pretty well, but now we're in a slump :( wanna go back already haha

  2. Great photos! Looks like such an amazing place.

    Anika |

    1. It is a really lovely place! And thank you! <3

  3. I dig the name of this post. ;) Haha! That sucks about the vegetarian dilemma, I didn't eat meat for a while but when I visited Hong Kong it was basically impossible. I'm not sure what your thoughts are but in asia, they don't waste any part of the animal unlike the west. Just different views I guess. The vegetarian sushi looks delicious though, I one with the egg is one of my favourites!

    Sally - DiagonSally

    1. Haha I dig it too! Yeah, it was very frustrating. In some Asian countries, like India, Tibet and Thailand, they do offer quite a bit of vegetarian food, but in Japan and China it's a very meat and fish-based cuisine. Happy Cow is a great website for vegetarians and vegans alike though.