So the not so secret reason why we all love to visit Japan is for the food. Bamby and I are both pretty wise on our favorite places to eat in Tokyo, and we also took a few special trips out to Yokohama and Takao for some super special hardcore grinding of the molars.

sashimi chillin on ice

nabe with fish, negi, shitake, and roe. served with a lively ponzu sauce.

tempura (which included goya, the super bitter chinese melon)

yakinasu with miso. the leaf atop is sansho, a plant of many culinary uses, I learned. The berries are eaten either whole or ground (and served atop unagi, for one) and the wood of the plant, which is very dense, is commonly used as a pestle for grinding spices.

check out the crazy beautiful ashtray sitting right across from my plate. yes, it was clean, but it IS a haizara, so don't just drop your fishbones or edamame shells in there by accident, doh.