Sunday, March 20, 2016

When Anime Meets Reality in Tokyo

One of the things that is pretty awesome about Japan is the fact that anime and video games are set in real world locations.  So you'll recognize famous places like Scramble Crossing in Shibuya, the Tokyo Tower, Ginza, or Tokyo Station, etc., in them.
The world famous Shibuya Crossing intersection on a rainy day!
 The same kind of effect happens with New York as it shows up in so many movies and TV shows.  When you visit these places for real you get a little extra thrill when you  can imagine everything crossing over.
Anime Statue in Shibuya (temporary in 2015)
Well, here are a few trailers that bring the two together for Tokyo, blending live footage with the imaginary.  Enjoy!  Oh yeah, one more thing, things like the Goku vs. Luffy display are temporary and often never show up again, so if you run across something like that in Tokyo - you're either living there or are blessed with good fortune.

Ultraman vs Kaiju in Shibuya Trailer

One Piece Burning Blood Trailer

Goku vs Luffy Shibuya Display outside of the Parco Mall

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sandwiches and Food Chains To Try In Japan Next Time

Every time I visit Japan there isn't enough time to try all of the foods you can buy over there.  You can only eat so much unless you just buy it to taste it and then toss it which would be rather wasteful.  I may have passed on some of these things before, but the next time I go, I would like to try it.  Nothing on this wish list is fancy, and it might even be kind of pedestrian, but I still want to try it because it appeals or I've heard good things about it.

Yamazaki Sandwich Packs
These sandwiches are produced by Japan's largest commercial bakery, Yamazaki Baking Company.  This company also owns the Daily Yamazaki chain of convenience stores where you can find their products too!  They carry a large lineup of pre-made sandwiches made out of fluffy white bread with no crust.
Egg and cutlet sandwich packs. Creative Commons License from Nemo's Great Uncle.
These are called sandwich packs and you can find whole displays of these with many different fillings.  The egg salad sandwiches and the fried cutlet sandwiches are the ones that appeal to me the most as they are fillings you don't usually find here at Subway.  These sandwiches are thin, and most uniquely, they have the edges crimped shut so that it is like eating a bread pocket with a filling inside.
Sandwich with crimped edges.  Creative Commons License from Nemo's Great Uncle.
These sandwiches are replenished regularly and should be pretty fresh (probably restocked that day) and should go pretty nicely with riceballs too!  They also stock a nice looking ham sandwich and curry pan (curry bread) which is yummy too.  On a side note, Yamazaki delivery drivers were stranded on a mountain highway by a snow storm along with hundreds of other drivers back in February 2014.  They realized they wouldn't be able to get their bread, sandwiches, and cakes to the stores on time, so they gave away food to the stranded drivers.  I even found a Youtube video of the event shown below and boy there is a lot of snow.

Tenya Tendon
This is a pretty popular tempura chain known for their tempura rice bowls or tendon.  I've never stopped in for  lunch or dinner, as it is always been the wrong time or I've already eaten when I see one of their outlets.
Tendon. Creative Commons License from Ishikawa Ken
Their tempura and rice bowls, especially the seasonal specials always look so crunchy and tasty!
A nice warm bowl of rice with some crunchy tempura shrimp or veggies would sure hit the spot right now.

Camp Curry
I walked by one of their outlets several times in Ikebukuro Station when I was there.  It smelled wonderful.  After I read more about them, it was definitely something I wanted to try.
Curry and rice.  Creative Commons License from hirotomo t
All of their restaurants are done up like you're out camping and having curry with a plate of rice in the great outdoors (even though you are indoors).  Their specialties are vegetable curries, but you can get meat too if you have an appetite for it.  You get your curry in a big cast iron pan, with a little shovel shaped spoon.  It was packed every time I passed by so they are pretty popular.  Vegetable curry anyone?

Tokyo Soupstock
This is another famous chain known for soup of course.  Again I've never managed to eat there even though I've passed a few of them.  They're supposed to have some pretty tasty soup.
Soup and rice.  Creative Commons License from yoppy

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