Japan Do '14

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by violist, Jun 2, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    UA1148 BOS ORD 0901 1059 739 4A

    I got dropped off at the airport at 7 so had a good long
    visit with my friends at the UC before going to the gate.
    This was the first time I'd used the autogates in Boston.
    Of course, there were many glitches, not caused by the
    equipment as far as I could see but by the passengers not
    being able to see the big 3 or 4 on their boarding passes,
    whereupon of course they complained and held up the line,
    and, guess what, the automated system doesn't look like
    such a great idea any more, does it.

    A quick pleasant flight with relatively fresh flight
    attendants; we ended up early enough so I had an hour's
    layover at the B club for a banana and the e-mail.

    UA 881 ORD NRT 1210 1510 744 14B was 15B

    The end gates in the concourse are the only ones that can
    accommodate the big planes, but the seating area, despite
    the extra square bit over to the side, is constricted by the
    curve of the building. Translation: more people milling
    about even than normal. As the crowd and I milled about, my
    sharp ears picked out my name from the din, and I hied to
    the desk thinking, ooh, upgrade time, but in fact it was
    just a courtesy call to inform me that a party of 4 had
    wanted my beloved row 15, and I was being moved forward a
    row, not a whole cabin. Pooh. So grumpily upstairs I went
    (this is a nice and comfortable place in any position,
    truth be told).

    I was settling in, when a rather superb woman about a
    decade younger than me excused herself and slid into the
    window seat next to me, so this was an upgrade of sorts
    after all. We got to talking, and though any scanty charm
    I may ever have possessed has abandoned me, we got on
    reasonably well. Paula is an artist turned social work
    professor, going on to Osaka to see her son; and though we
    knew nobody in common, we did share a lot of attitudes, past
    haunts, and interests. It was a very nice, chatty flight,
    and I got less sleep than I had planned on.
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  2. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    UA 04/15
    (LD81-R87-B87) 260C001-4


    Chilled seafood appetizer - California sushi roll

    This was a slice of a very thick rice roll with
    bits of okay if slightly rubbery avocado, crab-
    shaped surimi, and some extraneous vegetables.
    Edible but somewhat chintzy.

    Fresh seasonal greens - Tomatoes, cucumber, Kalamata olives
    and croutons with your choice of honey peppercorn dressing
    or GF balsamic vinaigrette


    Short rib of beef - Red wine sauce, aji amarillo mashed
    potatoes, fine green beans and carrots

    Okay. Nothing to write home about. Oh, yes, there
    was a decent line of fat in the salted and
    somewhat mushy meat. I think the characterization
    of the beans must have been an artifact of the
    translation process, because there was nothing
    fine about them. No aji amarillo in the potatoes,

    Tamale-filled breast of chicken - Creamy corn sauce, grilled
    yuca and tomatoes

    My seatmate got this and was reasonably pleased
    but surprised to find this to really be a breast
    of chicken-filled tamale. She had expected a piece
    of chicken with a cornbread-like stuffing.

    Fillet of salmon with lump crabmeat - Beurre blanc sauce,
    barley with vegetables, collard greens and tomatoes

    Japanese selection
    Appetizers of green tea shrimp sushi, fish cake skewer,
    nori-crusted chicken, squid, broad beans and asparagus

    A main course of deep-fried fish fillet with soba noodles,
    shiitake mushroom and carrot in gin-an sauce, clear soup
    with bamboo shoots and seaweed, squid with plum dressing,
    vinegared fish salad, simmered vegetables, steamed rice and
    Japanese-style pickles


    International cheese selection - Grapes and crackers served
    with Port

    Dessert - Ice cream with your choice of toppings

    I asked for and got one small scoop of vanilla. My
    seatmate got the Buddhist sundae - one with everything.


    Assorted sandwiches - Turkey with cranberry cream cheese
    Spinach tortilla wrap with cheese and vegetables

    Red bean rice cake

    Yay for red bean mochi.


    Swiss cheese omelette - broccoli-potato gratin and turkey

    Chicken katsu - curry sauce, steamed rice and vegetables

    I don't know why I expected a katsu to keep its crunch
    through 10 hours of sitting under foil before being
    reheated; anyhow, it didn't. The curry sauce was like
    S&B but less tasty. Still, I think, better than a
    cheese omelet.

    Cereal and banana served with milk

    Fresh fruit appetizer, yogurt or savory salad, and
    breakfast breads
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  3. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    JL3057 NRT FUK 1930 2135 738 1K

    AA/US had not sent me a new Sapphire card (still haven't
    2 months later), and I wondered if my make-your-own would
    work for lounge access. It transpired, though, that lili
    was on this flight (not totally coincidentally), and the
    easiest way to get seated together was to upgrade. Mine
    was eight bucks, hers ten (different original fare classes
    I guess, or it might have been that she paid in dollars on
    credit and I in yen in cash). And of course now the Sakura
    lounge came with, so ambiguity avoided.

    I was raring to go, but Paula was having issues with her
    ticket, so I stayed in the neighborhood until she was
    squared away. For some reason United had issued both of
    our tickets as interlines with JAL rather than booking us
    on the partner airline, not that that would be any better
    except that her flight was full, and she was in danger of
    being bumped, which would have mightily messed up her plans.
    Luckily a seat was found.

    JY1024 was already at the Sakura lounge, and we had a good
    chat about manufactured spending, about which I know next
    to nothing, and the history of air travel bargain hunting,
    which I have lived pretty much through all of so actually
    could carry on a conversation about.

    Other than two iterations of the Amazing Beer Machine,
    serving two different kinds of beer, Asahi and Kirin I
    think, the lounge is quite ordinary, with seats and food
    that easily qualify for that description. Newbie Runner had
    warned me beforehand, so expectations were not deflated.

    After sufficient snacking and chatting we went down to
    the gate and loaded up - people looked with awe and wonder
    and I believe no resentment as the silly Americans filled
    up far more overhead binnage than we were entitled to.

    The flight itself was apparently fine - I slept through it.

    As there were three of us, and it was kind of wet out, a
    taxi to the rather beautiful Grand Hyatt was a no-brainer.

    I wasn't going to the Pre Drinks event but was convinced by
    my travel companions to accompany them to Good Beer Faucets,
    where we encountered a load of hearties in the midst of
    their sampling of the nation's best. Having spent most of
    the last 24 hours partaking of free alcohol and/or in a
    slumbrous state related thereto, I decided to pass this one
    time; instead lili and I accompanieded Newbie Runner and
    beckoa to a yatai conveniently located in a knot of stalls
    along the river halfway between the bar and the hotel, where
    I got a respectable tonkotsu ramen that I ruined or enhanced
    by adding more ground red pepper than normal people do.

    For the table, a yakitori assortment of gizzards, thigh
    meat, and skin found universal favor; there was also a hot
    dog arrangement that Newbie appropriated, whether out of
    polite self-sacrifice or because she likes hot dogs I don't
    know. Her main meal was an assortment of oden that got
    shared around - pretty good.

    The hotel room, though closer to the elevator than I would
    have preferred, was pretty nice, with pluses and minuses:
    bed comfort was good, bathroom was average in a Japanese
    way, which means excellent; the light and heat controls
    were very wonky.
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  4. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    The day dawned wet and crappy, and I put a toe out, and it
    came back soaked, so even though I'd planned on joining the
    crew on its field trip to Dazaifu, I decided to stay closer
    to home and visit the city's most relevant (to me) landmark,
    Raumen Stadium, one of whose attractions is that one can get
    to it all under cover from the hotel; it's on the top floor
    of the Canal City shopping center, so once one tumbles to
    the fact that it's upstairs, it's easy enough to find.

    It was hard to choose among the eight restaurants; we
    decided on Menya Houten, which is said to have a Chinese
    accent, because it offered stuff that lili would enjoy. As
    I am both sight and insight impaired, I spent way too much
    time puzzling over the meal ticket machine, during which I
    managed to buy 3 beers and no food. Luckily, a young
    employee with excellent English came up to help me buy a
    bowl of Hakata black ramen; of course he recommended the
    special with chashu, pork fat, kamaboko, a braised egg,
    scallions, bamboo shoots, and nori, which turned out to be
    a large, complex, satisfying bowl despite there being only
    the standard 3 oz serving of meat. I'd expected from the
    Hakata appellation that this would be a tonkotsu broth
    varied with dark soy and burnt garlic oil; in fact, the
    broth was a thinnish one though well endowed with the
    expected blackeners. Very firm noodles, which I went through
    in a jiffy and got our helpful friend to teach me how to buy
    a second serving (used to be that seconds on noodles were
    free, but no more) for Y150. The seconds were even more al
    dente than the first. The chashu, excellent. Pork fat, Y50
    extra if not on the special, is merely a ladleful of bits
    that float on top of the broth: I like this a lot, many
    people go eww. The braised egg was very like a Chinese soy
    sauce egg, but the Japanese do these so that the whites are
    set and broth-colored while the yolk is still a bit runny.
    Very tender braised bamboo shoots. I could have done without
    the seaweed.

    For lili, fried chicken, crunchy, well flavored, excellent.

    We had been given the option of having one of the beer
    tickets refunded, as I was clearly an addled tourist who
    didn't know any better, and the young man was a little
    shocked when I said, no, we'll just drink more. The offering
    is called Suntory Premium Malt's, a pleasant nondescript
    lager of the sort that is taking over the world. The glasses
    are I guess 10 or 11 ounces, and three for two pax is by no
    means a stretch, even though I drank more than half. Okay,
    more than three-fourths.

    We resolved to come back later to try another stand. My next
    choice was going to be the beef tongue place, or maybe the
    kurobuta black pig place. But as it turns out, other
    deliciousnesses obtruded and we didn't get to do so.

    The sky had begun to lighten, so we figured on an afternoon
    lull and started westward to the Fukuoka Castle ruins, I
    forget what the area is called. lili had rain gear, and I
    had a Ted jacket that looked waterproof but really wasn't,
    but what the heck, nothing ventured, nothing gained. As soon
    as we got to the point of no return, around the Tenjin
    station, the heavens of course opened up, and it ended up a
    bit of a slog with frequent ducks under awnings and pauses
    for me to wipe my glasses; but we got there, and, yes, the
    rain hadn't taken away all the cherry blossoms, and the park
    was gorgeous. Note: for the less stubborn, there are plenty
    of buses that one could take for a buck (most of our
    adventure was within the Y100 zone).

    There was more to see at the site, but it was getting lowery
    again, and my wet jacket was beginning to get irritating,
    and dinner was coming up, so back to the Hyatt.
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  5. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    Friday - Main Do Dinner at the quite a mouthful Yanagimachi
    Ikkokudo Haruyoshi-ten, a wet half mile from the hotel.

    It's lucky the turnoff had been pointed out to us the
    previous evening, because it is somewhat obscure in the
    dark, and others had a hard time finding it.

    The Do took up the back building of the restaurant; I made
    my way to the back back, where the bar is, to which somebody
    made a perhaps good-naturedly snide remark.

    Our first course was a beautifully plated series of four
    morsels - sugar snap pea, pickled sardine on shiso leaf,
    tamago, and marinated baby squid, in order of presentation
    and my preference both. I thought on initial inspection
    that the egg and the fish might be profitably switched,
    but after eating I agreed that two fish tastes together
    was properly avoided.

    Then a sashimi course, with octopus, the usual; two white
    fishes, ?some kind of yellowtail and ?some kind of snapper,
    both mild whitefishy but one with a stringyish texture; nice
    though mild slabs of tuna; and uni that I'm pretty sure came
    from west coast USA, as it was bitterer and less sweet than
    what I'm accustomed to (which comes from east coast USA,
    flown to Tokyo, and then boxed up in nice cedar boxes and
    flown right back to New York or Washington.

    The next course, in order of presentation as well as my
    preference: mountain yam in all its gelatinous glory,
    broccoli rabe with bonito flakes, quite nice, and inarizushi
    with shiitake, a taste that reminded me of childhood, though
    my mother, being Chinese, used pork instead of mushrooms. A
    progression of tastes and textures from gentle (and weird)
    to robust, mild sweetness to mild bitter and salt to rich
    sweetness, gooey to crunchy to firm.

    Eggplant with ground pork and miso, a pretty simple dish
    pretty similar to what I do, was perhaps my favorite part
    of the meal - comfort food of a high order. The eggplant
    was softer and wetter than I make it, and I'm rethinking
    my approach because of this.

    Fried chicken thigh, medium rare when it came, on a
    sizzling platter with American-style mixed green salad
    (also on the sizzling platter); the meat was a bit chewy
    when it first arrived, but the texture became more normal as
    the heat of the platter did its thing. Unfortunately, the
    same physics applied to the salad, which wilted quite a
    bit in a short time.

    I had high hopes for the whelk, escargot style, which cried
    out for white wine (I had sake instead). It turned out to
    be very resilient bits of shellfish in a heavily garlicked
    buttered breadcrumb stuffing, sort of like Rhode Island
    stuffies but not as good. Additional cuts of baguette came
    for soaking up the excess garlic butter; I didn't bother, as
    fullness was approaching.

    Bamboo rice wrapped in bamboo tip outside and steamed in a
    bamboo steamer was a cute conceit but I thought a bit
    underflavored and rather late in the meal, when we'd
    already eaten enough. This was probably deliberate - you
    relax in a state of satiation and take some rice and ponder
    the quality of the grains and note how artichokelike the
    bamboo bits are inside the package, and if you still want
    more food, you eat the whole dish (which guarantees you will
    not be hungry for many hours).

    At this point we were served a disconcerting bowl of kelp in
    tepid water, whose flavor was fugitive if anything. I am
    still uncertain what the point of it was.

    There was dessert - a white custardy coffee-flavored
    concoction, I believe nondairy, likely made of almond milk
    or soy milk (though I took a precautionary lactase pill),
    very like a strange-taste Chinese hsin ren dou fu - some of
    us were very enthusiastic about it.

    The staff did a good job of keeping us watered without being
    overserved or overdemanding. I did mostly the draft beer,
    but someone offered me a cup of Michikasari daiginjo junmai
    sake, dry, aromatic with almost citrus notes, nice.

    Afterward, people went to an afterparty someplace. I didn't.
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  6. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    While the others went on their trip to Nagasaki, We deviated
    firmly and finally from the plan and decided to do our own
    day tour of the city, focusing on the Hakata district, which
    is of some historical importance and also is conveniently
    located within easy walking distance of the hotel.

    The atmosphere was a little misty to begin with, but without
    the aggressive rain of the day before. And it did clear up
    and warmed considerably as time went by.

    We started out walking north to look for a yakiniku place
    that I'd heard good things about but was detoured by lili's
    news that some famous shopping area, Kawabatadori, was
    nearby. It's a covered arcade a quarter mile long. When we
    found it, many of the stalls and shops were not yet open
    (I guess we were there around 10), but I imagine that it
    might get hopping at mealtime or in the evening.

    At the end of the street to the left is the Kushida Shinto
    shrine (founded in 757), a complex of buildings old and
    new, sculpture, and a place where you can cleanse your soul
    by drinking stagnant water out of a wooden dipper, I'm not
    sure what that ritual is called.

    The shrine precinct is dotted with numerous sculptures, some
    devotional or mythological, some, as in Fukuoka's own
    Mannekin Pis, just whimsical.

    Right nearby are the Hakata Traditional Craft and Design
    Museum and the Hakata Machiya Folk Museum. We decided that
    the former was too commercial and went down the street to
    the other, which turned out to be even more so, so back
    we went and are glad we did - though the downstairs is a
    salesroom with the token artisan working on a project,
    the upstairs is a nice little room that showcases the
    local crafts, from blown glass to fine fabrics to dolls
    and more specialized things, such as tops (the first in
    Japan to have a metal axle) and ... scissors made by
    swordsmiths. You are asked not to photograph the exhibits,
    something I got around by taking shots from a couple of
    the quite interesting videos on offer.

    To get to the temples we wanted to see we had to walk
    past the Folk Museum, so we poked our noses in and decided
    that we'd seen more interesting elsewhere.

    The Tocho-ji temple with its gigantic wooden Buddha was our
    next stop. Founded in 806, it is the headquarters of Shingon
    Buddhism and boasts one of the largest wooden Buddha statues
    in Japan (perhaps THE, but sources are confusing on this).
    The grounds, behind an unpromising driveway gate, are
    lovely, with ancient cherry trees that just happened to be
    in bloom and a striking red five-story pagoda. To find the
    big Buddha, follow the sign that says "The big Buddha is
    upstairs." It's big but otherwise not remarkable. Turns out
    (this is not emphasized) it was built between 1988 and 1992.
    You are requested not to photograph it, so I didn't.

    Down the way and past a busy intersection is the Joten-ji
    temple, founded by the famed Enni Ben'En, revered for having
    brought the art of noodlemaking to Japan as well, they say,
    as yokan and manju and Hakata-ori, the textiles that we had
    seen at the museum. Busy guy. The current complex is said to
    date from 1242. For some reason, though important in
    culinary and cultural history, it isn't the tourist magnet
    that Tocho-ji is, and we had a good visit with few others
    around. The worship places were closed, but the grounds and
    monuments are the draw here anyway.
  7. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    We were getting peckish, and the choice was to find the
    yakiniku place way up north there, find something in that
    arcade, also retracing our steps, or there was this other
    yakiniku restaurant at Hakata station that was said to
    offer excellent wagyu.

    Yakiniku Champion is known for being hard to find (how
    can something be hard to find in a shopping mall attached
    to the biggest train station in town?) and for offering
    certified A5 Mishima beef at a reasonable price. As
    Bourdain would say, I'm all over that.

    It's on the top floor of the complex, off on the far end
    from the elevators, with a smallish door next to a big door
    that goes to some other very popular restaurant. Quiet, no
    sign that I could recognize.

    We were seated side by side at a booth with a charcoal
    brazier set in the table.

    Service was friendly but slow; first by a woman who had no
    English, then by a young man who had a little, then relieved
    by the woman again.

    English menu with pictures.

    Our selections: choice grade short rib, sankaku (sometimes
    represented as tri-tip, which is part of the round, but
    apparently actually a triangular muscle from the short rib),
    and harami (skirt). By gesture we were asked how we wanted
    our meat, sauced or salted, but apparently the English-
    speaking contingent was off, it being lunchtime and late
    at that; eventually I remembered the right word, which is
    "shio." Ah, the order-taker said, shio, and grinned. So
    we got our meat gently salted rather than coated with a
    sticky sweet sauce (which we got on the side anyway).

    The "choice grade" referred to the fact that our cut was
    mostly fat, which was fine with us but slowed the pace of
    our eating. I did these cuts medium, which brought out the
    savoriness of the fat. Really good, but hard to make a meal
    of. Sankaku is reputed to have the most delicious balance
    of lean and fat - ours was in fact perfectly marbled, the
    fat in a beautiful net around pink meat. It cooked up a bit
    chewy, but the flavor was extraordinary. The harami was the
    most like American beef, with an intense beefy flavor,
    though tenderer than anything I've ever had stateside. I
    did these last two rare.

    On the side - a lettuce salad with red and yellow pepper
    strips and the usual dressing; a couple of banchan - napa
    kimchi and beansprouts; seaweed soup; and rice. Condiments
    - sauce and lemon.

    Beer for me, a seriously mediocre red wine for lili.

    I've had beef of this richness only a few times in my
    sixty some years, and we left fat and happy.

    Past the train station, eastward, and back we were at Canal
    City and home. Freshened up and had a brief nap, and for
    some reason we didn't want to go out for supper.

    The club at the hotel provided plenty of snacks and Vichon
    Cabernet for her, Remy Martin for me.
  8. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    We upgraded again for the Y1000 or $8. It was as expected
    and hoped for a nothing flight. We took off and landed if
    anything a tad early. So what to do for 8 hours? Visit
    Narita Town, which some say is a huge waste of time, but
    others find it wonderful, which we did, even though it was
    drizzling and cool the whole day.

    From the airport station it's a 10-minute train ride for
    two or three bucks (day pass is something like $4); coin-
    operated lockers in the airport so we didn't have to lug our
    luggage on our adventure.

    The local train is appointed more like what we would think
    of as the subway, with hard bench seats and straps for
    rush hour.

    Overlooking town is the temple complex built atop Narita-San
    mountain: you walk up the main road past shops, restaurants,
    and the Jet Lag bar, and in ten minutes you're there, if
    you take the right road, which I initially did not (a
    helpful policeman helped us get on the right track). When
    you get there it's really quite extensive and busy as
    anything, with hordes of tourists from the city and actually
    not too many foreign gawkers such as we. We spent maybe four
    hours in the soaking mist-rain, my shoes squishing as I
    walked, but I didn't notice, the architecture was so
    wonderful. At one point we walked in on a wedding in one
    of the temples, augmented by tourists crowding in to get out
    of the rain, which was kind of interesting, though I saw
    little or nothing of it. When our stomachs started rumbling
    we decided to head back down, and as we went past all the
    little restaurants, numerous smiling touts came out to greet
    us, but we figured we'd get a better deal down by the train

    Oh-Sho is a slightly ratty little place, but when we passed
    it something told me this was the real deal. Little did I
    know that it is an outlet of a chain - didn't look chainlike
    to me, and in fact each of the restaurants has considerable
    leeway in presenting itself, both in appearance and menu.

    Speaking of which, there's an English (sort of) menu with
    pictures, very helpful. It's a Chinese restaurant.

    After we were greeted, it was quite a long time before our
    order was taken, and quite a long time before we were
    served. I think my comical lack of Japanese might have had
    something to do with it - some big Dutch-looking guy and
    his party were served in half the time, but then he was
    speaking what sounded like fluent Japanese. Anyhow, our
    food was eventually ordered and delivered and was very good.

    For a special treat I ordered hormone with miso. This is
    pig intestines and uterus chopped into bits, cleaned,
    boiled, and then stir-fried in brown sauce with, in this
    version, onions both white and green. The meat was tender
    - too tender for my preference - and totally clean-tasting
    - perhaps too much so for my preference, as part of the
    appeal is the, er, gaminess that almost inevitably escapes,
    though not apparently in the Japanese version. Nonetheless,
    I ate most of it happily enough.

    lili's treat was fried chicken, six boneless nuggets three
    or four times the size of fast-food nuggets, served with a
    sort of slaw dressed with pink stuff and corn kernels. The
    chicken was fresh and tender and didn't have a lot of
    distracting flavors to put her off.

    And of course gyoza, which were excellent - thin wrappers
    pan-fried just so, the filling fairly plain, pork, soy,
    and chopped scallions, just the way my mother used to
    make it. A wonderful goodbye to us from this town, which
    is lovelier than its reputation.

    Three minutes through the drizzle from the restaurant to
    the train, which took us to the airport a little before 3.

    As she was flying American and I was flying United, there
    was no chance to have parting drinks together, so we went to
    our separate clubs. I thought of the more glamorous options,
    but there wasn't all that much time, so I just went to the
    United Club, which was not hugely crowded, so I had a shower
    with no wait and then settled in for an hour with a glass of
    mediocre Kirin brandy and some quite pleasant cream-filled
    sponge cake things in various colors.

    Boarding was fairly orderly, that's to say not the usual
    rest of the world scrum but then not the normal Japanese
    straight queueing up either.

    UA 882 NRT ORD 1730 1510 744 15A

    I was fairly late to board, so my bag wasn't all the way
    back in the closet.

    Some mechanical weirdness, and we were delayed half an
    hour taking off.

    My seatmate was a young Japanese fellow whose taciturnity
    was agreeable to all.
  9. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    Chilled appetizer - battera sushi roll and smoked salmon
    with wasabi mayonnaise

    Fresh seasonal greens - pumpkin, tomato and croutons with
    your choice of creamy coriander dressing or sesame

    The sushi tasted like kind of nothing; the salmon was
    pretty good.


    Tenderloin of beef - Red wine sauce, Asiago potato pie,
    green beans and bell pepper

    Breast of chicken - Rosemary sauce, pistachio risotto,
    broccoli and carrots

    Fillet of salmon with shrimp - Teriyaki sauce, steamed
    rice and bok choy with vegetable julienne

    I said I'd take anything. I got the fish, which was
    of course way overcooked but reasonably fresh and
    decent to the palate. The teriyaki sauce had a curious
    empty taste, so I didn't eat all my rice.

    Japanese selection
    Appetizers of salmon roll, bamboo shoot with pepper,
    grilled chicken, bracken and scallop with spicy cod roe

    A main course of sauteed pork with potato and bell pepper,
    simmered cabbage-wrapped chicken and bamboo shoot with
    seaweed, marinated radish and corn, vinegared crab meat
    with mustard, miso paste and Chinese matrimony vine, miso
    soup with seaweed, simmered vegetables, steamed rice and
    Japanese-style pickles


    International cheese selection - Grapes and crackers served
    with Port

    Dessert - Ice cream with your choice of toppings

    I had a glass, no, two, of Port, followed by a
    Courvoisier nightcap.


    Fruit and light snacks are available at any time following
    the meal service. Please help yourself or ask a flight
    attendant for today's selection

    Not sure what there was. I did check, but there was
    no red bean mochi left, so I lost interest.


    Cheese omelette - Chunky tomato sauce, potatoes, mushrooms
    and pork sausage

    Udon noodles with pork - Sliced pork and vegetables

    Cereal and banana served with milk

    Fresh fruit appetizer, yogurt or savory salad, and
    breakfast breads

    The udon were salty and peculiarly dehydrated from
    their long travels but tasted pretty good. The pork
    was excellent.

    A fair amount of sleep; I dreamed of the good olden days
    when I spent so much time in this seat's ancestor, which
    my memories tell me was even more comfy and conducive to
    rest, and why the heck change to these coffins? Oh, well,
    the new digs are not unpleasant if a little cramped.

    I woke for meals, plus something kind of disagreed with me,
    so also for several trips toward the flight deck.

    We landed a bit late, having made up some time en route.

    GE didn't work for me, as usual, so I had to go to the
    regular line, where there's an automated system installed
    that works to all intents and purposes the same. I was
    quickly shooed back into the US.

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