Traditional Sushi Dining Experience

I have been to numerous sushi restaurants in Japan, but none quite like the one in which I am now sitting, ideally located many hundreds of miles south of the leaking Fukushima nuclear plant.  This particular restaurant is so popular that to avoid disappointment, bookings should be made at least a month in advance.  On entering the premises, there is surprise that the dining area consists of a single counter with six seats and I wonder how the establishment could possibly turn a profit from so few seats.  I bid the chef and my fellow diners Kombanwa (Good evening), then sit down and order a beer.  I am informed that I will be not be drinking beer but rather green tea, as it does not interfere with the taste of the sushi.  With some assistance, I inform the waitress that I will take my chances with the beer.  This proves to no avail.  Apparently traditional sushi restaurants only serve green tea.

Admonishing myself for my ignorance, I inspect the ornate dining utensils in front of me, see Picture 1.  The dripping water visible behind the counter is to wash ones hands after each serving.  Picture 2 is of the sushi counter, if you were wondering what the white substance is, it is salt.

The meal consists of eighteen separate servings.  Not only is each sushi exquisitely presented, but they are perfection, quite superior in fact to any I have previously encountered.

My particular favourites are the tuna, which literally melts in the mouth and the sea eel which is soft, succulent and served warm.  There is even poisonous puffer fish sushi (see image ); a local speciality.  The waitress constantly replaces our cups of green tea, so as to keep the liquid at the perfect temperature to cleanse the pallet after each serving.

Having finished the meal, I continue sipping green tea, contemplating on how this has been the best sushi experience of my life. Sometime later a diner to my left remarks in broken English that I am looking a little green and suggests it might be a result of the poisonous puffer fish.  The chef casts a nervous glance in my direction.  They need not be concerned; my complexion is merely the result of the contents of the bill.  It is now abundantly clear how the restaurant is able to operate with so few seats.

My book, Charles Middleworth, is a humorous tale of the unexpected.  It is available from Amazon in paperback and on Kindle (£1.96/$3.14).

Click on the link below to read the first two chapters for free:

CharlesMiddleworth(ch 1-2)


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  • Great post, Guy! Are you in Japan right now? How is it going over there? How’s that Fukushima leakage? What do the Japanese think about all that? Perhaps you could do a post about that and Japan today in general. That would be interesting!

    Thanks. 🙂

    • Just back, but will be doing a few more posts about my trip. Not really sure what the Japanese think about the whole leakage thing to be honest. It seems to be very much put on a brave face and strive onwards. One potential concern is food products from the region making there way into supermarkets around the country. I guess we’ll only know years down the line what the impact was.

      • Yes, it’s very Japanese, to soldier on through thick and thin to show your patriotism (well, not only Japanese – Russians used to be the same way). I agree, we’ll only know years from now what the real impact was.

        My biggest concern is for the oceans that they are polluting, and for possible future disasters of this kind.

        P.S. Looking forward to your other posts about Japan!

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