It's our last morning in Tokyo and we can't leave without one last fix of train station noodles. Stewed beef with soba.
Curry udon, so slippery you need to be issued with a bib. Sometimes the walls in the noodle bars are covered with splatter - now I know why, you just can't help flinging the curry around as it flops and flies on its way up into your mouth.
We're flying out of Narita airport so decide to get out there a little early, throw our bags into lockers (available on the 3rd floor of the departures building in Terminal 2) and hit the streets. The town is only a few stops on the train back from the airport. From the main train station you wander across to a winding traditional street, full of places to eat, souvenirs to buy or to walk down toward the large temple at the bottom of the hill.
After passing a few places we pass this eel resto opposite the Narita Tourist Pavilion. We actually walked right past it, thinking it was a little too fancy or expensive, then decided to give it a go. There's a few of shops like this along the street, the eel is a local speciality.
At the front of the store is a team of eel wranglers. The head wrangler grabs a slippery eel out of a bucket of live wrigglers beside him.
He quickly kills the eel with a swift beheading, and impales the rest of the body Trotsky style with his ice pick like device. Skinned and split, the rest of the team clean up the super fresh eel while he starts on another.
Once inside and not worried at all how fresh our meal will be, we order some crunchy eel spine to start with for 420yen. This would make a great beer snack down the local.
Next is fresh thinly sliced carp (a real carp-accio!) served with a mustard and vinegar dipping sauce on a bed of ice and shredded daikon.
The fish dipped in the little bowl of sauce melted in your mouth.
The next dish arrives quite simply in a little lacquer box.
Our little wriggling friends from out the front, transformed into sweet braised eel on rice.
On the way out, we noticed the amazing broiling system they had going. So simple, so tasty.
Most of the shop fronts in the area had pretty simple set ups.
On the way to the temple we stopped and had an egg nog like drink. It was super sweet with a heady hint of alcohol.
Outside the grounds was a waffle and red bean man. Fresh made waffles and the strawberry jam of Asia.
The temple grounds had a bit of a carnival atmosphere, with shooting games, food and pickle salesmen surrounding the main temple. Why not add a bit of fun with your afternoon prayers?
We walked the long way back from the temple to the station (i.e we got lost). Most of Narita is busy roads and suburban housing with a few dodgy bars thrown in.
Those Japanese cars must have a bad drug addiction.
Before heading on the plane we raid the supermarket for snacks. We spied this in the doggy aisle. Japanese dogs have the cleanest bottoms in Asia.
Before we go through the magic customs gate we took one last opportunity for some food. It's always a gamble at airports - do you eat before you go through the gates or after? We got lucky this time - 99yen sushi!
It's a typical sushi train, with enough room for us to store all our luggage at the front of the doorway. Very handy. Most dishes were around 136 to up to 500yen, we mostly stayed in the lower range as we only had a little bit of cash left.
We'll miss the pots of ground green tea with their little cocaine spoons.
Spoon in a small amount of tea and fill up at your seat. No extra charge. This is pretty standard throughout Japan.
First up some fresh little squid, complete with tiny tentacles.
Little pippies or cockles.
A tasty silver skinned fish.
Mystery pink fish
Fatty tuna. Fatter me.
One chef ran the whole little bar, cutting and presenting on request and keeping the train running.
Tuna boats with mayo.
A crab miso soup to finish.
So as the sushi train went round, we finished our green teas and stumbled off to the plane. It was the end of our Japanese food adventures for this round, except for the onigiri to munch on the plane trip home, a perfect plane snack.
We'll be back. We love Japan.
ps - Alison cried on the plane home...