I had intended on writing a 'part 4' of my Japan trip back in autumn, but never got around to it. Now seems a good a time as any to finish that up--
Our time in Tokyo was just over two days, short but well spent. The below photo was taken at a place in the pedestrian zone of Asakusa, just a stone's throw from the temple. While walking around one night looking for a place to eat, we spied a rather full joint on a corner & my friend told me that their specialty was a kind of omelette/pancake/crepe. My interested was piqued, so we went for dinner. The server brings a bowl of uncooked cabbage with raw egg, I assume, spices, and whatever topping one wants like meat or cheese. We ordered ours with cheese. The entire contents of the bowl is poured onto a VERY hot griddle and the mixture is then sort of mixed/cut up by the server using two chopper/salad tosser-looking tools. Before our server left we were told that when the cheese is fully melted, our meal would be ready to eat. I don't know if you can see in the shot, but one is meant to eat the griddle cabbage-cake with a wee shovel (that's resting on the dish in front of me). The chop sticks were used for a fish seasoned with miso dish (out of shot) we also ordered. My face is read because it's about ten at night, the walls of the restaurant are opened to the night air, and it's still around 26C out. That huge glass of ice water was downed in no time.
|Asakusa regional dish of cabbage with cheese cooked on a very, very hot griddle.|
|Replica of original dolphin creature approx. 6' tall that stood atop the old castle.|
Waiting at the entry gates to the castle grounds were 5 women wearing armbands, and, as it was pouring rain, holding umbrellas. They were on hand to give gratis castle tours to speakers of English. We decided to got for it. The woman, retiree with a desire to practice English, giving the tour could not have been nicer. (She had us take a picture in front of the dolphin creature replica, and to get us to smile said, 'pickles! butter!')
What we learned, in addition to the history of the different dynastic families living in Nagoya from the 17th to 20th century, was that in 1945 American forces obliterated the castle in an air raid. What one visits today is a reproduction built in the late 1950s. The origninal roof top 'guards', a sort of dolphin creature, had melted into blobs of gold during the raid. We were told by our guild that the gold was then refashioned into two massive tea pots now on display in Nagano City. The newly constructed marine creatures (you can see a speck of one of them in the below photo) are made of a slighter lesser quality of gold and are greatly reduced in size.
|The rock wall withstood the bombing. All original.|
|Note one of the gold sea creatures atop the castle.|
|Tatami receiving room in Nagoya Castle|
|Note the black lacquer ceiling. The more ornate the ceiling, the higher status the room & its guests.|
|Lovely haircut from a lovely stylist.|