I visited Japan (specifically Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Osaka) in July with my brother and my best friend. It was an incredible experience. This was the first international vacation I’d taken in a while (not counting visits back home to India) and I had a lot of fun.
If you’re planning to visit Japan (and I’d highly recommend doing so) here are some tips that might help you:
Visit Hiroshima. It is an intense, heart-wrenching, and emotionally moving experience. It will change you.
Get a Japan Rail (JR) pass. It allows you to use Japan’s excellent public rail system an unlimited number of times for a flat fee for 7, 14, or 21 days. It makes traveling between and within cities in Japan effortless. Make sure to also install the HyperDia app to help you plan your travels.
Throw out all your clothes before you leave for Japan and be prepared to acquire a whole new set of clothes when you’re back. Why? Because the food in Japan is SO GOOD that you’re going to eat A LOT and none of your old clothes will fit you anymore. To say that every meal I had in Japan was excellent would be an understatement. Highlights for me included my meal at Len, fatty tuna, Wagyu beef, tsukemen, and ochazuke.
One of the many highlights of my recent visit to Japan was a dinner I had at Len (also called Ren). Len is a two Michelin starred restaurant in Tokyo and I managed to get a 6pm dinner reservation there on my second last night in Japan.
The meal was phenomenal. I love Japanese food, and in my mind this meal exemplified everything that attracts me towards Japanese cuisine – simplicity, elegance, and the freshness of ingredients.
Restaurants that “ruin” a food item for me hold a special place in my heart. By “ruin” here I mean that they serve me such a perfect version of the food item in question that subsequent versions I eat elsewhere will (most likely) pale in comparison. This first happened to me at Quince where I had the best mac and cheese I’d ever had in my life, and it happened again at Len, where I had the most sublime and incredible rice and eel I’ve ever tasted. This is a simple dish, but in its simplicity lies perfection.
I’ve had RARE, the newest album by Hundredth, on repeat for the past two days. In a departure from their previous metalcore style, RARE is a collection of ethereal shoegaze that is stunningly beautiful.
Lifting/workout injuries this year so far (listed in descending order of severity):
Pulled muscle in my lower left back.
Micro tear in my tricep in my right arm.
Pain in the region of my right knee.
Bruise on nose. This was a result of doing what I call a “jump clap push up”: it’s a clap push up in which you also lift your entire body up while you’re clapping, so your feet are lifted off the ground when you clap. I can typically do these without any problem, but because of injury #2 in this list I fell and my nose hit the ground. Hard. This happened before I knew that I had torn my tricep; I was trying to see if my arm had healed. Turns out it hadn’t.