Tag Archives: shinjuku

Craft Beer and Fugu in Japan

During our trip Michelle asked me if I missed home. I told her, “Not at all.” Then after thinking about it for a moment I said, “Beer. I miss beer.” There is plenty of lager available, but I was craving an ale. Japan’s laws have recently changed to allow craft breweries to become a reality, so they’re not well distributed. Fortunately I put a spot on our map just in case I started to miss beer.

This is Craftheads, a place to get good beer and bourbon as well.

They carry beer from Fujizakura Heights Beer.

If you look at the list of beers they carry on tap and bottle, you’ll find some familiar brewery names like Stone, Lost Abbey, and Bear Republic. I decided to stay local and went with the Sakura Bock. So good when it hits your lips!

After a beer we headed down to Shibuya to watch a horde of Japanese people walk across an intersection. As one of the busier subway/train stations, Shibuya Crossing gets packed with people.¬†Although they don’t like it, Starbucks is a great spot to take photos.

This is fugu, also known as puffer fish. It’s known to be poisonous but also a delicacy in Japan. We decided to try this rare food.

Skin, which seemed to be blanched. This was super chewy with little flavor, like a cross between tendon and jellyfish. I guess that’s kind of what we should’ve expected for a fish that can inflate its body to double the normal size.

We also ate fugu sashimi. This was also a bit chewy, though not quite as much as the skin. Flavor here was also very light, almost non existent.

Some pieces of fugu were set out for us to cook in a soup. When you cook the fish it actually becomes very tender, but before it’s cooked it’s tough. It also continues to move on the plate.

Did I forget to mention that our friends Jen and Charlie were also in Tokyo the same time we were? Actually they’d been with us since Yoyogi Park but I had no pictures to prove it. The good news is none of us died from eating fugu.

After fugu Michelle and I went to Albatross, a two-story bar that holds about five people on each floor. What you’re seeing here is about half the bar.

I can barely fit the bar in the photo, because there’s no room to back up.

One of the guys at the bar with us was an origami master. He was sitting there folding squares of paper in the dim light. He made us a cat!

He then proceeded to whip out a pair of scissors from his coat pocket and made this piece of art. He also made us Minnie too, which is even more intricate with a bow on the head and eyelashes.

I’m going to say it again. Japanese people are awesome.