(Rickshaw Inn, Takayama)
You know how I said I wasn’t a red meat girl? That might change.
I decided to give the Hida beef another shot, this time at a place listed in both the LP and on the restaurant map the staff here gave me – Yamatakegyu. It wasn’t nearly as posh looking as the last place, and when I slunk up the stairs the owner pounced on me with a huge welcome. He claimed to speak no English, and hoisted up another customer of his to explain the way his restaurant worked. An open freezer was packed full of fresh steaks, from which I could choose my cut. From there, I could grab a plate and fill it with whatever and as many vegetables I desired, for a mere 420 yen. He’s a fibber, his English was quite good and he could have explained it all perfectly well. I went with the amount he recommended, grabbed some capiscum, something that is not quite an eggplant, and something that was entirely unidentifiable which looked like potato and certainly wasn’t.
Each table was set up with a charcoal grill in the centre. He brought out my plate of raw dead animal, and made sure I had not just one, but two different sauces, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Off I went.
You know, I haven’t really eaten any red meat for over a month. And this freshly grilled steak with pepper and sauce was just…oooh my fucking god. That was so good. So unbelievably fucking good. And play food too! I messed around flicking meat and vegies all over the grill, so that each piece was exactly to my liking.
The owner had himself a great time. He brought out posters of the matsuri and the giant floats, telling I and the other foreigners all about the festival, the greatness of Hida beef, that Takayama was the centre of Japan. These people are proud of their town.
I don’t think my body was against a little hit of iron, either.
Unfortunately, I’ve developed a bad habit of eating dessert. Just as there’s no one to tell me red bean cakes aren’t an appropriate breakfast, there’s also no one to tell me to lay off dessert. I might as well get away with it while I can.
Ice cream at the ready, I settled in the Rickshaw’s lounge, and flipped through a National Geographic article on the depletion of the ocean’s fish stocks. Specific focus was given to the bluefin tuna, which is highly overfished and equally highly prized as sushi meat.
I must be more tired than I realise. Reading about the state of the ocean made my eyes hot.
By chance, I haven’t eaten much tuna the whole month I’ve been here. I’ve eaten plenty of seafood though, and do so back home too. I feel obligated to reduce the amount of fish and seafood in my diet, although I’m not that inclined to replace it with meat. Maybe I’ll live on tofu.
Procrastination time is at an end. I must shower, and then do that thing I don’t like doing: pack.