Jul 9, 2018
One thing I really like in Japan is that it is so easy to get in touch with your neighborhood. My husband and I decided today to go to a very old traditional Sushi restaurant in our area. The owners were an old couple, who run the restaurants since many years. Since it was very hot outside, we were their only customer for lunch.
After a very warm and friendly welcome, we sit down and ordered the specialty of the restaurant. Edomae Sushi! This special type of sushi was created the first time during the 1820s. The name Edomae just means Edo front.
Since the sushi was mainly sold and prepared by local stores or stands on the street in old times, it was difficult to keep the fish fresh without ice or a refrigerator. Many of the ingredients were simmered in broth (shrimp, shells, eel). Fish like tuna and halibut were immersed in soy sauce for a few hours to prevent the rapid spoiling. Other fish like mackerel and saba were cured in vinegar and salt to keep them fresh.
The Edo style sushi is saltier and sweeter compared to the sushi we are used to today. Especially the rice can be very salty, which you really have to get used to. For me it was the first time to have that kind of sushi. The sushi chef explained all kind of fish and where they came from very well. Also like in old times, he had all the fish (always just a small amount) in small wood boxes not like in many modern sushi stores in plastic boxes. Even so the rice is very salty, there is no need for using soy sauce.
Nowadays not many sushi restaurants with that kind of sushi are left, that´s why it was a very nice experience. Also we heard many family stories from the owner, whose wife traveled around Europe as a photographer. They were also so nice to give me some of their paper mats, which I liked so much with the Chinese zodiac signs.
When we left the restaurant, both of the owners were standing outside and waving, till they couldn´t see us anymore. It is so great to have such nice neighbors.
Do you also have such experience in your neighborhood?
I´m a german girl living in the center of Tokyo, but my true love belongs to the countryside of Japan (especially Chiba and Hokkaido). I love traveling Japan and explore hidden areas.
I want to help people with my articles to get in touch with the Japanese culture and all the beautiful places you can explore.
Besides traveling around, I love trains, handcraft and my little rabbits.