A benefit of living in Seoul, or Asia for that matter, is that we get a few days off for Chinese New Year. My family and I took full advantage of this and flew just two hours east to Tokyo.

I had avoided going for a while because my anxious self was afraid that there would be lingering radiation from the Fukushima leak, but people continue to live and breathe normally there, so I figured, YOLO. 

Perfection is the standard in Japan, from the architecture to the hospitality to, most importantly, the food. It felt like every bite I took was a masterpiece in itself, as if the chefs had prepared every flavor and temperature and texture to hit me in the most magical way. 

We went to a casual izakaya (Japanese version of a gastropub), a 220 year-old soba restaurant, a non-traditional Italian restaurant, and a restaurant specializing in tempura, an art that I had not been aware of until that meal. 

After returning home from four glorious days of inundating myself with some of the best food in the world, I found myself at our dining table with my parents, staring at my pathetic bellpeppers (I was attempting to be healthy and make up for my Tokyo food blackout). They told me that I had barely seen – or eaten – anything yet.

I can’t help but hope that I find myself back in Tokyo, walking along the unfathomably clean streets with the fresh air and the salty water around us, eating breakfast at the fish market and wandering around this strange but wonderful city again soon. 


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