During this fascinating trip we have visited most of the things that have made Japan famous – Sumo, Sake, shrines – and yesterday I added another “S”: sushi.
The Sushi chef is much venerated. In Simon May’s book Atomic Sushi – the reflections on Japan by a professor on sabbatical – he describes the Sushi chef as so omnipotent that he determines the price.
Happily in the one in the hotel there was a fixed price but the practice of the chef selecting your sushi was followed.
The sushi was considerably tastier than in the UK and the menu included a fresh sea food salad, some sashimi and miso soup.
At the counter at the end sat a rather vulgar looking man with his wife ostenatiously drinking Veuve Cliquot.
Generally-speaking at the counter of any restaurant there is a dialogue with the chef but I have already seen at Ruan Kokonoi in Kyoto people including couples rarely speak let alone to the chef.
You simply do not get the buzz of Langans in the old days, the Ivy or the Wolseley in a Japanese restaurant.
There is naughty business dining in which a woman is involved harking back to the Geisha tradition, again described in May’s book, to which the businessman’s wife is complicit.
I would not give my Olly such tolerance!!!
Like much in Japan, dining is most expensive, of high standard with impeccable service, but lacking in atmosphere.