Before arriving in Tokyo, I had attempted to plot out my meals. I had enough time for seven. But as I researched the city, a place that has the most Michelin-starred restaurants than any other destination in the world, I began to feel overwhelmed. The best sushi in Tokyo was upwards of $200 per person and closed on Sundays, one of the two full days that I would be in Tokyo. And how did I narrow down the ramen spots? What about kaiseki? Read more
I waited in the hot Tokyo sun at six in the morning for four and a half hours to eat at Sushi Dai. Four and a half hours at six in the morning! (And I rarely use exclamation marks.) But, based on its reputation as serving some of the best sushi in Tokyo, it was really the only thing that I had wanted to do in the city. And unlike most sushi restaurants in the city that charge upwards of $200 for a meal, Sushi Dai only charges about $35 for their set breakfast or lunch (depending on when you get admitted). Read more
Before arriving in Korea, all I had ever heard about drinking in Korea was that I was going to be imbibing plenty of soju. But that was actually the very last drink I had in the country, for Korea is a land of many good beverages.
Before my departure for Korea, I had randomly tuned into the news, forever out of it after Colbert left the tube. The report had announced a MERS outbreak in Korea. It was a few weeks before my departure and already a number of people had died. Was I really going to go to Korea?
I once had a Korean tour guide in Toronto who, after showing us the old Jewish district, said, “We Koreans are the Jews of the Asians.” It was a funny statement at the time, but after traveling to Korea, I sort of see what he means. First, it’s in the name of the people. For the better part of a millennium, the Koreans were part of the Chosun Dynasty, so, I think it’s fair to say that they are also the Chosun people.