Whilst travelling is probably the only time I’ll ever be happy waking up super early. It was particularly so in Japan when every morning, I’d get to exchange my breakfast ticket for, well, an amazing breakfast.
At our hotel in Nagoya (Hotel Trusty Nagoya near Fushimi) offered four breakfast sets each morning and your choice had to be made the night before. There were two Japanese sets and two Western sets, and of each style, one was complimentary with our hotel stay and the other could be had for a small supplement.
This was the first Japanese set – tororo gohan, or mountain yam rice. Rice, nori, a bowl of soup, an onsen egg, raw grated tororo, pickles, hot tea and soy sauce.
The soup was clear and very savoury with thin slices of pork and root vegetables.
The tororo had a slightly slimy texture that was not at all unpleasant (well, if you find okra too slimy perhaps this would be a bit too much in the morning). It was delicious! I think one could mix this and the egg into the rice and it truly was scrumptious. Altogether, it was a brilliant start to the day.
The other Japanese set was a full Japanese breakfast, complete with grilled salted salmon, soup, braised vegetables, fruit, pickles, a huge slice of tamagoyaki (Japanese omelette), hot tea and rice. Again, this was fantastic – I love a good savoury breakfast.
I had to try one of the Western breakfast options (Nagoya is apparently famous for them) and decided on the simpler one that was included in our room price. I loved that super thick fluffy toast and was glad that I did try it! The sausages were more like hot dogs and the soup tasted tinned but the potato salad and vegetable sticks (salad is a breakfast food in Japan) were very welcome, as were the fruit and yoghurt.
If you’re curious, the other Western set (the one that cost extra) included a fancier salad and pizza bread!
Our hotel in Tokyo (Hotel Park Side in Ueno) offered a small breakfast buffet full of both Japanese and Western options. The quality of the ingredients was not as great as in Nagoya but it still beats a lot of breakfast options here in London!
Here we had components for both a Japanese and Western breakfast and I combined the two a bit. Rice, tofu, miso soup, nori, an onsen egg, and braised vegetables and bacon (oh yes!).
I also tried my first natto at breakfast in Tokyo and …. I found the strong flavour a bit challenging! That’s not perhaps my favourite breakfast food. But thumbs up to the Japanese breakfast in general!