7.269 Grilled Shiitake


30 (Fri) September 2016

Grilled Shiitake


at Golden Magic

-Wakoshi, Saitama-

with staff

For our final dinner together in town, we went next door (from the hotel) and one floor up (from the site of our first dinner together in town (see 7.265 Negibasashi Maki)).
Golden Magic is an izakaya.
Still early, the place would be packed to capacity by the time we left, as it’s been on previous nights, when we were unable to secure a table.

Mission to Japan, Day 6 (see previously 7.268 Small Portions).

In Tokyo.  Here to attend/facilitate a workshop on childhood obesity, Tuesday thru today.  Arrived Sunday morning.  Flying back to Manila tomorrow.

If a Japanese-only menu suggests that the place is intended for locals, as noted by Number One Fan LY in a recent post, then the absence of photos would suggest hardcore local.

The food was good.

I can’t recall ever eating something in Japan that hasn’t been good, solid even if unremarkable.

We had items other than hibachi …
… but I wasn’t all that concerned with taking photos.

For the first time that I can recall, certainly in the history of GMTD, food was not the priority on an overseas trip.  I did try to optimize whatever eating opportunities that came my way, but I didn’t go out of my way to create opportunities.

This time, it was all about music.  On our last evening, I couldn’t wait to pay the bill, exchange hugs and goodbyes, and get downtown, so that I could squeeze in another record run.

Even in this tiny shop, a whole section dedicated solely to Beatles records.

The Japanese, or at least Tokyoites, as I discovered this trip, seem to appreciate their cultural content in tangible form.  That is, they like music on vinyl, movies on DVD, games on disc, comics on paper.  Neighborhood multimedia rental stores still thrive (in Seoul, I haven’t seen one in well over a decade).  Tower Records, a branch in every major district, are lined with customers (in Seoul, I can’t think of where CDs are sold).  When I asked a local colleague, she confirmed, explaining that they feel that physicality enhances reality.  I’m wondering if this is also why the Japanese, in the culinary context, are so into dishware.


After 7 consecutive nights of midnight snacks, I’m now bordering on morbidly obese.

Music was my first obsession, long before food.  At its peak, my collection held nearly 2,000 items.

However, I’d fallen out of touch, literally.  At the dawn of the new millennium, it started with the acquisition of a CD recorder.  But turning songs into files, then burning those files into blank CDRs, the music was stripped of identity.  Then, Napster.  I didn’t have to pay for it anymore, it was rendered valueless.  Mp3.  Sacrificing quality for storage space.  iTunes.  No thrill of the hunt.  iPods.  All of it, everywhere with me.  Portable Bluetooth speakers.  Hardware equivalent of mp3s.   Ultimately, by escaping the physical limitations of the music, I’d lost contact with the music’s soul.

A turntable — Technics 1200-SL — and a couple dozen records to get me started. More details to come.

8 thoughts on “7.269 Grilled Shiitake

      1. TOTALLY, and not even in an ironic/nostalgic sense anymore, just as is.

        my friend HS was here last weekend, and we were listening to music in the car, and he remarked, “Don’t you listen to anything contemporary?” and i was taken aback, “Whaddya mean, this is Norah Jones!!” but then i realized that “Don’t Know Why” was released FIFTEEN YEARS ago.

  1. come to think of it, when i first started listening to the beatles, when i was in elementary school in the early 80s, the music was just 20 years old. now it’s 50 years old.

  2. On my last trip to Vegas i went to a Britney Spears concert thinking i was being all young and cool (you know, because the alternative was Celine Dion and she’s ancient). But then throughout the concert I realized the only Britney songs i know are from 1999. Doh!

    1. dude, “the only britney songs i know are from 1999” is not the problem, it’s the “i went to a britney spears concert” per se.

      the most recent album that i have is Vampire Weekend, and even that is 10 years old. i wouldn’t count Michael Buble’s christmas album.

      and these days, i’m primarily listening to jazz, mostly from the 50s, so that’s entirely in the wrong direction.

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