The seaside town of Atami, in Shizuoka prefecture is situated 70 miles away from Tokyo. This quiet little town gave me my first experience of Japan. The town is famous for its onsen (hot springs), seafood delicacies and Museum of Art.
View of the bay from Atami Castle, which was more like a viewing platform than a real castle
If there is one thing that stands out in Atami, its the proliferation of "kiam hoo" (salted fish) shops. Everywhere we turned, there stood yet another dried seafood shop. However, I must give credit to the high standards of cleanliness in Japan. While we saw them often, we didn't smell them at all. In fact, I was often awed by the creative displays and packaging for dried fish.
This beautiful dish on my first night in Atami led me to conclude that "you ain't had sushi until you've had sushi in Japan". It's incomparable to any sushi I'd ever eaten. Each mouthful is just bursting with fresh fish goodness and the rice is only a vehicle to transport the heavenly morsels. The hint of wasabi (horseradish paste) is just enough to add the requisite bite. Simply divine!
I will never forget this meal as long as I live. Fresh tuna belly over a bed of rice and miso soup. Clean, fresh, melt-in-your-mouth tuna is to die for. I kid you not. Unbelievably delicious! And it only cost USD9 in a delightful little "mom & pop" eatery called Treasures of the Sea.
No meal is ever complete without dessert and we girls were very fortunate to stumble upon a lovely shop that served the best creme brule custard (green tea flavour of course!), mochi with red beans and yuzu (a cross between orange & lemon) jelly. They served free green tea so we kept returning every day for the sweet treats.
And last but not least, allow me to introduce you to my two lovely travel companions, Julina Halim (in green) and Li Ki (in red). This photo was taken at the tranquil tea garden of the Atami Museum of Art.