Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fuku (Fugu) in Yamaguchi

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You've heard of fugu, the potentially deadly puffer fish?



Well, in Yamaguchi, the most famous place in Japan for the stuff, they call if fuku, meaning good luck. I always thought it would be pricey (the high end fugu shops in Tokyo cost around $300 a person), but was shocked to see how normal it is down here.

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Deep fried fuku for 100 yen. That's just a buck!

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The whole Shimonoseki fish market area is great. It might be more into the wholesale thing in the early morning, but at noon it was just shops selling sushi, fried fish, and beers, Mega cheap to boot. And, just a short walk away was a Ferris wheel and helicopter rides.

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I ate enough fuku to numb my throat, then headed on to central Yamaguchi, about an hour away.

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In any new town in Japan, I always try to find a welcoming bar, then ask them about restaurants and other bars in the area. This funky wine bar, called 和音, was the perfect start. What's that? You are having a Kumamoto wine fair? With complementary raw horse meat?

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Solid! The friendly bartender recommended the most popular local izakaya. A few hours wait later and we were dining on local fish and drinking local sake.

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If the whale bacon scares you, just wash it down with some fuku infused sake.

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And dig into a pot of fuku nabe.

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So much fukin fuku.

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Random birthday party crash? You bet!

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We managed to find the last pieces of Godiva chocolate at the local 7-11, a worthy birthday present.

Yamaguchi, people, make the trek.

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