Catching our own dinner

After all the packing excitement it was time for some exciting dinner. Kumiko picked me up and we went to a restaurant in Komaki where we had to catch our own dinner. The place is called Zauo, and it’s basically a huge ship in the middle an enormous fish tank. The boat is loaded with tables and cushions, and the tank is loaded with fish and water of course. There are also some aquarium rooms around the fish tank, but who wants to sit there when you can dine on the cool boat?

So you order drinks and food, mainly side dishes because the main part of the meal is still swimming around you in the tank. They start immediately bringing you the food and drinks, but it’s totally not interesting until you’ve caught an actual fish. They give you a flimsy fishing rod (which turned out to be surprisingly strong), some bait (tiny shrimp) and a fishnet, and then it’s up to you get your dinner out of the fish tank. They tell you to be patient, which is probably why they bring the other food so quickly so you don’t starve while waiting for a fish to bite. But it really doesn’t take long for a fish to take the bait:

We ordered a set menu, because it was economical but also because there’s always stuff in a set menu which I would never think of ordering myself. This way I get to experience new and adventurous foods. Here’s a selection from tonight’s side dishes:

There was one side dish that I wouldn’t just not think of ordering, but I would never be brave enough to order it. Sazae, or a turban sea snail, is the most disgusting-looking thing I’ve ever seen on my dinner plate. Here’s Kumiko giving you a closer look at the Sazae:

It really didn’t look like something that you ought to put in your mouth, it looked more like something you ought to flush down the toilet. Yet, I made an attempt to eat one of these snails, because apparently they’re very expensive and I’d set out to experience adventurous foods, so I really couldn’t let myself down:

Around the time we were finishing dinner, a waiter announced a game of rock-paper-scissors with all the patrons of the restaurant competing against him. The prize was a huge melon soda float, basically about a liter of bright green melon soda topped with loads of scoops of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. Not really my kind of thing and way too much for Kumiko and me to finish but competing was fun, and of course we didn’t win anyway. After dinner we went for (just) 2 hours of karaoke for the last time at Shidax, but not before making a quick stop at a purikura machine:

We had an awesome time tonight and I was happy to find out that there’s also a Zauo in Osaka, so I can go fishing for great sashimi again. This was the last time I got to hang out with Kumiko before I move to Osaka, but I’m sure we’ll still be hanging out after my leaving Inuyama. There are still Bon Jovi karaoke marathons to be held and Bon Jovi concerts to attend, and I’m going to need Kumiko for that!
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9 thoughts on “Catching our own dinner

  1. !!! I can’t believe you managed to actually try that <>sazae<>. I had to watch the video the whole way through after seeing the photo above it. I came across your blog somehow and have been following you for a few weeks – I used to live in Osaka and I’m a bit homesick for Japan and you write so beautiful and take fantastic pictures! But that snail … I guess my friends in Japan would have politely bullied me into eating it, too, but I would have been just as hesitant as you, or more so!

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  2. I am so happy you discovered the video ‘option’ for your blog! Wow, Sazae! Brrbrbrrrr! This way you can show us how tough you are! Gaaf zeg!And the fishing I want to do also, cool!Tomorrow BON JOVI:)!!!! Gelsenkirchen! xxx

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  3. konbanwa! (its currently evening now)wow!i just come across your blogsite when i was searching for sazae& i would say you have a very interesting blog site! daisuki!keep up the good job!will be looking for more of your post

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  4. Hi,
    I'm an American currently living (and telecommuting for my job at Yale Univ) while my husband works here in Japan. I'm taking my son to this restaurant (the one in Shinjuku inTokyo) this week and we had fun watching you catch your fish. We now know what to expect. Hope you're still enjoying your time in Japan!

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  5. I'm half Indonesian, that's what you see. I'm glad you noticed, in Japan people never recognize my part-Asian looks, which is weird to me because I feel I look way more Asian than white. In the Netherlands people used to think I was Chinese :).

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