Leaving Ise for Tokyo, we traveled on the Kintetsu railroad to the industrial city of Nagoya. One of the largest cities in Japan, it is famous for sumo, cars and being a transportation hub to get to or from Tokyo. We only had a few hours in the city and once we found the bus stop and stowed our luggage we went in search of some local culinary specialties. On the local tour maps we found two streets titled with enticing names like, "Food Street" and such but to no avail. There was actually no food to be had here. Extending our search, we found tebasaki, or Japanese fried chicken wings. In Japan, the entire wing is fried. This includes the wing tip that has little meat on it but does give more crispy skin and the peppery flavor of the marinade. Another local dish is Taiwan Ramen. Named for a immigrant from Taiwan that invented it in the 70's, this is a spicy version of the ubiquitous noodle dish. Finely ground pork is fried with green onions and bean sprouts with chiles and other spices. Then it is placed on top of ramen in a soy sauce based soup base. Fried garlic chips were served as a garnish. It reminds me of dandanmien, a Sichuan dish from central China. While spicy according to Japanese tastes, it had only a noticeable heat.
If I had more time in Nagoya, I would also have tried miso-katsu. This is a standard tonkatsu, breaded pork cutlet, but served with a red miso sauce. This is a specialty of the region but being full I had no room left. Instead, I tried to find the castle but with inconsistent signage on the maps and roadways, we made it within four blocks before having to turn back due to time constraints. After we ascended the JR Towers, we saw how close we were.
Our trip out was on a six hour bus ride. We went to one of the numerous convenience stores and bought drinks and snacks for the trip. Here we found a fruit sandwich. Two slices white bread, with the crusts cut off, with whipped cream and assorted fruit. Odd from an American point of view but it worked.
The bus had a TV, video games and a pull down cocoon that fitted over your head to block light so you can sleep. Or it would, if we were not giant Americans. The trip itself went quickly and we arrived in Tokyo around 10pm. Here we settled down in a AirB&B we rented and got some rest before tackling Tokyo.