Shabu Shabu Broth

I have died and gone to food heaven!
Last night Ben and I were invited to join the saito family for shabu shabu, it was utterly amazing! The restaurant had a system where you are given 90 minutes to order and eat as much as you want, during which you could order sushi, things to put in your shabu shabu, sides, and dessert. Every single aspect of the meal was amazing. The whole experience was amazing. When you walked into the restaurant there were lockers along the walls for you to put your shoes in. The ritual really set the mood. (There were slippers in the bathroom for cleanliness and comfort). The family had reserved its own room, the tables were low to the ground with cushions surrounding it. The floor was lower under the table, so you didn’t need to sit on your knees or cross legged, but it mostly seemed to be a matter of preference how you should sit. There were burners situated on each of the tables for the Shabu Shabu broth. When we ordered they poured broth into a bowl on the burners, vegetables and noodles were then added. The whole mixture became the hot pot in which you dipped different meats, and mushrooms. The soup got better the longer it was enjoyed. It was really an amazing experience. I absolutely loved the shabu shabu. The sushi we had was also quite fantastic. I tried many of kinds of roe, I had a ton of types of tuna, and the eel was excellent. I really wish my stomach had been bigger so I could have eaten more. I also enjoyed many of the side treats which consisted of tempura, oolong tea, and green tea mochi. 

Ben still had room for dessert

We were invited to the shabu shabu dinner as a celebration of two of of the kids entering into elementary school, as well as a celebration of sena and her mothers birthdays. It was very fun, and I am so grateful that we were invited.

The kids thought it was really exciting to go under the tables
Ben and I tried almost all the sushi you see here ( I skipped squid)

Ben and I went to the doctors yesterday. It was thorough, and awkward… We had to go to get our foreigner entrance examinations which are necessary before working in Japan. For the examination we had to have blood tests, an eye test, a BMI examination, drug tests, STD tests, an x-ray of our lungs, and a cardiogram. Only the head doctor spoke English, but he did not participate in most of the examination, so I had to rely on miming and my minimal Japanese. For the most part it worked out really well, there were just two major times where the language barrier became awkward. I was absolutely terrified of the cardiogram. They attached clamps to my wrists and ankles, and then stuck suction cups to my ribs, I thought for sure it was going to zap me so I was terrified! The cardiogram showed it. The more awkward part of the examination was during the X-Ray. I thought for sure they had told me to take my top off… so I did… I was wrong.
 The doctors at the clinic did not wear gloves, even when drawing blood. I’m not sure whether it is a Japanese thing or just something specific to that office, but to me it was really off-putting. For a place that seems to be fairly germaphobic, I would think doctors would be extremely careful.
 In the end everything worked out, but it could have gone a lot more smoothly. The grand total for the bill came out to $150 per person, without insurance.