Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cafe 8

In March we travelled to Tokyo, Japan where we found ourselves in a slightly more chaotic situation than anticipated when a massive earthquake and tsunami hit the country just after our arrival (literally, our plane had just landed - you can read about the experience a little bit here). At any rate, once we arrived at our hotel, we were beyond blessed to find a vegan cafe located just around the block in our little neighborhood of Nakameguro.

Cafe 8 was to become our "home base" outside of the hotel. We had two meals a day there, every day after we found it. Even when all businesses were closed because of the threat of nuclear rain, they opened up and let us inside to eat. At the end of our trip they worried about us getting out of the country safely as much as we worried about leaving them behind (and they sent us off to the airport with muffins for breakfast).

And let's NOT forget the food! It was great! Despite not being strictly Japanese, the flavors were still a major change from any vegan food I have eaten in the US. We tried a number of dishes while we were there from a tofu sandwich, vegetable soup, crusty fresh-made bread with tofu spread and plump raisins, curry, vegetables cooked in a staub, and more. And the desserts! They were incredible in that they were flavorful, but not as sweet as you'd find in the US. One of my favorites there was a bitter hot chocolate, though I also ate my fair share of banana bread pudding with a sweet cream on the side.

I could write a really long entry about the role that Cafe 8 and it's awesome employees played in making us feel at home in Japan, but I'll save it for another forum. Rest assured that I will be back someday under more pleasant circumstances and I can't wait!

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