Our first stop out of Wellington was Narita, Japan.
We were staying at a hotel close to the airport at Narita solely for the purpose of breaking our journey and getting a good night’s sleep before the second leg. It was dinner time when we checked in and our hotel did not do dinner, so we headed out for the only eating establishment in the vicinity.
Arigaton is a classic Japanese eating house. Basic setting, straightforward service and standard fare. It was constantly full while we were there and the atmosphere felt hospitable. It took me a while to recall how Japanese eating works but it gradually came back to me as the meal progressed.
By good fortune, I appeared to have ordered a set, so everything came as it should. Miso soup, chicken katsu with shredded lettuce and a bowl of sticky rice. Condiments on the table included kewpie mayonnaise, soy sauce and togarishi. Washed down with a refreshing glass of Asahi beer.
In the morning we had the hotel buffet breakfast which included all the regular Japanese breakfast components. Miso soup, sticky rice, a selection of cold noodles and sausage. Followed by a slice of thick white milk bread and coffee.
Regretfully our stay wasn’t longer. There was no opportunity to revisit old favourites – sushi, chawanmushi, tempura, yakitori. That will have to wait for the next visit. In the meantime Polish cuisine awaits.