Shin’s Sushi – Zama, Japan

Tucked away in Zama, Japan, the most delectable sushi experience awaits me.  I push the exterior veil away from the entrance and slide the Zen-like door open.  I remove my shoes and immediately step onto a platform and into a Japanese norigotatsu – a low-style bar with a hidden well where I place my legs.  I see Shin, the owner of this artful establishment.  He is incredibly methodical, a master of Japanese cutlery.  He greets me and asks what interests me on his menu.  I request his renowned tuna roll.  I watch him diligently prepare his culinary concerto.  He acquires a piece of fresh tuna he purchased from the local auction that morning.  He dices it so finely that the blur of his hands mesmerizes my senses, much like a conductor hypnotically engaging his orchestra.  My mouth begins to salivate as I watch him place his sushi-roller on the bar.  He situates a rectangular piece of nori on the roller, upon which he places the perfect amount of rice.  He then quickly grinds his own wasabi and paints it ever so gently across the rice before distributing the finely diced tuna.  In one swift movement he rolls the sushi.  He cuts the roll into six uniform pieces and places it on a small platter with fresh, pickled ginger.  Not wanting to spoil the natural flavor, I firmly secure the sushi between my chopsticks, sans sauce.  I gently close my eyes as the buttery richness immediately begins to melt against the warmth of my tongue.  The wasabi explodes and the concentrated heat further intensifies this amazing creation.  I allow my eyes to remain closed while I savor this utterly incredible masterpiece.  I finally regain my senses and slowly open my eyes, relishing perfection at its height of simplicity.

Visit my updated Japan Memoirs for Day #2: Adventures in Japan.

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