Any Burner on the Playa this week can tell you that mushrooms and dancing go nicely together. But here in Japan, the Dancing Mushroom—maitake—has nothing to do with EDM. It was supposedly named after the happy jig you make when you find one in the forest. Or even when you find one, as we did, in a friend’s shop in Hakodate. Drugs are crazy illegal in Japan, but a deep umami high off of maitake might just be the next best thing. #rkjapan
The spin-drying of the saury, in the Okhotsk Monbetsu harbor, on the northern edge of Hokkaido #rkjapan
Serendipitous to be in Hokkaido for the first lunch service after soba-master Tatsuru Rai returned from Copenhagen. That 12-minute wordless preparation he did for hundreds at @themadfeed? That’s every bowl here, silent save for bebop playing on the radio and endless rounds of slurping from the ten seats at Sobatei Rakuichi. But you could tell he and his wife were thrilled to have been to CPH—on a small calendar behind the bar, last weekend’s days were marked with a single word: NOMA. #rkjapan
In the Blood
Bram Stoker’s great-grandnephew wants to attract visitors to the remote mountaintop the fictional Dracula may—or may not—have called home.
The town of Kutchan in Hokkaido is basically all snow and potatoes, which is why their town mascot is a fat little potato on skis. But in all seasons you get these beautiful bowls of Gosetsu udon, fat little noodles made a bit translucent because they’re made with potato flour. Surprisingly light, served cold but dipped in warm broth, a superfine specialty for an otherwise unassuming town of 15,000 potato-growers and udon-eaters. #rkjapan