Unagi Donburi at Haginoya

By Cubie - April 14, 2011

I walked back to JR Nara station, planning to get back to Kyoto and have an earlier night. Grin, I was easily distracted. Saw a plastic replica of unagi donburi on a display cabinet outside of a eatery - Haginoya.

I had not have unagi in Japan yet then. I argued that taiyaki and karaage were just on tray. Haha.. so I went in and was told to find a seat.

Was a little disappointed that it was full house, so I came back out. When I reached the reception area, a lady came out and told me there was an empty table. :)

I grab a seat and then an elderly uncle came in. There was no other available tables. The earlier lady asked if I mind sharing the table with the uncle. I didn't and the uncle didn't mind either. Fate had it that right after that, everybody seem to have finished their meal and left. Seriously, the uncle and I were the only 2 person left. Haha.

The lady asked if he or I wanted to shift table, we didn't. So I had my dinner sharing table with the uncle. I already made up my mind before entering the shop - unagi donburi for me. There were 2 types of unagi available in that shop, from memory Grade A and Grade C. Grade A being the more expensive one... and I had the Grade C unagi (980 yen). Uncle ordered unagi donburi as well.

Uncle was very patient, still willing to have little chat with me despite my very poor Japanese. :P

And I unbashedly told uncle that I was going to take pictures of my food :P

See the tsukemono served together? It is called Narazuke pickle, a specialty of Nara. Uncle told me that. I had a bite, it was a bit salty to my liking but I finished it all.

Halfway through our meal, an Asian solo traveller to which I suspect from Taiwan came in. Upon ordering, he brought the lady to the front of the shop, I think to show her which food he wanted. Food plastic replicas are great that way isn't it?

Uncle told me that he was also from Kyoto, travelling to Nara for the yamayaki and has been attending it for every year. He used to work in a bank for 40 years, retired at the age of 60. Uncle was surprised that I was travelling by myself at that time and asked if my parents were worried. I told him no, cos it is in Japan and Japanese are kind. He laughed. :P

I could tell that solo traveller was laughing away. = =""

It so happened that all 3 of us went out to pay for our meal together. The fellow traveller was behind me and said “会讲日语真好。” That what why I guessed he is from Taiwan, from the accent. Though I have no clue why he laughed at me when I chatted with uncle. = ="

I bowed to uncle a little and we went on opposite direction. Both the other traveller and uncle were heading towards the Kintetsu Nara train station which I walked back to JR Nara Station.

Side note: I'm so simple. Little things like this made me happy. :)

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