Gundam, Bikkuri Donkey, and Bacon Chocolate

Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 | 0 comments

    We finally went to see Gundam! For those of you who don't know what Gundam is, let me explain a bit. And let me also clarify that I knew absolutely nothing about Gundam before he appeared here in Shizouka, lest you think that I have any interest in comic books or model robots. No offense of course to those you who really love reading those 'graphic novels', as you like to call them!
   This particular Gundam is a fictional gigantic combat robot statue that stands 18 meters tall. He was erected and on display previously in Odaiba, a waterfront district of Tokyo. Bandai, a model toy company here, started making Gundam and other robot models (Gunpla---Gundam plastic models) 30 years ago, so they started the giant 'life-size' Gundam project in order to commemorate the anniversary. Shizouka was chosen as the display site since Bandai has a main factory here.
  Gundam is free to visit, although parking is 500 yen and seriously about a 10 to 15 minute walk from Gundam. It's much better to take the train to Higashi-Shizouka station and get off right at Gundam.  You can get your picture taken with Gundam for free, too, as long as you bring your own camera and don't bother to buy the professional print the photographers try to sell you.
     After visiting Gundam, we had dinner at Bikkuri Donkey. Bikkuri Donkey is a chain 'hamburger steak' restaurant that originated in Tokyo. It offers a variety of hamburger patties topped with items such as egg, cheese, curry, etc. The company claims to add no artificial food additives or preservatives to its meat, and a lot of the other ingredients are made at the parent company's plant. Still, hamburger is hamburger in my, seeing as I'm not a huge fan of minced meat, it was a day of firsts: Gundam, and then Donkey.
  By the time we ordered, I was so hungry that I almost got a huge cheese-filled patty, but at the last second opted for a tofu patty with veggies instead. Honestly, it was one of the best tofu burgers I've ever eaten! Probably because it wasn't actually vegetarian (in Japan, tofu does not equal meat-free) and contained some minced meat, too. Go Donkey!
  Finally, to finish the day off with some more meat products, we tasted some bacon-infused chocolate, courtesy of our lovely friend visiting from Chicago. She hadn't tried it before but thought I might want to, being pregnant and all. (Oddly enough, she had no idea that I'd craved bacon throughout my first trimester). Sadly, I think that her words sum it up best: 'Adding bacon to chocolate seems like a big waste of bacon'. It was ok for chocolate, but there wasn't much bacon taste overall, just a hint of salt. My advice to Vosages chocolate company: if you're going to add bacon to something, at least throw in some big chunks of it!


                                     My tofu patty

                            Yuki's massive cheese-topped hamburger patty

                                    The disappointing bacon-chocolate bar