The guy on the far left has eaten his Fugu so I asked him, okay I want to know, would you have died already? They’re all laughing, but I’m dead serious. I want to know if he’d be dead by now, because if he would be then it’s safe and I need reassurance. It seems like the answer is yes, so I say screw it, if they’re eating it this probably isn’t some grand scheme to murder me with Fugu poison. I eat it. Then, the chef informs him that it actually takes 30 minutes not 3 minutes, so I’m thinking, okay maybe we're both gonna die tonight. Playing it cool I take note of what time it is, this way I’ll know when I’ve survived. At this point I decide to order some sake because, well I might die right?
So I order some Sake, finish my Fugu, and my next plate is served. They look like little sacs of something white and creamy. I ask again what it is, they say taste it first. I ask, "is it poisonous?" They say no. So I eat one, it’s super hot and fishy, and they’re all laughing. It’s eye of Blowfish! And I’m thinking no way, this doesn’t have the consistency of an eye. No, the eye they say. Then I realize, it’s Blowfish testicles. As I mentioned, I’m really not an adventurous eater, but this night has been so weird anyways, I guess I’m eating Blowfish testicles now. And for whatever reason this is not as frightening to me as eating Eyeballs.
I’m laughing now because here I am in a random sushi bar in a small city with 7 strange men eating poisonous foods and Blowfish testicles. Nothing about my experience in Hirosaki has been normal, but this takes the cake. After finishing the next two courses of Sea Urchin and some Tempura Mountain Weeds, I finish my Sake, tell the owner I’m tired, thank them for the evening and head home. They of course went out to party more, but my Hirosaki adventure had reached full capacity.
So I went home, and went to bed. In the morning I woke up early, visited the Onsen, drank some tea, packed my things and checked out. I left my luggage at the front desk and went to the park for a couple hours to see the Cherry Blossoms in the daylight. I took my photos, felt my resolution, and then, I headed back to Tokyo.
So I’ll say now, I’m glad it happened, but it was scary as hell. And maybe, if you’re a city person like me, wait to go to the countryside until you have a partner in crime to join you.