DJ Neil Armstrong Gives Us A Tour Of The Regional Foods Of Nagoya And Okinawa

DJ Neil Armstrong often travels to Japan for performances...and an incredible array of food.[/caption]

DJ Neil Armstrong needs no introduction for hip-hop fans. He was Jay-Z's touring DJ for all of 2008 and 2009 and has shared the stage with the likes of Rihanna, Beyonce, Kanye West, Young Jeezy and Timbaland in a storied career. He's also performed at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and spun alongside Common, Neil Young, Coldplay and Linkin Park. Talk about an eclectic mix.

Back in April, Neil took over our Instagram during a four-week trip to Asia and it turns out that music is not his only flavor. The takeover  in which the DJ took our followers on an incredible tour of Tokyo and snapped photos and videos of robot sushi, turtle soup and gigantic burgers  went so well that we asked him to keep a travel journal on his next trip. First up was Taiwan. Next: the Japanese regions of Nagoya and Okinawa.

Most of the time I come out to the Land of the Rising Sun, I only get to stay in the Tokyo area. On this last trip, I visited two new places: Okinawa and Nagoya.

Nagoya is about 300 miles south of Tokyo. Just like America has its regional cuisines (i.e. Cajun in Louisiana), so does Japan. On this very short trip, I tried two specialties famous to the region.

Umibudo don is a dish from Okinawa that consists of a unique type of seaweed served over tuna and rice.

This is umibudo don. Umibudo is that weird green stuff. Interesting translations I've heard are "sea grapes" or "green caviar." It's simply a type of seaweed that grows near Okinawa. My understanding is that it can't be refrigerated and because of this, it's not really seen outside of the areas where it can be harvested. To experience it, you have to make a pilgrimage to Mr. Miyagi's hometown.

You know how you bite into salmon roe and it bursts with flavor? The same thing happens with umibudo, except with great seaweed flavor. Think of it as seaweed in bubble form. It's pretty amazing.

For the umibudo don, they place some tuna tartare over rice and top it with the seaweed. You mix it all together and enjoy.

'Til next time, fellow eaters. Happy traveling!

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