Paul Young

Educator, Designer, Culinary Explorer




pop-up events

Bullet Train to Osaka

Sunday, July 16, 2023 • 6–8pm • $60 per person


Osaka is considered by many as the food capital of the world. Tonight, we'll take a fantasy foodie safari from Tokyo to Osaka on the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train line while tasting everything Japan has to offer en route.


Before we board the train at the Tokyo station, we'll grab some Sakana (small bites) to go along with a bottle of premium sake. As our train leaves Tokyo station, we'll break open the bottle and indulge in some tasty appetizers as the train departs and accelerates up to 200 mph.


Soon food carts will come down the aisle and we'll grab some Oshizushi (Pressed Sushi) and other treats just for the fun of it. Let's indulge ourselves and order a highball cocktail as well.


In about 2½ hours, our train will pull into Kyoto station where we will get off briefly to try some Tsukemono (Sunomono and other pickled things) which this city is famous for. Because bullet trains on the Shinkansen line run every 10 minutes, we'll hop back on the next train and in just 15 more minutes, we pull into Osaka Station.


As soon as we arrive in Osaka, we'll head directly to Janjan Yokocho, Osaka's "hidden retro alley" where many tiny restaurants and standing bars are crammed right next to each other. We'll let our curiosity guide us as we taste a little bit of everything from Maguro Zuke Don (a marinated tuna sashimi bowl) to hand-made Gyoza (pot stickers) to Okonomiyaki (grilled savory pancake) and more.


Bonus: Maximize your experience (optional) by watching the 1985 arthouse hit Tampopo before the dinner event (currently streaming by subscription on HBO Max or via VOD), then join us for stimulating conversation about the movie and its themes during dinner. Billed as "the first Japanese noodle Western," Tampopo is a piercing satire from master director Jûzô Itami and is considered required viewing for gaijins interested in taking a deep dive into the Japanese mind. It’s also a Jaques Tati-inspired sitcom — a very meta vignette comedy made up of multiple sequences interconnected by poetic threads.


Note: All of our pop-up events are all-inclusive prix fixe dinners. This means you get a multi-course dinner complete with wine and other beverage pairings all evening long for one fixed price. Unlike at restaurants, all taxes and tip are included as well.


Reservations: For more information, please join the popup_dinners_cu Facebook group, follow @popup_dinners_cu on Instagram, or subscribe to my email newsletter.