We ventured back to Ueno-okachimachi in the northeastern quarter of Tokyo, so I could take a few photos, and we could scoff a few potatoes. The proprietor was waiting behind the counter, in the usual unassuming manner associated with Japanese shop-keepers. When I snapped this photo, I believe he supposed that I may have just been taking photos of the area. His face lit up when we made a bee line for the shop entrance.
The top-photo shows the main two types of 大学芋 (daigaku imo) on sale. Komachi and kamote. Upon entering the shop, I conversed with the shopkeeper and enquired what the difference was between komachi and kamote. To our surprise, he tried to answer us in English! The gist of it was, that komachi was a little drier, a little more fluffy, and kamote are more dense and juicy. He also explained a little in Japanese, and then rushed over to grab two wooden forks... so we could taste the difference!
500g of your finest kamote please!
500g wasn't enough for him; he added two extra chunks! After handing just a few hundred yen in exchange for a half-kilo of carb-goodness, he then said "ahh, service! service!", and quickly picked up his tongs. Top tip: If you're in a Japanese restaurant, or food establishment and hear the word "service", it means for free. He quickly filled another bag with 200g worth of komachi! We couldn't believe it! We won't be needing dinner tonight...
By this point, there's not much left to say. We sustained a huge sugar-high, which lasted until bedtime! If you're in Japan in autumn, be sure to track down some daigaku-imo!