And WOW!…was I blown away! EVERYTHING in Japan is incredibly fresh, full of flavor and artistically prepared!
We often started our days with a small cup of coffee. I was pleasantly surprised to find busy coffee shops within walking distance of everywhere we went. I knew that Japan was known for its tea, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when it came to coffee, and was happy to find myself among many other coffee
While visiting one of the gardens, we stopped in one of the many tea houses along the way. We chose the iced green tea (because it was HOT out!), which came with this beautiful dessert. The tea was carefully prepared and presented. I must say, the tea and dessert were a bit too bitter for my taste, but I loved the experience of sitting in the tea house, amongst friendly company and conversation.
Now onto the good stuff. While walking through the neighborhoods, we noticed that most restaurants had displays of fake food showcasing their meals. This made deciding where and what to eat so much easier!
One of the most common lunches we found ourselves ordering were “lunch combo specials.” These usually came with miso soup, a noodle bowl, rice, and/or dumplings. These were great to share and were always priced well.
We found that tempura (yum) was a common way of serving seafood and vegetables over rice.
Noodle bowls were so fun to order and eat! The noodles were typically made fresh in the restaurant and you could choose if you wanted it served hot or cold, and which type of noodle you preferred (usually soba, udon or ramen). Below is a deeeelicious soba noodle bowl!
The next dish was probably my favorite meal we ate there. It was a ramen noodle bowl that was made with fresh ramen noodles (sooooo good and so NOT like what American “ramen” is like!), a pork broth base (the most common noodle bowl base) and topped with tons of fresh veggies and sesame seeds. The flavors were just incredible!
Of course, you can’t go to Japan without enjoying sushi! This was at a “sushi belt” restaurant right in the middle of the famous Tokyo Fish Market. You picked which sushi you wanted as it constantly came around on a belt, while watching it be prepared right in front of you! At the end of the meal, the cost is added-up by the number and type of plates stacked at your seating. This was such a fun experience!
They never resell prepared foods the following day, so it was common to see sushi rolls marked for about 50% off a few hours before closing time. This was take-out sushi from a local shop.
One meal that surprised me was Japanese Curry. I never knew it was even a type of cuisine or that it would be so popular! This was a vegetable (eggplant, tomato and green beans) curry. The sauce was very similar to Indian curries I’ve had before, but much more mild. I really enjoyed this!
…as well as some of the prepared foods (I was amazed by the over easy eggs on the left)…
…and finally, dessert! I actually really appreciated that dessert wasn’t too common and when it was available, it was often savory versus overly-sweet. Here’s just a glimpse into some of the ice cream flavors available at one local shop!
We didn’t have a bad meal the entire time we were in Japan, and never got tired of trying new foods! This is definitely a cuisine I would be happy eating everyday!
~What is your favorite Japanese food/dish?