Japan #1

Last month, personal travel took me to Japan.  What an experience; from culture to scenery to food.  I learned so much about any and everything.  I didn’t get to take nearly enough pictures of the food I enjoyed/didn’t enjoy, but wanted to share some of what I experienced.  There will be a few parts to this over a few days.

The hardest thing about being in Japan is the language barrier.  Every other place I’ve traveled I’ve been able to communicate with the locals.  This time, not even close (note – the one extreme is when I was trying to ask something and I spoke to the waiter in French – in Japan!  One time when I couldn’t remember the Spanish word for butter, while I Spain, and whipped out the French there, that was not extreme – but while in Japan – whoa!).

When a restaurant in Japan offers an “English Menu” that normally means you get to look at pictures or plastic samples.  Not so bad, I guess, and quite entertaining.  The night we arrived we saw a rough idea of the tuna ‘sashimi’ with some type of sauce.  Another great example was when we were near the Sumo stadium and saw bowl upon bowl, plate upon plate of display.  It couldn’t look more real.  I just wonder — how did they make these?

There are amazing vegetables in the area, especially at markets, though prices were high.  But let me tell you — if you buy a tomato, they wrap that thing for you like it’s the most precious thing on the face of this planet.  They also have some great samples of seafood, and I’m going to use the word ‘local’ stuff.  I tried some things, steered clear of others.  If I could identify it for the most part, I would give it a try.

Some of the best seafood bites were near the renowned seafood market.  I didn’t get there to see the hands-on action because it can be hit-or-miss to actually get in.  You need to arrive by 4:30am.  Sometimes they let 20 people in, sometimes 100, sometimes nobody at all.  Depends on the day, the mood.  So, we went down to the market around 9:30am and saw the shops that were selling the food they purchased from the market.

That’s the first rundown of the trip.  More to come.




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