When most people think Japan (myself included), sushi is the first thing that comes to mind. The great tour guide we had on our trip to Mt. Fuji and Hakone educated us on the fact that that is not the case. It’s a special meal for the locals. Maybe only a few times a year. It’s intricate to prepare, not quick and easy. Traditional fare can include the components of it — rice, sashimi — the raw fish, and the seaweed. We also learned about a KEY staple in Japanese cuisine, miso soup.
During our tour we were given a sample of the local fare at lunch with a bite of several varieties of food, a bit ‘westernized.’ It was very nice.
That night we did the true Japanese style hotel and meal. I did not feel comfortable taking pictures in the restaurant but it was about a 9 (small) course meal with a taste of everything. It was amazing. A couple soups, several unidentifiable objects that were pretty good, some good seaweed pieces (that were purple-ish), amazing fish and other assorted tastes. Overall, definitely a meal to remember. The size was perfect, since you get a small sample of everything. And I was able to conquer the food with chopsticks! I discovered that soy sauce is not used all that much in Japan — more a Chinese staple. They provided us with a small bit and that was all — maybe a teaspoon or two.
The next morning, breakfast called. It was at that point when we realized the Japanese diet/regimen is quite similar throughout the day. Most of the dishes the waitress brought to the table were very similar to dinner. One of the oddest was the cold (super super) over easy egg on angel hair- ish pasta, which was also cold. That threw me off because I was expecting both components to be hot. For that meal I think I only tried a tiny bit of everything and much of it was less than I was hoping for, very unfortunately. But as I was taught, you have to try it all. Coffee is also hard to find. Very fortunately we came by a coffee machine in the lobby of the hotel…caffeine!
The next cool, interesting thing in Japan is 7-11. What do we think of it as here…convenience store. Coffee, soda, snacks, gas station. There, OH NO! High quality food, no lie. They have awesome sandwiches that are pre-packed and last for awhile (loved the PB one) and sashimi that I wish I could have everyday. And so affordable — about $3 for a huge pack!
Next food subject…still can’t decide!