Meal

Interesting and weird food culture of Japan

 

It is easy to find big supermarkets in Japan. Just go near the railway stations or go along the main roads. Most groceries can be bought there: fresh foods…

…like vegetables, fruits, meat and fish, frozen food, processed food,  seasonings, rice and ready-made dishes. Many of them sell alcohol, too. There is a wide variety of groceries and they are inexpensive.
 

 

You can buy also food at convenience stores. If you don’t feel like cooking, this is the place to go. Especially they have a variety of snacks, soft drinks in bottles, take-out lunches, rice balls, bread, and instant food. In some convenience stores, you can even find one-pot dishes in aluminum pack and all you have to do at home is heat them up.

If you want to have the take-out lunches warm, just ask for it and they will microwave it for you on the spot. Sometimes they sell warm o-den (Japanese Pot-au-feu) already cooked in a special pot, usually sold next to the checkout counters, and meat buns. Prices are reasonable and opening hours is long.
 

 

 Oden (おでん)・・・Oden is a Japanese one pot winter dish consisting of several ingredients such as boiled eggs, daikon, konjac, and processed fishcakes stewed in a light, soy-flavored dashi broth. Ingredients vary according to region and between each household. Karashi is often used as a condiment.

 

 

 

delicious “street stall” of Oden ♡

 

 

 

 

Food section of department stores are full of different tastes ☆

If you go to the underground floors of department stores in Japan, most of them have a food section. Because this is a well-known fact, it even has a word for it in Japanese, which is “Depa-Chika”, meaning “department store’s underground”.

 

Each department store has its own taste to their food section but the common part is that it is a gathering of old shops in Japan and from various parts of the world. When you look around “Depa-Chika”, you will immediately know the ‘desire’ of Japanese people against food.

 

 

To give an example of the food shops they have: Japanese bean jelly shop run since the Nara period (the year from AD 710〜794), Uji tea (one of Japanese tea) shop of Kyoto, Chinese food from china-town, tea-ceremony-type dishes from Japanese-style restaurants, French dishes from popular French restaurants, Italian dishes from a Italian restaurant where Rome is the main store, etc.

 

Just by listing them up, they are all famous shops with their own special taste.

 

 

 

 

 

Why not make good use of take-out foods?

Take-out foods from fast-food restaurants are also convenient. You can expect the same taste and quality in any fast-food restaurants you go to. The well-known McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken can be found mostly in front of the major railroad stations.

There are chain stores where they sell take-out dishes and lunches. They are, so to speak, Japanese style fast-food stores. If you want to buy sushi, you can try it. For lunches, you can try HOKKA-HOKKA-TEI and ORIGIN and more.

 

For Takoyaki (small dumplings with pieces of octopus wrapped in dough, and special sauce on top of them), you can try KYO-TAKO and TSUKIJI GIN-DAKO and so on.

 

Lovely food「takoyaki」 ♡

 

 

Though it is not a chain store, you can sometimes see eel restaurants, sushi restaurants, and tempura restaurants selling their own food. In this case, they usually have a special window near the entrance for selling. Prices and taste varies according to the restaurant, but the good thing about this is that you can buy them hot to take home.

Also when you go to the chicken meat shops, you can buy hot Yakitori (grilled pieces of chicken on a skewer) and at the meat shops, you can buy hot croquette for take-outs.

 

Delicious food「yakitori」 ♡

 

 

 

 

 

Vending machines – you can get drinks, snacks, and even…

Vending machines are everywhere in Japan. In front of convenience stores, on the station platforms, and just by walking around the town, you will find as many vending machines as the telegraph poles.

Most of the vending machines have canned drinks like coke and beer but some have rice, bread, snacks, eggs, magazines, toys, condom and instant cup noodles. If you see a place or a store where they have a whole bunch of vending machines, it might be worth checking it ☆

 

vending machine for salt… for what?

 

 

 

 

A way to satisfy yourself just by eating rice ☆

While immediately cooked fluffy white rice is a great treat, rice with assorted ingredients of each season and mixed rice can also be a satisfying main dish.

 

 

🔵  Rice with Assorted Ingredients

Bamboo-shoot rice, matsutake mushroom rice, assorted rice, mixed rice etc, can be cooked in a rice cooker.

 

Bamboo-shoot rice

 

“matsutake mushroom rice” (right) and “Chestnut rice” (left)

 

mixing-rice ♡

 

 

 

🔵  Kayu (= Rice Porridge / Soft Rice)

Kayu is watery rice.

 

A dying man who can’t eat anything other than porridge.

 

 

 

🔵  Zousui (Rice Porridge / Soupy Rice)

rice simmered in soup stock (of consomme or Japanese – style dried tuna) flavored with soy sauce, sake, salt, etc. You can also enjoy great soupy rice using leftover soup stock of hot – pot dishes. You can add chicken, vegetables, eggs, etc. as you wish.

 

 

 

 

and more☺️

 
 

 

 

Weirdest foods?

 

🔴  Tuna Eyeballs 


 

Although it sounds nasty, apparently it’s rather tame, tasting pretty similar to squid or octopus. None of the gunk you’d normally associate with slicing up eyeballs then?
 

 

 

🔴  Shiokara
fermented squid product ♡

 

This really does sound bad. A dish made of pieces of meat taken from a selection of sea creatures, served in a brown, viscous paste of their own salted and fermented viscera. Oh, I forgot to say, it’s all served raw. You enjoy☺️
 

 

 

🔴  Wasp Crackers
Can you eat?

 

Yep, you guessed it, it’s a biscuit filled with wasps. Think chocolate chip cookies, only the insects replace the choccy chips. Apparently the digger wasp, which the biscuit contains, has a pretty mean sting. I wish your tongue good luck.
 

 

 

🔴  Fugu


 

Made famous by The Simpsons, this little delicacy has the potential to be deadly if prepared incorrectly. As such, only chefs that have been drilled to perfection are allowed to handle the serving of the pufferfish.

Still, it’s said to make one mean little sashimi dish.
 


 

 

 

🔴  Cherry Blossom Meat  (basashi)


 

Interesting one, isn’t it?

Anyway, cherry blossom meat is raw horse (sashimi of horse meat), served either on its own or as part of sushi. It’s said to be low in calories and low in fat, but it may not something you can see yourself trying, despite savouring the raw flesh of cows.
 

 

 

🔴  Shirako  (albino, soft roe)


 

Another fancy name for an animal’s reproductive organs, Shirako is essentially a cod’s sperm sac. Apparently soft and creamy to taste you can have it served up steamed or deep fried.
 

 

 

 

Fermented soybeans (natto) have long threads trailing from them ☆

 

 

 

 

Character lunch box   (Kyara-ben) ☆

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy all of them when you are in Japan someday☺️