Perhaps one of the most memorable things we experienced in Japan was the food. There was such a wide variety and it wasn't all sushi, which made Brian happy. At our hotel we had the option each morning of choosing either the Japanese style or Western style breakfasts. Here's the Japanese style. It had some fish, rice, meso soup, and other things we couldn't identify. Angela enjoyed it but Brian preferred the Western.
The Western breakfast wasn't exactly what we normally eat for breakfast and there was some variability each day but here's a representative one. Vegetable soup for breakfast?
If you were still hungry after your breakfast there was all you could eat fruits and these tasty waffles with chocolate syrup and sprinkles or blueberry syrup.
Every night after 9 pm the hotel had free ramen noodles you could enjoy. They were not like the ramen noodles that you get in the US, they were much better. Brian really enjoyed this since he had this option every night for 4 weeks in Japan. There was onions and seaweed in the soup also. You use your chop sticks to pick up the noodles and it's polite to slurp up the noodles to show the cook that you enjoy them. You then use a soup spoon to drink the rest of the soup.
Many restaurants had these plastic food dishes that were made to look exactly like the foods the restaurant serves. This was extremely helpful to those of us that didn't speak Japanese or couldn't read Kanji.
For Angela's birthday, she chose to eat at a sushi place that had a conveyor belt to deliver the food (like the sushi train restaurant that was posted earlier on our blog). The cooks are in the middle of the restaurant and place items on the conveyor belt and the patrons sit around the cook area up to a bar. You then grab whatever items you want and you pay per plate that you take. The plates are color coded and cost various amounts. We tried various types of raw fish from white fish to shrimp to eel to squid. Angela enjoyed the experience but it wasn't so satisfying for Brian.
One of our favorites was yakitori, which are Japanese BBQ places. They don't just do meat, they do all sorts of BBQed veggies. You order 1 stick at a time and maybe order like 6 different sticks each. This restaurant cooked them basically in front of you.
There were various types of sticks you could get. We enjoyed the beef, chicken, pork, potatoes, stuffed peppers, quail eggs, rice cakes wrapped in bacon, asparagus wrapped in pork, and sweet peppers. Doesn't that sound amazing? Sometimes it was wrapped in seaweed or had various kinds of sauces and dressings on them.
One evening we met up with one of Brian's colleagues, Sylvain, for a dinner. They bring a BBQ pit to your table for you to cook your own food on. They had various types of raw beef and some veggies. Brian had Angela try some cow tongue without her really knowing, she didn't mind the taste.
Our favorite meal was okonomiyaki. It was basically a fried salad. It's cabbage based and has meat and eggs but we really didn't know exactly what was in it. The cooks bring everything out to your table and cook it all in front of you on a hot plate in the middle of your table (see video below). Here's our two meals being cooked. You cut pieces of it off and eat it on your plate.
Here's the finished products with the sauces added. The sauce was a bit of a sweet taste.
When Brian saw a Krispe Kreme sign at Diaba he had to visit to go eat a doughnut.
As a final meal in Japan for Angela, she decided to try gindaco (or takoyaki), which is a breaded ball with a piece of octopus inside. Here's the meal she bravely enjoyed.
Here's a video of the cook preparing the okonomiyaki.