Favorite thing: Sometime I wanted to drink something new, but many of Japan drink written in japanese only.To solve the problem is.... just try everything.This one looks nice,it's not really japan drink but it's Schweppes' ,but I saw this taste only in Japan so far.It's blood orange taste and with bubble.One good thing in bubble drink in japan is ..it doesn't contain much gas ,only little gas that make drink taste good,feel fresh while drinking it.It's 100ml. ..price around 198yen (not sure) It tasted good ,I like it.
When you go to a sushi restaurant, I was told by a Japanese friend not to dunk the rice part of sushi in the soy sauce, but just the fish (and don't let it swim!).
Also, the best way to eat sushi is sitting at the counter, and ordering one-by-one the seasonal fish (rather than just the general fish). The word for "seasonal" is "shun", and the word for "recommendation" is "osusume". I used these words and had an amazing experience with sushi! ...Now I don't think I can go back to regular sushi in the States...
Royce chocolates are the true luxe Japanese chocolate brand (comparable to the Godiva and Varlrhona brand of France and Belgium) while the Meiji Chocolates which is one of their competitors and is more known around Asia is the more affordable brand. Royce factories are in Sapporo but they have many branches around japan and in the asian region. Royce is a true chocolate lovers delight and they have many kinds of chocolate confectionaries but the most popular would be the Nama Chocolate Brand (melt in your mouth chocolates that is kept refrigerated and placed in a thermal cooler with synthethic dry ice for transport upon buying and they have many flavors like champaigne or grand marnier or gran cru) and their chocolate dipped potato chips. Other brands of Royce include: Dacquoise, Financier, Lurumaro Chocola, Madeleines, Nutty Bar Chocolate, Petite Truffe, Royce' Chocolate Bars, and Royce' Pure Chocolate.
Fondest memory: well for fans of Luxe Chocolates like me, this is pure chocolate heaven! for me, Royce Chocolates especially the Nama Brand are better than Godiva or Varlrhona. A Box of the Nama Chocolates costs 660 yen plus 100 yen for the thermal cooler pack with the synthethic dry ice that keeps the chocolates cold for at least 5 hours and the potato chip chocolates costs 900 yen a box.
at the Narita Airport Terminal 1, it is available at “Blue Sky Shop Gate 63”, near gate 63 at departure area.
their website is: www.e-royce.com/english/index.html
If you're on a budget, travelling with fussy eaters or not too sure about the restaurants then the best way to try some authentic Japanese sushi is to buy a Bento box from a shop. We bought one and it was tasty!
I hate to admit it but we did also eat lunch at KFC and Wendys (which are not so authentic alternatives to the above) but as a Brit you can let me off Wendys as we don't have them in the UK!
There was a Wendys in Harajuku and a KFC in Ikebukuro. The Bento box was from a 24/7 supermarket.
there are basically three kinds of japanese noodles, the most popular being the ramen (thin, wheat-based noodles with soda water, originated in china in the 10th century), the soba ( the medium, buckwheat-based noodles) and the udon (thick, wheat-based noodles). the ramen noodles being the most popular hence there are many ramen houses in tokyo and japan serving ramen noodles (even udon and soba noodles) whether hot or cold (don't order sushi or sashimi at ramen food stalls since they don't have that in the menu ok, that's why you need to go to sushi restaurants or full service japanese restaurants for it ok!) and most also serve udon and soba noodles. the noodles and the stock soup and ingredients (like deep fried pork, tempura shrimp, seaweeds, kamaboko and others) vary in taste and presentation throughout japan as every town and region in japan has it's own style of udon or soba or ramen with their own flavors from sweet to very spicy. you should try the different japanese noodles while in japan!
Fondest memory: ramen noodle soup starts from 500 yen an order for a basic ingredients and up to 800 yen if with shrimp or other sea food ingredients. soba and udon noodles are more expensive and start from 600 yen for an order which goes up to 1,000 yen for sea food ingredients. try all of the three if you can while in tokyo.
yes japan has the distinction of being the vending capital of the world! it has more vending machines per square mile than any country and you can find them anywhere, I mean everywhere! like even in rural areas and dirt roads and near fields, selling anything from water, coffee, sodas, food both hot and cold, magazines, cigarettes and a lot more. Name it and the vending machines have it! even the food courts all around japan have vending machines that issue food stubs on what you want to buy at the particular food stall! prices range from cheap to very expensive heck even in every hotel floors have this ubiquitous vending machines as the japanese has this thing for convenience!
Fondest memory: the assorted, mutlicolores, colorful vending machines!
Japan began the practice of presenting menu offerings with plastic imitations, and the practice has spread somewhat to neighboring countries and off course is followed by Japanese eateries around the world. The concept is certainly tied to Japanese dining aesthetics, where items are arranged on the plate with beauty in mind. Yet, oddly enough, the custom of replica food was born from contact with the West. From sleek Chinese noodles glistening in pork broth, to pepperoni pizza dripping with extra cheese, to charbroiled steak straight from the grill, to freshly-sliced sashimi atop slender fingertips of white rice and on and on -- if a restaurant in Japan serves the real McCoy, odds are that a plastic replica of it is sitting outside in its showcase. The food replicas serve several purposes. They attract customers, advertise menus and whet appetites. A common sight at any Japanese row of restaurants is hungry customers drifting from one window to the next, trying to decide which display looks tastiest.
Fondest memory: All the replicas are handcrafted to perfection. They are not mere rubbery copies of grapes or bananas, as one might find in the West, but rather stunning imitations of cookery at its finest. More than one customer has noted that the plastic model in the window can sometimes look more sumptuous than what arrives on the plate. They are usually made out of plastic. The plastic models are mostly handmade and carefully sculpted to look like the actual dishes. The models are custom-tailored to restaurants and even common items such as ramen will be modified to match each establishment's food. During the molding process, the fake ingredients are often chopped up and combined in manner similar to actual cooking.
you can buy these replicas if you want at the Kappabashi-dori, also known just as Kappabashi Kitchen Town near the asakusa area.
The Dutch brought beer to Japan when they established beer halls for their sailors. Later, the Germans brought their beer and cemented its popularity. The Japanese started brewing their own version of beer shortly after the Meiji Era. A lot of Japanese people brew their own beer, and Japan also has three major breweries. The three breweries are Sapporo, Asahi and Kirin. The main product of all three companies is a lager beer. The available brands of Japanese beer include: Asahi Super Dry, Asahi Black, Asahi Hon-nama (happoshu), Kirin Lager Beer, Kirin Ichiban Shibori, Kirin Tanrei (happoshu), Sapporo Black Label, Sapporo Yebisu, Hokkaido Nama-shibori (happoshu), Suntory Malt's, Suntory Super Magnum Dry (happoshu), Orion Draft Beer and Orion Special.
Fondest memory: Beers are very popular in japan that everywhere you go you can find it. it is cheapest to buy at konbinis or supermarkets as a 500 ml can (yes the minumum is 500 ml instead of the average 330 ml) is 170 yen. If you find yourself fortunate enough to have a Japanese beer while visiting Japan, be sure to follow custom. For example, it is considered customary when drinking with a friend or colleague to pour some of your beer for them first. It is also customary to socialize with friends or colleagues in one of Japan’s many outdoor beer gardens.
Sushi need no introduction as it is now world famous that sushi restaurants are spread around the globe but again here's a brief introduction. Originally, The current version of sushi was sushi is fermented fish (with vinegar) and rice, preserved with salt but the contemporary version, internationally known as "sushi," was invented by Hanaya Yohei at the end of Edo period in Edo (tokyo). The sushi invented by Hanaya was an early form of fast food that was not fermented (therefore prepared quickly) and could be eaten with one's hands. This version now uses fresh ingredients and fish instead of fermenting it. Now sushi has evolved into many kinds. Yuo should try the original japanese sushi in japan!
Fondest memory: During the Edo period, "sushi" refered to pickled fish conserved in vinegar. Nowadays sushi can be defined as a dish containing rice which has been prepared with sushi vinegar. There are many different types of sushi. Some popular ones are:
Small rice balls with fish, shellfish, etc. on top. There are countless varieties of nigirizushi, some of the most common ones being tuna, shrimp, eel, squid, octopus and fried egg.
Small cups made of sushi rice and dried seaweed filled with seafood, etc. There are countless varieties of gunkanzushi, some of the most common ones being sea urchin and various kinds of fish eggs.
Sushi rice and seafood, etc. rolled in dried seaweed sheets. There are countless varieties of sushi rolls differing in ingredients and thickness. Sushi rolls prepared "inside out" are very popular outside of Japan, but rarely found in Japan.
Temakizushi (literally: hand rolls) are cones made of nori seaweed and filled with sushi rice, seafood and vegetables.
ohizushi is pressed sushi, in which the fish is pressed onto the sushi rice in a wooden box. The picture shows trout oshizushi in form of a popular ekiben (train station lunch box).
Inarizushi is a simple and inexpensive type of sushi, in which sushi rice is filled into aburaage (deep fried tofu) bags.
Chirashizushi is a dish in which seafood, mushroom and vegetables are spread over sushi rice. It can resemble domburi with the difference being that chirashizushi uses sushi rice while domburi uses regular, unseasoned rice.
ahhh the Mochi, it is another japanese sweet icon, the mochi is a sweet, short-grained, very glutinous rice with a high starch content. Mochi is commonly used to make rice cakes, for which it is pounded in large tubs until it becomes extremely sticky. It is then formed into balls or squares, which can be found in Japanese markets. Mochi is also used in confections and rice dishes. Again this sweet snack is present everywhere in japan that every town and region has it's own style and kind of mochi with assorted fillings (my favorite is the green tea like mochi found near mount fuji) and you can buy them everywhere, in a konbini, a 2 piece mochi cost around 70 yen and the bigger ones cost about 700 yen for about 30 pieces, you should try it!
Fondest memory: the different type of mochi!
cakes maybe a western import from the 17th century when japan was only trading in Nagasaki but it became so popular that it became one of the traditional japanese desserts that it is available everwhere and again every region of japan has it's own style of the cakes. Available in konbinis, department stores, cake shops, supermarkets and there are lots of variations and sizes and the prices ranged from cheap to very expensive. The Japanese even have a special holiday devoted to the eating of cake, Kurisumasu (Christmas). Aslice of a cake cost about 100 yen in konbinis and has different sizes, look at my pictures and try one now!
Fondest memory: the different cakes! their soo good!
Favorite thing: the japanese has lots of yummy sweet treats from their cuisine and the Manju is one of them and it is a kind traditional steamed sweet cake that is very popular all over japan that every region and town has it's own recipe and fillings for this sweet icon! Manju is a Japanese steamed cake, and it's a traditional Japanese sweet. A variety of fillings are used in manju. The most popular filling is anko (or sweet azuki bean paste) and green tea (macha) and roast pork but there are also other fillings. They come in different varieties and packagings (korea an china have their own versions of the Manju). A big one piece manju costs about 90 yen and the 2 dozen small ones costs 800 yen and they are available everywhere.
the donburi is the exception to the stereotypical expensive japanese food and cuisine as it literally mean rice bowl and rice bowl means cheap but not necessarily poor in taste ok! Usually fish, meat, vegetables or other ingredients are simmered together and served over rice. Donburi meals are served in oversized rice bowls also called donburi. Donburi are sometimes called sweetened or savory stews on rice. The simmering sauce varies according to season, ingredient, region, and taste. A typical sauce might consist of dashi flavored with shoyu and mirin. Proportions vary, but there is normally three to four times as much dashi as shoyu and mirin.
Fondest memory: kinds of Donburi meals include:
Oyakodon (Oyako Donburi) Mother and Child Donburi
The name of this popular donburi dish comes from its two main ingredients, chicken and egg. Very rarely, you may also encounter an Oyakodon featuring salmon and ikura (salmon eggs).
Katsudon (Tonkatsu Donburi)
Pork Cutlet Donburi, Katsudon is served with tonkatsu (deep fried breaded pork cutlet), egg and onions on top of the rice.
Gyudon (Gyuniku Donburi) Beef Donburi
Gyudon is a bowl of cooked rice with beef, is very popular as an inexpensive type of fast food served at chain stores across the country like yoshinoya, matsuya or sushiya.
Tendon (Tempura Donburi) Tempura Donburi
Tempura are deep fried pieces of battered seafood and vegetables. Various tempura pieces are dipped into a soya based sauce before served on top of the rice.
Unadon (Unagi Donburi) Eel Donburi
The eel is grilled and prepared in a thick soya based sauce before served on top of the cooked rice.
Tekkadon (Tekka Donburi) Tuna Donburi
The topping of Tekkadon is raw tuna (maguro). It is served with strips of nori seaweed and sometimes ground yamaimo.
Curry was introduced in Japan in the Meiji Era in the late 1800's via trading with the English via the East India Trading Company and since then has caught on and became a hit to the japanese people and since then, the japanese curry or kare was born and that almost ecery town or region in japan has it's own curry specialty like curry rice, curry udon noodles, curry pork, curry breads, curry mochi and more. A wide variety of vegetables and meats are used to make Japanese curry. The basic vegetables are onions, carrots, and potatoes. For the meat, beef, pork, chicken and sometimes duck are the most popular, in order of decreasing popularity. I have pictures of the arroted japanese curry that we tasted here in japan.
Fondest memory: the japanese curries is way so different from the indian or thai variety that is is mildy sweet and not too spicy.
warning, cigarettes are dangerous to your health hehehe. One drawback of having cigarette vending machines is that even kids can buy one! since it is autmomated and no one will ask for ID and the age of a customer so I find this peculiar and disturbing. a cigarette pack cost about 400 yen a pack for marloboros and 450 yen for mild 7.
Fondest memory: although the cigarette vending machines are located mainly outside high volume children areas like schools or parks, it is better to stop this kind of vending machines.