In June, I visited Japan. It’s taken me a while to write this post because I didn’t know what I wanted to say. I came in with very few expectations, not because I didn’t expect my trip to be great, I always try to keep an open mind when I travel. All of my expectations were exceeded and I absolutely loved that trip. It has to be one of the best trips I’ve ever been on.
Before I went to Japan, I created a list of foods that I wanted to try. I didn’t want to miss out on any good foods, even if it meant that I had to miss out on some attractions.For me, I understand a culture through it’s food. I’ve really been able to do this in China, since every city has a local dish that may be popular in one area but not the other. I think the food in Japan told a story. A story of it’s history and culture. Where it has come from and where it hopes to go.
Below are the foods I had while in Japan.
This a fish shaped cake with sweet fillings. I tried one that was filled with sweet potato. It reminded me of a semi-sweet sweet potato pie, but portable and crispier. This taiyaki place was located near my hostel, Guesthouse U-En.
The is the best steak I’ve ever had in my life. The cut of meat was handled with care while it was being cooked in front of me. The steak was savory and mouth-watering. If you have the chance, eat Kobe beef. Pay the money for it because it’s well worth it.
Yakitori are meat skewers topped with a sauce and grilled. The restaurant that I went to is called Torikizoku. The location that I went to was in Osaka, but you can find them in other big cities in Japan. They have a large menu of different types of skewers, both chicken and pork, and they have dishes that aren’t on skewers, such as tofu and fried fish.
Udon noodles are my favorite type of noodles. Usually, I enjoy them steaming hot in a bath of broth, but I wanted to try something new since I was in the birthplace of the noodle. I ate at Tsurutontan Roppongi in Tokyo. I really liked the restaurant and they served both hot and cold noodles. I tried a cold noodle salad served with warm chicken. The dish was layered with flavors, both sweet and savory.
Tsukiji Fish Market
This was a very bittersweet moment for me. As a person who considers themselves a foodie, I really like to see what happens to the food that I eat. I was able to visit the Tsukiji fish market before it’s historic closing on November 2nd of this year. Luckily, it will reopen on November 7th, but in a different area of Tokyo. You can read more about it here.
I still remember that day as if it were yesterday. I went to my hostel and slept for maybe two hours. I woke up at 2:30am and left for the fish market. I didn’t tour the market around 5:00am. During the tour, I was amazed at how fast-paced the market was and how passionate people were during the auction. I don’t know if there will be tours going on until the market closes, and after the new one opens, but if you are able to take the tour, I suggest you go there. It sucks to wake up early, and you may not appreciate it when your there, but I can honestly say that I have more of an appreciation for what goes into my sushi after that experience.
Sushi at the Tsukiji Fish Market
After my tour at the market, I went to a sushi restaurant. I don’t know the name of the restaurant, but I took a picture and it is the sign on the far left. I waited in line for an hour and a half, not because they were slow at making the sushi, it was because there were so many people waiting to eat at the restaurant.
The restaurant is set up omakase style, meaning that the selection is left up to the chef. There is no menu and all of the fish served was raw. The only thing I had to do was sit, eat and pay. The cuts of fish were incredible. I have never eaten fish, or sushi, that was so naked and had so much flavor.
Other foods and drinks I tried while in Japan