I lived long twenty years of my life negligent about the Country of Japan.
I came across Hiroshima and Nagasaki during History lessons. But it only painted a very sad picture in my mind, strong enough to disturb my thoughts as a child.
It was my Dad who totally changed my perception about Japan. He happened to introduce me movies of Akira Kurosawa – A Japanese film maker during my early twenties. The scenery of Japan from his movies got inked in me. A sudden interest in Japan sprung up and over the years it grew strong, spread its roots deep down in my heart.
I explored Japanese cuisine. Read books of Japanese authors. I watched a lot of documentaries and travel blogs on Japan. But to really know it, you should live it.
And I did! I visited Tokyo for less than a week, roamed around the busy streets a bit and climbed the iconic Mt. Fuji. I also got to taste some of the incredible foods on the entire planet! I went with a list of food items to try but I could not cross off all. Sharing the few I tried.
- Katsu curry rice – Crumb fried pork cutlets with Japanese curry over rice. Served with shredded cabbage salad. A must try!
- Tempura set meal – Batter fried vegetables over rice. A bowl of udon (thick wheat flour noodles). Stir fried spinach garnished with bonito flakes (katsuobushi – dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna). Soft boiled egg
- Potato sticks – Deep fried potato chips with Garlic mayo. Nothing special. Bought them just because of their shape.
- A set meal – A bowl of rice. Grilled mackerel with lime and grated radish. Egg plant stir fried with pork. Silk tofu. A bowl of miso soup and some pickles. This meal had too many dishes that I struggled to get them in one single frame!
- Chicken Yakitori – Japanese style skewered chicken. Served with some cabbage and spring onions.
- Gyoza – Dumplings filled with pork meat served with soy sauce.
- Rainbow cotton candy – I did this out of nostalgia. A huge colourful cotton candy is like living a dream. I should admit that I couldn’t finish it though!
- Soba – Japanese buckwheat noodles served with vegetable tempura, fried tofu and some wild vegetables in a flavourful broth. I licked the bowl clean! The most satisfying meal I have ever had! This was my first meal after I descended Mt. Fuji! No wonder this was the best! ( This is all in your head :p )
- French toast with fruits – To be honest it doesn’t taste exceptional. Its a normal french toast but done well and presented well. The fruits were fresh and ideal for a healthy breakfast.
- Karaage rice bowl – Deep fried chicken on rice with cabbage salad and mayo. Served with some complementary tea, pickles and sauces.
- Cream filled Doughnuts – I found them on Takeshita street when I decided to find shelter from rain. I joined a very long queue and ended up in front of these and some ice – creams. Without a second thought, I ordered one. Crispy outer shell and on each bite the gooey custard just explodes in your mouth.
- Baumkuchen – (Tree cake) It is a German style of cake popular in Japan. The layered cake resembles a tree bark. I had it for breakfast with a cheese toast and soy milk tea.
- Melonpan – Last but not the least. Japanese sweet buns with a crispy cookie crust. They are soft at the same time crispy. I ate those lots!
Everything I ate in Japan maintained a high level of quality. No matter from where you ate, food always turned out fantastic.
Thank you JAPAN for keeping my respect and belief for you and your people intact. Until we meet again for the next Hanami (Cherry blossom festival)
ありがとうございました ( Thank you) & またね (Bye, see you later)