For my 40th birthday this year, my husband surprised me with a trip to JAPAN! I knew I was going somewhere, but I didn’t know where until the night before. We just returned a week ago – it’s hard to believe it’s already a memory. I have so much to write about, but I will start with the food. For us, travel is always about the food.
Our first day in Tokyo, we went to the Tsukiji Fish Market. It was unlike anything I have ever seen before – I didn’t even know what half the stuff was!
Even though our book suggested getting sushi at the market (“what could be fresher?”), we were chilly and decided to get a bowl of ramen noodles from a very busy stand.
As far as I could tell, the cities we visited only had beverage vending machines (with the exception of two: one ice-cream machine, and one snack food, both in a subway station). These beverage vending machines were everywhere, even in little alleys, making it really easy to find water. We did try some of the other drinks, but it was almost impossible to know what it was going to be unless there was a picture of fruit on it. There were even alcohol and cigarette vending machines.
Whenever we stay in hotels, we seem to get a craving for chocolate. I can probably blame the minibars for tempting me, and the fact that I will almost never take anything from a minibar because it’s so outrageously expensive. Needless to say, we made several trips to the local 7-11, but the chocolate bars left something to be desired.
There was not a huge amount of selection, but Japan does seem to have a bit of a love affair with Kit Kat. There were all kinds of flavors of Kit Kat: green tea, dark, regular, some weird one that I never tried and had no idea what it was, white chocolate with Oreo-type cookie, and even strawberry (which tastes like strawberry Pocky).
Kit Kat became the official bar of the trip, and I made it my mission to find the best priced green tea Kit Kat to bring back home.
There were lots of these little cookie/cake places around. I’m not sure what they actually are, but they are usually made fresh (the smell is amazing), they look cute, and they are filled with something chocolatey-ish. We tried one and it was kind of like a not-so-good waffle, and mega disappointing. In fact, many of the baked goods were disappointing, except in the French bakeries, of which there were many – we are still wondering why!
There were so many “fast food” stands, with many things that I had no clue about. I gave one a try and it was pretty tasty. It was a deep-fried rice/sesame batter with some semi-sweet stuff inside.
That’s it for now… but there’s more, much more.
To be continued!!
Given my allergy to shrimp, lobster, crabs and other wee things with those little grabbers attached…lol…I would be worried about eating in Japan. Although, I notice the little fellas with suction cups…I could eat those. I wonder what sorts of fish are used to make the soup stock as well. What an amazing and generous birthday gift!! You are blessed for the explorations and the discoveries.
Great post! Love the pictures!
Great post Belinda, I learned a lot about eating in Japan, obviously not for the food sensitive or the faint of heart.
The little cookie/cake stuff is called ‘taiyaki’ and if you had some kind of black sweet paste in Japan then it’s most likely some kind of red bean paste or something similar
Thanks! Yes, now that you mention it, it did taste like red bean, I just couldn’t place it at the time.
The picture with the waffle like fish, is one of my favourites. It’s perfect on a cold day, but only if you like azuki beans!!! Cool post!
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