In Japan...

"Hey, is that a ninja up there?"
(Japan, Aug 20 - Sep 19, 2011)

November 29, 2010

Food, Part 2: the store (again) and other observations

So last time I told you a little about what I have been using to sustain myself. Here are some things that you might find surprising. Going back to the store...
Bread is pricey and with little variety: just like middle America, it is all white. The only choice you have is thick or thin, and made from wheat or rice flour.

Aside from the obvious green tea which gets its own shrine-like section, there is a depressing lack of other tea: usually one or two brands of nasty black tea, and then some flavoured black tea. What the heck?! Thousands of years of tea ceremonies and this is what we get?!

What is the staple Japanese food? Rice, and it comes by the kilo. However one kilogram of rice is at least £8. OK, so it is very nice rice, but to justify that price it should give you magical powers.

(Edit: turns out this is a big political topic, because other countries want to sell much cheaper rice to Japan, but Japan is holding out because it is worried that everyone will stop buying their rice).

Out and about:
There are vending machines for drinks literally everywhere, containing everything from soft drinks, hot coffee and tea, energy drinks and beer!

I like green tea, and I like ice cream, but green tea ice cream is disgusting. Save your Yen and just trust me.

Japanese cooking is actually pretty nice and seems pretty healthy, but does noticeably lack substantial vegetables. Maybe that is why they drink so many vitamin-infused beverages. However they do know how to keep a trim figure.

Differences between Japan and the West: No. 6)
Only 1% of the population appears to be something resembling overweight.

Restaurants often have a outside display of what food is on offer, and what it will look like when it arrives on your table

/seefood restaurant
A Japanese seafood restaurant...or should I say, "see"-food?.
There is a strange enjoyment of all things raw: from fish, to horse meat to the many dishes that are finished off with a raw egg on top. I think they get away with this because everything is very fresh. Despite their weak immune system they must have some pretty good digestive enzymes!

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