Nihon Ryouri

「日本料理」 – Japanese dish

Display foods

Well, I hope you guys are hungry because there are a lot of food pictures here :P Kidding aside, one thing that you should do while you’re in Japan is, of course, taste all of the foods that this country has to offer. And by that I don’t mean the Teriyaki Burger from McDonald’s. Although that will be kind of interesting to try as well since this type of burger doesn’t exist in my country. Anyway, Japan has different kind of foods. Just looking at them already makes one wants to be a glutton. Not only that the foods taste good, they normally are packaged rather well.

I’m actually quite surprised at how affordable foods in Japan turned out to be. I mean if you keep going to the restaurants, then obviously you’ll be running out of money in no time. But you can save money by getting a bento box for around 500 Yen (around 4-5 US Dollars) from local convenience stores. And don’t look down on convenience stores here. In Japan, convenience stores are light ahead in comparison to convenience stores in other countries. Not only Japanese convenience stores have more variety, the foods in the shelves are normally very fresh. The foods are re-stocked every couple of hours, so there’s little chance that they will go stale.

VegiesBentofish cakes

But if going for a pre-cooked foods is not your thing, then there’s always local ramen/tonkatsu (fried chicken/pork)/sushi place where you can get cheap foods. Having said that, please note that I’m talking about my experience so far in Tokyo and Okazaki city. I’m not sure about other cities just yet. I’ve heard that Kyoto is a tourist trap and that everything is expensive over there but I haven’t been there myself. But in Tokyo, at the very least you don’t have to worry about not having enough money to buy foods. If you’re strapped for cash, there’s always one of those Onigiri (those triangle-shaped rice) or breads which you can get for around 150 Yen.

I have a lot of favourite Japanese foods and these includes: Takoyaki (squid-filled fried balls), Chicken Katsu Curry (fried chicken topped with curry sauce), Flower-topped Hamburger (Hamburger meat patties topped with flower-shaped egg – must take a picture of this next time I eat), not to mention the various breads, drinks, pocky (did you know that there’s a lemon cheesecake flavour?), and fruits. I wonder why I haven’t gone fat with all of these foods even though I haven’t gone to the gym for the last 2 weeks. Maybe it’s because in most cases, the portions are not too big. Or maybe all of those bike riding that I do every day eliminates the need to go to the gym.

MeatMos BurgerKatsu Curry

Anyway, the best food I’ve had so far was this meat dish on a hot plate when I visited Akihabara. The eatery is called Pepper Lunch and it basically serves fresh meat and vegies which you then cook yourself on a hotplate. It doesn’t take long before everything are cooked well and since it’s not overcooked, they taste really fresh and the meat remains tender. I also had a good experience at one of Japan’s fast food outlet called Mos Burger. Their burger is much better than anything that McD’s serves and the Matcha (thick green tea) drink that they have at the place is rather good.

And oh, for those of you who are still wondering about Kibidango, I just realised that I have some photos of them which I didn’t discard after all. The Kibidango is the one with brown sugar coating. I personally haven’t tried the black or the yellow-coloured ones. But the next time I see them again, I’ll make sure that I do just that. Anyway, I think I think if you go here, it’s a good idea to try different food variety. What’s the point of going all the way here and only end up eating McD’s day in, day out? Make sure you make the most of your time while you’re in Japan and that means having some of the local foods.


20 Comments so far

  1. moyism April 19th, 2005 8:07 pm


    .. and I just ate damn it! ;)

  2. Mianah April 19th, 2005 8:53 pm

    Wow….those real meals looks so good…even the plastic ones looks good!!

    They make everything looks so colorful and puuurddyyy…lol

    By the way, I don’t know if you try the rice-cake-with-yellow-sauce-dango yet, but unless you like really thick sweeten teriyaki sauce, I don’t recommand it.

    I live in Chinatown of LA, CA, USA, and so I have easy access to Little Tokyo in downtown LA. I once saw this cafe shop which sells those dangos, and with full curiousity at work, I tried one. Wahh…it was so disappointing…! The rice itself is good, but the sauce was so thick and sticky and so sweet, it made me feel awful for the rest of the day T-T

    That’s my experience at least, so from my pov, I don’t recommand it T.T

    The ground rice is really good though ^^ It resembles the ‘thick cake’ of the Vietnamese, which only exits during Lunar New Year XD Though I don’t see how that little info have to do with anything, but some cultural facts shouldn’t hurt ^^! I hope…

    Anyway, great looking foods… O_O I envy you so much…

    n thanks for the tip, I’ll make sure I’ll do just that when I go there in…ten years lol XD

    Savor every bit of your trip neh? ^^

  3. Mentar April 19th, 2005 10:54 pm

    This only reinforces my dedication to continue my japanese classes and then go there for at least a month to fully appreciate it. Great job blogging it!!

    (Of course I had to read all this before breakfast)

  4. Epi April 19th, 2005 11:17 pm

    Awesome, I love the pics. Have you tried any of those rice triangles wrapped in seaweed that we always seem to see in J-TV shows and movies? I’ve always wanted to pig out on a big load of those.

  5. Menouthis April 20th, 2005 12:38 am

    Epi, those rice triangles are what people called ‘Onigiri’. Yeah, I’ve tried them. They’re okay but not as great as Tohru (of Fruits Basket) made them out to be. Onigiri is very practical and fulfilling. You can can get one for 150 Yen and two of these will probably make you full for a couple of hours. Taste-wise, they’re okay but in comparison to other foods that are available here, they’re quite low in my priority ladder.

    I also don’t really like the one with Umeboshi (Pickled Plum – Tohru’s favourite). Umeboshi is fine with rice when there are other dish besides the rice. But Umeboshi and rice alone makes a rather sour combination. Not exactly my favourite. I prefer the one with Salmon roe filling or the one that has a slice of pastrami (yeah, doesn’t sound Japanese but hey, they sell that here) slapped on top of it.

  6. Ten April 20th, 2005 12:46 am

    Oh, great. I read this entry just when I’m about to go to bed. Now, I’m getting hungry. If not for the alt tag for that plastic display, I would’ve thought they were real. =D

    BTW, are you anywhere near the store where they sell Yakitate breads?

  7. Menouthis April 20th, 2005 1:10 am

    Ten, there are at least 2 Lawson stores nearby and I think they sell those Yakitate breads. I’ll go to one of them one of these days once it stops raining.

    Speaking of rain, I have to say that riding a bike while it’s raining is not as fun as I thought it would be (well anime makes it look kind of fun). The transparent raincoat that I wear makes me feel like a cheap extra in Blade Runner film. And yet, despite wearing it, I still ended up soaking wet at the end of the day.

    At one point, instead of wearing a raincoat, I tried holding an umbrella with one hand while steering with the other hand and that was disastrous as well. I saw 2 high school boys riding a bike where the boy on the back was holding an umbrella. All of a sudden, a heavy wind blowed and immediately, the umbrella went upside down. It’s very funny when you see it. Not funny at all when you’re the one who gets to experience it. >_<

  8. Melissa April 20th, 2005 8:53 am

    Lol, that must’ve sucked. Good thing I can ride with both hands down, but I’ll probably still fall on my face if its slippery and all dangerous like. All that food looks soo good. Commercials over here make food look good, but when you actually get it, it’s nothing like the commercial, so that is surprising to see. Too bad I’m such a picky eater, I’ll probably starve in Japan, and not to say that’s the only thing they have there, but I hate seafood and most vegetablse…:( yea, very sad. I’d love to raid that candy shop though hehe. Maybe you should get one of those spinny umbrella hats maybe that would help…lol imagine that.

  9. yuzuriha April 20th, 2005 10:58 am

    The burgers at Mos Burger are amazing~ I’m so craving for one of those right now >_<

  10. Pauline April 20th, 2005 12:45 pm

    Man, your pictures make me hungry. Anyway, since you’re staying in Japan for 2.5 months, is your main transportation the bike when you get from place to place? How much is it when you take the taxi or bus? Ohh yea, and in Tokyo, isn’t fashion a really big hit? I’m very happy you provided pictures. I have so many questions to ask, but I can’t seem to say them! Anyway, I hope you’re enjoying your stay!

  11. David April 20th, 2005 4:17 pm

    Whoa, I love the pictures — it’s rather suprising that you mention that food at a convenience store is *fresh* — isn’t that an oxymoron or something :)

    Just as a quick question, are ramen/beef bowls as popular as it’s reputed to be? I mean, characters are *always* munching these, regardless if one looks at anime (i.e. Naruto) or manga (i.e. Addicted to Curry), so, um, just wondering if this whole ramen fixation was just some sort of fad ~_~

  12. Menouthis April 20th, 2005 4:19 pm

    Pauline, my main transportation is a bike which I rented at a local shop for 3000 Yen (30 US Dollars) for 2 months. Of course if you stay longer, then you may want to consider buying a new or at least a second hand bike. I personally like biking in Japan (except when it’s raining) so I haven’t tried to take taxi or bus. When I was in Tokyo, my main mode of transportation was train+walking. Bus will probably costs the same as trains (around 150 Yen per trip or cheaper if you buy a one week ticket).

    I’ve heard that Taxi costs arms and legs that even the Japanese don’t take them unless they’re really desperate. I think this is why Capsule Hotel is popular in Tokyo because most drunk businessmen would rather spend a couple of dollars sleeping at the Hotel than presumably paying the more expensive Taxi fares. At the moment I don’t know if fashion is a big hit in Tokyo since I didn’t go to the fashion conscious area in the city. Maybe next time I go there, I’ll pay more attention to it.

    Oh all right, David. Maybe I shouldn’t called it ‘fresh’ but I couldn’t find a word that really describe the foods. They’re made every couple of hours so it’s rare that the food stays in the shelves longer than probably 4-5 hours. Even the seaweed that comes with the Onigiri is still crunchy (as opposed to soggy) when you buy the Onigiri. It’s hard to describe it unless you’re here and try the food yourself. I know some of the people that I know at the school were reluctant to try convenience stores’ food at first but then when they tried it, they were surprised about it. So yeah, it’s not exactly ‘fresh’ but you wouldn’t suffer from indigestion or badly cooked/stored foods either. In fact, some of them are quite nice.

    Ramen is popular in Japan. In almost every food shops, they always sell one. Personally, I dislike Ramen. IMO, the taste is rather bland. I’d go for Cold Soba with seaweed from time to time. But unless a Ramen is really good, normally I’d pass them in favour of something more interesting. I supposed Ramen’s popularity comes from the fact that they’re cheap and you can easily get them almost everywhere. The most popular variety is probably the Shoyuu Ramen (Ramen in Soy broth) and Tantan Ramen (a spicy ramen – I almost choked myself eating this one but I have to admit it is far more delicious in taste than Shoyuu Ramen).

  13. Kabitzin April 20th, 2005 6:06 pm

    Those pictures are sooooo scrumptious looking!!!

  14. Young Wayne san April 21st, 2005 10:53 am

    I don’t know if you read all the comments, but I thought I’d ask something. Is it true that in Japan, if you ask someone to take your picture with your camera, it’s only polite to take their picture back using their camera? I fly through Narita every year. Perhaps this time, I’ll delay my connecting flight a little bit and venture out. Of course, I would need to brush up on my forgotten nihongo.

    P.S. I like how you say rubbish. Trash sounds too jagged.

  15. Menouthis April 21st, 2005 3:35 pm

    Young Wayne, I personally don’t know if that’s the polite thing to do but I have heard that it’s actually not polite to take a picture of a person without their permission. Unless, of course, that person just happens to pass by the scenery that you intend to take a picture of. Also, if you intend to take pictures at stores, you better start using the usual “Shashin o totte mo ii desu ka?” (may I take a photograph?) line. Some stores don’t wish to have their items to be photographed so it’s only polite to ask first before snapping a picture of that favourite anime store.

  16. Hikaru April 21st, 2005 9:16 pm

    I know this is off topic but I really like you website and also want to know if you have a screen protector for your psp and if so which one?

  17. Menouthis April 21st, 2005 11:27 pm

    Hikaru, yeah I have a screen protector for PSP. I’ll be insane not to have one. That thing is like dust magnet. I’m not sure what the brand is but I did try a Hori one and that was good as well. Just don’t buy the tinted Hori one though. For some reason it makes the screen looks like it has vertical lines.

  18. inutikidude April 23rd, 2005 1:09 am

    the food looks good ^^

  19. higon June 12th, 2005 9:55 am

    I got some tears in my eyes. Made me silent for a while.

    You basterd! These pictures look so delicious.

  20. iKon August 5th, 2005 10:21 am reading this before lunch and man am i hungry=.= that green tea shake looks really niceXD

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