Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Japan's Wonderous Food

I love food. I eat it every day. In Japan, food's different, but that hasn't stopped me from consuming it.

Not all of the restaurants in Japan serve Japanese food, but a great number of them serve Thai, Indian or Chinese food. When I say Thai or Chinese I mean the Japanese version of Thai or Chinese. Like how in America we have our versions of different cultures foods, like Tex-Mex, Japanese do it too. For example, Japanese style Indian curry and Chinese ramen. However, it is always Japanese-style food in Japanese-style restaurants. One thing that I found very interesting was that corn dogs were called "American dogs!"

I can think of only one thing in Japan that has annoyed me: a lot of packaged food in Japan has mayonnaise on it. Not just a little bit of mayonnaise, but a LOT of mayonnaise on it, like somebody spilled the jar in it. I noticed that Japanese people (mainly women) are more likely to get bottled, sugarless green tea then a soft drink from a vending machine, which are everywhere. Almost none of the vending machines in Japan have food in them, only drinks, which surprised me because with THAT many vending machines, they ought to be selling more than just drinks. In America, they have drink machines right next to snack machines, but in Japan, only drinks.

Rice is probably the single most important thing in Japan. Rice is served at every meal, no matter what it is -- beef, pork, fish, vegetables, or chicken. Rice in Japan comes in a few forms, plain sticky white rice, onigiri (rice balls wrapped in seaweed filled with meats or veggies), and in Chinese establishments they serve fried rice. Often served with rice is raw fish like sushi or sashimi (sushi without rice attached); they come with small bowls of rice and a small bowl of miso soup. It is not considered a meal unless rice is served in some form, just as in the US, some form of bread is served at every meal, like corn flakes for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and a roll at dinner. As far as I can tell, Japan's sticky rice is what keeps the country together. Take the poll below to give your opinion of Japanese food.

In the month I've spent in Japan so far, I've eaten more than I usually would have in the US. Wonder if I've gained any weight.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My first impressions of Japan

Hey man. Japan is so awesome. It's so much cleaner then America! For example, the subway stations have so much less trash then in America. If you look on the floor you won't see any spit stains or beer cans. Hold on I've got to take a call. Hello? No. Wait, why. Um. Just get me the club sandwich. What do you mean they don't have them?! ARGH! Oh well. Just get me whatever you're getting. No, I'm not even going to eat it. Never mind. Alright, see you. Ok, what were we talking about? Oh right, Japan’s cleanliness. It's good. Wouldn`t you want to travel to Japan if you could?

There are a lot of vending machines here in Japan. So many I think that if you got them all together you couldn’t fill up the Grand Canyon. They sell everything from water, Pocari sweat, canned coffee, soda, and at least 10 kinds of tea. Prices are usually 120 yen to 150 yen which is about $1.20 and $1.50. It's summer time right now so the drinks are cold, but I heard in the winter time the drinks are served hot from the same exact machines.

Driving on the opposite side of the road is very disorienting being from America where we drive on the right side of the road, in a S.U.V, cranking up the music. As far as I can tell, there is no road rage – in Japan everybody drives smoothly. Sitting in the passenger seat feels like sitting in a capsule, not because it's secluded, but because that's where I'm used to the steering wheel being. The roads are a lot more narrow then in the U.S. (presumably to save space).

I have seen more advertising here in one week then I have in one year of my life. Advertising is everywhere here. Almost every inch of the cabin inside the train has some form of advertising. The sneaky ad agencies have even snuck ads under my hand on the escalator. They’re on the steps, the columns, store windows, and even on the sides of trucks. Now that I can read katakana, I can read the ads. They are ads for things you’d expect: ads for shows, bargain sales, department stores, food, baby items, baseball teams, and little burgers with holes in the center -- meat donuts, I guess. These commercials are in the form of banners, stickers, posters, and people in suits. Most ads have some English on them.

Right now in Japan it's the rainy season and it has rained every day that I've been here. Some days it’s not much but it's still rain. During the day it can get very hot, very very very hot. Added to the heat is humidity which makes it even hotter. It may be 86 degrees out but it feels like 96. I don’t know if it gets cooler up in the mountains but I hope so. It's not all that bad –during the morning, evening, and night, it gets cool and comfortable.

Walking around is just so cool-- it gives you ideas for everything. Example: There are bullet trains in Japan. But there aren’t any bullet elevators here, and that makes me cry, because that would be the greatest idea, ever. It would top aerosol cans. It would be EXTREMELY handy for the tallest buildings, like the Empire state building and the Chrysler. Someone with the cash to do this should contact me, so we can get to work on the idea right away.

Next post, coming soon: my second impressions of Japan, like about people. N stuff.