Well, you need to be the Captain Obvious to state that Japan has a very original and delicious cuisine. Variety of fish and seafood, unusual soups, seaweed, sashimi and of course sushi. Everything is fresh and delicious. You will like it if you’re open-minded in the first place.
Fortunately, we had an opportunity to try it all: the authentic cuisine in the expensive traditional restaurants, cheap fast-food-like cafes and a regular bento (Japanese lunch box) in the shinkansen (Japanese high-speed train). And all were good.
Let’s begin with the traditional sushi set. To me it which wasn’t all that different from the one you could buy at the sushi bar around the corner to be honest but still highly enjoyable.
At the traditional restaurants you can get an even more delicate combination of dishes:
The food is served few times. Just when you finish the first round you get a couple more dishes. And then again. And again.
But be ready to participate in the process of food preparation. 😉 I should say when you pour this raw egg into the broth and watch the dish getting ready you have a special pleasure eating it afterwards.
In overall, the Japanese people seem to dine in much more measured and relaxed way than Westerners. Everything is in favor of unhurried eating. From small portions to the way dishes are served and chopsticks that are used for eating.
But who knows, probably it’s only true at the restaurants but not applicable to the real home breakfast or dinner. However even the traditional bento which we took with us to shinkansen didn’t look like a quick bite.
Oh, I almost forgot the drinks! Maybe it’s to be expected but the green tea is everywhere. And cold green tea in Japan literally means cold green tea. Not a water with sugar and a bunch of chemicals to emulate the taste. I actually enjoyed drinking it, though many very looking for more familiar but less natural taste.