We ate some interesting food here in Japan. It was not my favorite and I will be glad to be back to my own normal way of eating. I think the thing that I had the most often was various types of ramen. You can often get broth with either soba or udon noodles in them. They often have some sort of meat, pibamboo, green onions, egg, and other things in them. Once when we had them they came with two tempura prawns. The restaurant owner showed us that we should dip the prawns into the broth. It was pretty good.
We also went to a restaurant that specialized in tempura. Tempura is batter dipped meat and vegetables that are then fried.
The other day I had Yakitori which was chicken barbequed with a special sauce and served over rice. It was good.
John took us to some really interesting places for dinner when we were visiting up in the northern farm area. One was a conveyor belt restaurant. You sit at a table and there is a conveyor belt that goes by each table and at your table you have an iPad-like display where you can order your food. A while after you order the food comes on the conveyor belt and a little ditty plays to let you know that it has come! Other things come around the conveyor belt and if you want to eat them you can just take them off. Anything that is sitting on top of another dish has been ordered by someone else, but food that comes on its own is for you to take! At the end of the meal they add up the plates at your table and that is what you are charged!
Another interesting meal was at what John called Samurai Pizza. It was a pizza place called Ecru, but it was in an area of town where Samurai lived. The house that it is in was a Samurai’s home that had been remodeled. They had some strange types of pizza, like chicken and mayonnaise, but they were good. They were small, but we got several and shared them. What a great place!
John’s sister in law (the person working in the back in the picture) has a Gelato store and sells cheese. People come from all over her area to get ice cream and cheese and she supplies some other businesses. When we were there she had 8 flavors and the strangest one to me was asparagus. Steve said, “It is a good concept. It provides an unusual palate for the discerning afficionado.” That sounds like a professor to me. The business is called Cow Bell Farmer’s homemade cheese and Gelato. It is really worth hunting down if you are ever in Mizusawa.
One other unique type of food that we had was Onomiyaki. It is a specialty of the area around Hiroshima. It reminded me a bit of those restaurants where you go and sit at a place with other people and watch someone cook wonderful stuff for you right in front of you. We found a place that did this and took our places. We didn’t really know what to order, but we guessed. It works something like this. Right in front of you is a hot surface and they first pour a little batter and make a circle of it. Then they put on top of it a bunch of stuff. Part if your order is what you want on your Onomiyaki. After it cooks a bit the cook takes an egg and cracks it right onto the griddle and makes a circle the same size as your pancake was. Then the pancake is placed on top of the egg and it is flipped and served!
Finally, we were staying in a hotel above a Tully’s coffee store. We ate breakfast and had our coffee there. However, one day it was raining outside and there was no sense staying in our tiny room, so we went down to work on our computers at Tully’s. It was not a good time for coffee, so I decided to try something strange they were advertising. It was Strawberry Lemonade Ice with Jelly. I don’t think it is something that is offered in their stores in the USA. It was sweet and good. To me it tasted like soft gummy candy coming through the straw.