Lovely barbecue with Yushi, Kengo and Kosuke (and Yukiko taking the picture)!
Lovely barbecue with Yushi, Kengo and Kosuke (and Yukiko taking the picture)!

Munching on a digestive biscuit as I type this, I can certainly assure you that I am a fond lover of food. For this reason, the delectable delights of Japan are soon to be a very important feature in my life and will hopefully be something I’ll rave about on here.

I am an adventurous eater, and I enjoy sampling local cuisine. The moules-frites and fresh baguettes of France immediately spring to mind, along with Spain’s tasty tapas and sangria. What better way to experience life as the locals do, than to sample their victuals. Experimenting with exciting food is one thing when on holiday for a few days, it is quite another, however, when the food will be my sustenance for the entire year.

I must admit that I am feeling slightly daunted by this prospect. This is not because I dislike Japanese cuisine, quite the opposite in fact – I am already a fan of the staples miso soup and sushi and I’m looking forward to trying the real deal when I’m settled in Kyoto. The barbecue I had with my Japanese friends was fantastic, and it turns out that Japanese barbecue sauce (焼肉のたれ本舗) is delicious! I can’t wait to get some when I’m out in Kyoto! My apprehension, however, is sparked by the fact that some foods which I love just won’t be readily available in Japan. Cheese, one of my all-time favourite foods, is nowhere near as accessible as it is in the UK. What if I really crave some good old mature cheddar? Luckily I’ve found this website:http://www.survivingnjapan.com/2011/04/how-to-find-cheese-in-japan.html which gives details of how to get hold of cheese in the country. It looks like although it’s a bit of a challenge, I won’t be entirely cheeseless, phew!

So if I can get cheese, what else is available for me to eat in Japan? To answer this I have turned to YouTube and found this fantastic video of a Japanese supermarket, which is definitely worth checking out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYHzyLrtvBY.

Although clearly not everything in the store is familiar, I do recognise some things on offer. I think I will inevitably have to just accept the fact that not everything I eat here will be accessible in Japan, and that that is part of the adventure! Hopefully this won’t mean that I’ll end up snacking on an entire dried squid, or ika, as shown in the video, but who knows what’ll happen! Wasabi KitKat, anyone?

On that note, I thought it would be a good idea to learn some Japanese phrases so that I will be able to order the essentials. It’s not much use knowing what food is on offer without the knowledge to order it!

I’d like to buy… … o kudasai.

Coffee kōhī

Beer bīru

Boxed lunch bentō

Chopsticks hashi

Soup and noodles with meat and vegetables  rāmen

Cheers kampai

I’d better get learning the lingo then… kampai!

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Food in Japan

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