Best Things I’ve Eaten in Japan So Far

Hello, hello!

Hope you all are doing well. Can’t believe we’re already through with 1 out of 12 months in 2019. Time flies so quickly! I am already done with half a year in Japan and am starting on my 7th month here. With that, I thought it might be nice to share some of the best meals and things that I’ve eaten so far.

A short update on how I’m faring with adulting, I am still making most of my meals breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of the week. I bring a bento every day to school and I probably go to to eat maybe once or twice a week. Since I have mostly been cooking at home, I haven’t been eating a lot of the great Japanese food that this country is known for, but I have had some ‘ono (yummy) stuff here and there so I’d like to share them today. Sorry if it makes you hungry!

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My regular order at my favorite restaurant, Everest Kitchen in Hitoyoshi. It has gotten to the point where I don’t even need to say my order. I always get the garlic naan and butter chicken curry. I love this place and like to go like once a week if I can.

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This fancy meal was actually prepared by my host family on one of the nights I stayed with them when I first arrived in town. Although the whole entire fish freaked me out, I understood the significance of it and felt touched that they would prepare such a nice dinner for me. Since then, I have gone over for many more meals which were always were great and tasted even better because the company was good too. So grateful to have them!

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This stylish looking meal is surprisingly from a cafe in Asagiri which is called 525 and is supposed to offer the feeling of Hawaii (according to this article). While I personally didn’t get Hawaii vibes, it is still a really nice cafe. Definitely a treat yourself kind of place though since it’s a bit pricey, but they do make up for it with free soup 🙂

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For the days when I need a pick-me-up or a break from food that I’ve cooked, I let myself give into the temptation to purchase the yakitori outside the local supermarket. At only 100 a stick, it’s not bad especially because it’s not something I could ever make myself. It’s also good to support the local businesses so that’s another reason to treat myself sometimes.

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Don’t laugh but pizza is also on the list. Whenever I get homesick or I am going through a rough time, I really get rejuvenated by eating comfort foods. This pizza was from Dominoes. Fortunately or unfortunately, it is located really far from my house so I have only had it once. There is a pizza place in Hitoyoshi, the next town over called Hearty Thanks. I haven’t gone there yet since it’s pretty expensive but I think I will be due for a pizza party soon. 

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During the Youth Competition in Tokyo, this is one of the meals I had. It’s called chicken nanban, which is a famous meal in Kyushu. It was actually really yummy and I wouldn’t mind eating it again right now as I write this. “Chicken nanban is chicken fried in oil, dipped lightly in sugared vinegar and then finished off with a tartar sauce topping. A dish that is often seen in eateries throughout Miyazaki Prefecture.”

 

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Although I might go so far as to say I am the opposite of a vegetarian because I don’t like veggies, one of the other ALTs and my good friend Jess is and so I have also socially dabbled into vegetarianism. She struggles with eating out because most Japanese dishes are meat or fish-stock based but there is one cafe in Hitoyoshi called Sanpo Cafe which has vegetarian dishes. The last time we went I also tried a gobo (burdock root) sandwich that I surprisingly almost completed ate except for some lettuce or something I pulled out at the end. The cafe also has a relaxed atmosphere with a great view of the Kuma River. 

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Food always tastes better with company. I was happy to be invited to the house of the SND youth group friend to join in their nabe or hotpot party during the winter. I am always the useless person who can’t really help cook anything and is too awkward to ask but they were nice and it was fun. Last month in January we also had a sukiyaki party to celebrate the end of the national competition (just small kine late)

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On days when I was down or struggling, or just days when I went over to chat but ended up staying too long, Jess was nice enough to make me dinner. I still can’t cook so it’s nice to see someone putz around in a kitchen looking like they know what they’re doing. It’s also just nice to watch someone cook and talk story, then share a meal together at home. Very grateful for our friendship which really keeps me going here. (<3 you Jess!!!)

For the obligatory honorary mention and because I was so proud, here is my Christmas dinner and after Christmas Loco Moco that I made at home during my copious amount of free time at the start of break. I bought the chicken from the supermarket because Japanese Christmas=friend chicken, but I hand made and mushed and pushed those potatoes through a strainer for over an hour to make it smooth. For the Loco Moco I made the hamburger patty from scratch and topped it with loco moco gravy sent by my mom from home ❤

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The most recent food pic is from the brunch that we had with the other ALTs in the area. It coincided with the holiday of setsubun or the day before the start of spring. In current times the silent eating of ehomaki or a long rolled sushi while facing the lucky direction is popular (and a huge source of food waste the day after. We skipped the sushi but we did do our own edited version of mamemaki or the throwing of bean to banish demons. 

While I did eat a lot more delicious foods since moving to Japan, I either forgot to take a picture because I was too excited or just got too lazy to add it into the post.

I hope that you enjoyed this post and I look forward to sharing more soon!

Thank you and take care,

❤ Kira

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