Food culture is something very important for many, it is something that is biochemically programmed into our brains to be interesting and fun. For the gourmets and the casual snack eater alike Japan is a very nice place for that kind of fun (People who don’t like seafood AND eggs might have a hard time though as the rest of the produce often is considered a bit more fancy. There is also a some weird incompetencies around allergies too…) . Good food is relatively cheap and if you like to get fancy there are loads of 3 Michelin star restaurants. For most though it is not the expensive luxurious plates that tempts, but the achievable everyday priced dishes that could brighten up a day.
Westerners often think of Japan as a land with a very different culture, which is very true even with food culture. The main produce is fish and other seafood and the most common carb is rice. This is not all though, classical Japanese candy, or desserts, are interesting in that they often are not made from bread, cinnamon and whip cream and the likes but out of rice dough, green tea flavoring and sweet beans. To top it off in an increasingly internationalized world western style dishes and desserts have start to overshadow the classical ones in Japan, even though the best of both worlds can still be found easily. Japanese restaurants and pastry chefs are extremely inventive though and even though it is referred to as western style food there is often Japanese own style on the different savory bits.
Do you like games, anime and the likes? Then there is something for you too! Have you ever imagined going to a restaurant where everything is decorated and made to remind you of the characters you love in a game series? Maybe you have always wanted to experience cute girls acting like those in your favourite show? In Japan there are many themed restaurants like “Final Fantasy Cafe”, “Pokemon Cafe”, “Capcom Bar” and many more. Other weird places might be maid cafes, where the servers dress and act as anime maids, ninja themed restaurants and more. In Japan a restaurant is not just a place to eat but one to experience something with others.
I went to the Final Fantasy Eorzea Cafe in Akihabara for one of my birthdays and it left me shocked as to how they drew the nostalgia out of me with all the weapons on the wall and statues of moogles filling the space. I took an Ifrit pizza and my friend had a Titan hamburger. The elixirs, beverages, was also amazing and made you feel like you shouldn’t drink something that looks so alike a magical potion from a game. If you go there make sure to book your seats because it is often full and you will get some coupons for the karaoke in the same building.
For example in Tokyo it is easy to find a restaurant for a date or one to just dine with some friends. After all it is one of the most universally accepted ways of socializing. In Shibuya you will find a lot of interesting small unique places to try out, in Shinjuku there are a lot of big established restaurants that works great as dependable meals, Roppongi has a wide variety of international places and in places like Harajuku you can enjoy the popular sweet crepes in the picture in the header while shopping some weird new fashion clothes.
If you move to Japan you will most likely fall in love with some of the dishes here as there are plenty of extraordinary ones with huge varieties. Even if you don’t like to go out and eat, there is a great chance Japan will change you. Around here people often prefer to spend a little money to have a nice lunch with their colleges and young students and others alike flock to cute or weird places just to test them out. There is also a Japanese version of a bar and it is called “izakaya”, literally translated to something of the likes of “the store where alcohol resides”. These kind of bars are meant to be visited in medium to large groups of people and have a private conversation over a table while enjoying their services. The izakaya is also often focused more on food than drinks and the ones that does focus on drinks instead tries to spice it up with some really weird or original drinks.
There are probably many many more good examples to make about Japanese food so if it lures you a bit, why don’t you come over and try it out?
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