8 Aspects of Japanese Culinary Traditions

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  • Many visitors think that Japanese food are hard to eat or not enough varied, since all they know about is sushi and sashimi. However, Japan is a heaven for food gourmet around the world, where you can find an infinite choice of foods. And Japan is where you can enjoy a good cuisine going from the elegant to the local and rustic. In this article, I will enumerate some aspects of the Japanese gastronomic culture that makes it joyful and rich of experiences.

    1. Raw foods

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    Their raw ingredients are very fresh and do not contain preserving chemicals. Japanese care about the freshness of their food very much, that’s why you can see many things being discounted in the supermarket just because they are going to be out of date in another 1 or 2 days.

    2. Izakaya

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    Izakaya is where you can eat and drink in a somewhat noisy place, unlike other normal Japanese restaurant. Izakaya can be found near the stations, and their food are usually very good, and there are various dishes to choose from, such as fried chicken wings, mochi with cheese and barbeques, sashimi etc. There are also many drinks: wine, alcohols, or alcohol-juice (cocktails) for woman and smoothies with desserts. The average price per person is 2000 – 3000y, which is pretty cheap.

    3. Instant food

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    Life in Japan is very busy so many people choose instant food for its convenience. If you intend to visit Japan with a tight bucket, you can visit supermarkets or convenience stores to buy instant bento/sandwich etc. On the package, there is a list of nutrients that are contained in each pack so you will be confident about the amount of energy absorbed.

    4. Family restaurants

    Saizeriya ,Tokyo’s Nerima Ward,17 Jan 2011.FYI,Family restaurant. Satoko Kawasaki photo.

    These restaurants can be found in all over Japan, with a menu comprising various dishes such as salad, deep fried dishes, pizza, spaghetti, Japanese food and desserts, which are very delicious and cheap. The average price per person is 1000 – 2000 yen. They often offer customers the drink bar, which means you can pay about 2000 yen to freely choose the drink from the bar which offer many soft drinks, juices, cafe and tea. That’s why family’s restaurant is an ideal place for housewives to chat or for students to hang out after school and study.

    5. BBQ

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    These BBQ shops can be found near the stations. With acceptable prices, the wonderful smell of meat being grilled, the sound of trains running around, it will surely be a nice dining time.

    6. Desserts

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    For those who love sweets, Japanese’s desserts are a must-try. Sweets are prepared very skillfully and carefully, with beautiful decorations. There are Italian’s gelato, Belgium’s chocolate and many traditional Japanese sweets that you must try during your visit, such as mochi and yatsuhashi etc.

    7. Fast food

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    Life is busy in Japan so fast food is one of the ultimate choices for people who don’t have time to cook. Mc Donalds, KFC, Lotteria, Subway, Mosburger etc. are everywhere. Moreover, their menus are very different from the other countries since they will create some unique dish that comes in themes/seasons. For example, sakura themed, graduation themed and so on.

    8. Drinks

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    As Japanese are very creative, they tried and invent many new flavours for their soft drinks. These can be bought from any vending machine with a very cheap price, so don’t hesitate to try them out.