Since being in Japan for a couple of days now, we have done so much within the last three days. We have interacted with people that you wouldn’t meet in Hong Kong or the States and everyone here is extremely helpful even though some people speak very little English. The hospitality here in Japan is very nice to experience because it doesn’t make you feel like a tourist all the time. When you go into restaurants, the cooks, and the waiters and waitresses great you with “Irasshaimase!” which means to “come in”. It is really nice to here this greeting from everyone in the shop or restaurant because it shows that we are valued as customers. It is different in America where you are only greeted by the hostess and the waiter or waitress serving you. The service is not like in Hong Kong also, where it is more fast pace and waiters and waitresses don’t really like you sitting at the table long before and after eating.
Japan has very different foods that you can indulge in every day more than once a week, we have eaten so much so far such as takoyaki, different types of ramen, and BBQ. Since being here, I think that we had takoyaki, which are dough balls with octopus pieces in them, almost every other night. When walking down the strip of Dotonbori, there are many food carts selling them and people waiting in line in the cold weather for them. To me they all taste the same, but some are crunchier than others and have different sauces put into them. When we went to the BBQ place, reference in the previous blog, we ate so much meat; they were surprised that five girls could eat so much meat. We went through 2 platters full of different meats and had tons of sides. It was really good and to me better than Korean BBQ. The different types of ramen that we had were shiyo, miso, and build your own ramen were really good. The different broths in each were fantastic and gave them all their uniqueness. For dessert one night, we had cheese tarts at Pablo Cheese Tarts, and they were delicious. Food is my all time favorite and I was really excited to eat some real Japanese food while here.
Sushi is a big part of Japan and I am obsessed with it, even back home. We went to a sushi restaurant that was down the street from our Airbnb and there was already a line in front of it even though we had to wait for 30 minutes. When we got in the sushi chefs were so welcoming and really helped us with how to order, they made us feel at home. They made the sushi right in front of us and served it fresh on the wooden plate in front of us. The best part of the sushi experience was that the wasabi was super fresh and it was real wasabi, not like the type that is in to go sushi in America. After that sushi experience we went to a conveyor belt sushi restaurant where two pieces of sushi was on about $1 USD (100 yen). It was just as good as the other place but a lot cheaper for more sushi.
When we went to Uji, we went to a matcha making place and grinded our own leaves. It was a great experience and a great bonding time. Since matcha is huge in Japan it was something that we had to do to see how the different treats that we have been eating in Hong Kong and Japan are made. While spinning the mill, the smell of the matcha was very strong. After we finished making the powder, we all sat down and drank two cups of tea with the matcha that we made and ate a matcha jelly snack together. I love tea a lot especially green tea, but I have a new found love for matcha, where before I didn’t really like it as much. It was a great learning experience and I had a lot of fun. The food in Japan is amazing and I can’t wait to eat more, especially Kobe Beef!