Eating my Way Through Japan

Over winter break, I traveled to Japan with my family! Here’s a journey through the food I ate, enjoyed, or sometimes didn't enjoy.

 

Even on the plane, the Japanese food didn’t disappoint! We ate raw fish, salad, Japanese omelet (my fave), fish pudding, and shrimp.

Our first breakfast consisted of a typical Japanese breakfast buffet. I ate eggs, a donut, shrimp shumai, butternut squash salad, a Japanese omelet, a salted plum rice roll, and a custard-filled bun. I was ready to take on my first day in Japan!

We began our trip in Tokyo Disneyland! I ate the Ukiwah Bun (a Donald Duck shrimp bun), Duffy dessert basket, Chandu meat curry bun, green alien mochi (among one of the best things I’ve EVER eaten. Seriously.), honey popcorn (flavored popcorn is a huge thing here), sour lemon bubble tea with MICKEY-SHAPED BOBA, Mickey fried chicken sandwich, Donald Duck fried shrimp sandwich, Minnie Mouse strawberry crepe, and Mike Wazowski melon bread (honeydew-flavored rolls are a popular breakfast and snack item… YUM). I definitely did not leave Disneyland hungry!

 

Our first day in the city of Tokyo, we visited the industrial fish market. Here, I ate my first sushi of the vacation! I had salmon, tuna, fatty tuna, and extra fatty tuna. I also ate vanilla custard mochi and bean paste mochi with a fruit skewer. On our way out, we stopped at a sweet potato vendor on the street.

 

For dinner, we went to a tempura bar. Here, servers give each guest a salad, salt, lemon, shredded radish, and soy sauce to accompany the tempura. The shrimp tempura was the best I’ve ever had!

 

For lunch the next day, we hit up a local ramen shop and soba restaurant, the oldest restaurant in Japan!

 

At our first stop in Kyoto, our next city, my dad and I had a Japanese tasting for breakfast. Our spread included green tea, fermented fruit juices, miso soup, rice, beans, picked vegetables, various types of fish, and fruit custard.

 

Lunch consisted of another tasting, with tempura, salad, lotus root (which the Japanese view as good luck for the new year… I ate tons of it!), pickled vegetables, and different types of fish.

 

For dinner, we enjoyed grilled meats and vegetables. At the restaurant, diners sit on the floor as chefs grill on the table. Our chef puts sugar on the grill to help the food caramelize.

 

A trip to Japan wouldn’t be complete without salmon poke, a favorite of mine!

 

For dinner, we had steak and radish sushi, which I was not such a huge fan of… However, I was a big fan of the yucca topped with seared tuna and avocado.

 

Another dinner consisted of a fluffy egg pie topped with egg white “snowballs,” which were truly incredible.

 

When visiting an island off the coast of Osaka, we ate a local dish for lunch. Noodles and eggs are cooked on a huge grill, and you can order different sauces and toppings, such as shrimp or bacon.

 

On our last day, we enjoyed sushi at a local sushi bar. I tried torched scallop sushi, which is my new favorite thing. We also went to an udon shop, where you can add various toppings. I added shrimp and pumpkin tempura!

 

Japan is certainly a country of incredible food. I would recommend falling into local places or enjoying street food for lunch, but trying to get reservations for dinner. Make sure you can use chopsticks before you arrive!