Japanese Food

Thanks to anime and manga, among other things, Japanese culture is relatively known around the world. Food is an important part of any culture, and many people around the globe will swear that they absolutely love Japanese food. And while Ramen and Sushi are known and available in many countries around the globe, these are hardly every-day meals that a normal Japanese person is going to eat week-in week-out. 

Food is important to us humans and is a big part of our overall well-being, not only physically but also mentally. If you plan on spending some time in Japan, likely, you will not be able to eat foods that have been staples in your diet up until that point, especially if you are from the western hemisphere. When I lived in Germany, bread and cheese where foods that I ate every day but since coming to Japan my bread and cheese consumption has probably fallen by 95%. Sure, unhealthy processed white bread and sliced cheese are available cheaply everywhere even in Japan, but the “good” stuff (or what would be classified as normal in Germany) is only available at select stores and will cost you a small fortune. Sure, you will be able to treat yourself sometimes, but most imported foods are simply too expensive to be eaten daily (at least if you are stingy like me).

So, when going to Japan you will not only have to ask yourself whether you can fit in culturally but also culinarily. Will you be able to eat rice two or three times a day? Or will you simply start living of instant food and chicken from the nearest convenience store? If you’ve read my other articles (which you should :p), you will know that I advocate that you try your best to fit in by living a little as the Japanese do, e.g. learn the Language, observe the customs and so on. The same goes for food. If you adjust your eating habits to be closer to those of a Japanese person, you will find it much easier to find and buy ingredients and cook delicious food at home. In the end, you either like a specific food or you don’t, you can’t force yourself to eat like a Japanese if you don’t like the foods in the first place. I am not saying you should force yourself to eat Natto every day (though it is absolutely delicious and healthy), all I am trying to say is that you should try to keep an open mind when coming to Japan, be it food-related or otherwise. Have a nice weekend.