Part 1: Japanese Food

Before moving to Japan, my only impression of Japanese food was from the restaurant at Disney World with the hibachi chef preparing food at the table and tossing pieces to the audience.

However, that’s not quite the case. The truth of the matter is, Japanese are big into bento boxes from the conbini (convenience stores), diner-like restaurants (there’s Denny’s and Big Boys here!), sushi restaurants, fried chicken restaurants and noodle restaurants. To be perfectly honest – we’ve yet to come across a meal that has truly blown us away (this is not including fluffy pancake or soft serve ice cream, two areas Japan dominates), but we have had some interesting foods. And my camera roll is too filled with photos that need a place to go – so here is the first (of many!) parts:

1. French Toast: Here’s the thing with Japan, breakfast isn’t really a thing. Which is completely confusing given their love of pancakes and French Toast. But most places don’t serve either of these until after 10 am. Baffling, I know. But I guess more time to sleep in, then brunch? This French Toast restaurant was introduced to me by one of my friends here, and it was so good, I had to take John back. One thing I love about Japan is how big they get into seasonal flavors. If a fruit is in season, it will be everywhere until the next fruit is up, and the food is usually not only pretty-looking but pretty tasting.

Pineapple French Toast – it was so pretty and yummy, although served with vanilla ice cream, which was different.
“Peach” French Toast – there was actually more grapefruit than peach on this one but it was still super yummy!
This was interesting. It was supposed to be “honey” French toast, but d didn’t taste like it…and had a blue cheese dipping sauce.

2. Curry Bread: I can’t tell you how delicious this is. It’s literally fried bread with cheese and curry sauce inside. They started selling it at our nearby 7-11 and we had to limit ourselves. 😂

Curry Bread – street food goodness!

3. Corn Mayonnaise Bread: Full disclosure, I haven’t been brave enough to try it yet (John ordered the one below), but it is a everywhere! It’s literally just corn and mayonnaise mixed together on bread. It’s sold everywhere from conbini’s to restaurants to pizzas! It’s just not totally for me.

Toasted Corn Mayonnaise Bread – I haven’t quite tried it yet!

4. Soft Serve Ice Cream – I had no idea soft serve was so big in Japan, but it is and it’s so much fun!! There are crazy flavors (hello Soy Sauce!), and its a cheap street food easily found in most places. Every time I see an giant ice cream outside of a restaurant I have to stop and see what flavors are served because more often than not…it’s a fun flavor.

Green Tea Ice Cream (and an extra pose from John).
Wisteria (like the flower) Ice Cream!
An unknown Berry and Vanilla mix (with a Pagoda backdrop)
Sweet potato! (It really just smelled like vanilla!)
Soy Sauce Ice Cream (it was gross, actually)
Blueberry on vanilla and Mochi ice cream…from a rest stop!
I got it because it was blue…it tasted like bubble gum. 🙂
We found the one place that has hard packed! It is an ice cream store that was founded by an American in Okinawa.
One lavender, one blueberry and vanilla cone…with a cloud-covered Mt. Fuji in the background.
Pudding (maybe caramel) ice cream!
Cotton candy with bubble gum ice cream – Japan taps into my 6-year-old food preferences! 🙂
They called it Fuji Volcano Ice Cream for the black lava rocks on the mountain, but it tasted like chocolate!
Kochia bushes bloom in the fall, and of course there needs to be ice cream to go along with it. (This tasted like a berry yogurt flavor).

5. Fluffy Pancakes – All I wanted before I came to Japan was to try the famous fluffy pancakes…and I have not been disappointed. I love them – although, they aren’t exactly what I expected. While they look fluffy, they are actually really dense. And best served with fruit!

My first ones – they were fluffy…but not the fluffiest!
Under that mound of whipped cream and strawberries are pancakes…not super fluffy, but pretty! Also, in the background is a spam hamburger (you read that right), and fried chicken, with fries and its own pancake!
The fluffiest of the fluffy so far!! I love it!
Fruity pancakes at Kona for the summer! 🙂

6. Starbucks Drinks – I love Japan Starbucks because they change with the season. Since I have been here, Japan celebrated its being in the country for 25 years with frappuccinos in each of its 47 prefectures (states) that are tailored to the local flavors. There were Strawberry frappuccinos for the spring, and right now, there are Sweet potatoes fraps for the fall. It’s so fun!

We live in the Tokyo prefecture…ours has coffee jelly, which I am still not sure how I feel about it.
This is from the Saitama prefecture…it was, interesting. Citrus with strawberry…I wasn’t a huge fan.
This was a matcha one…John had to finish it for me.
I don’t actually know what flavor this was supposed to be. It wasn’t bad…but it wasn’t memorable either.
Strawberry frap for the spring!
Pineapple frap for the summer! (It wasn’t great).
Sweet potato frap for fall! I don’t even like sweet potatoes but this one was good!

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