We returnded home on September 29, with some amazing memories. These are someof the things that we hope to remember.
Japanese style food - principles
The food must look beautiful, even if it is seaweed or small fish with eyes, or mouldy beans (Natto, for breakfast), or fermented octopus. Some things were spectacular.
The food must also be tasty. This must be approached with caution, however, as tasty usually includes the taste of fish, is very often salty, and frequently includes the familiar flavour of green tea.
Always wash your hands before you start. Damp Cloths are provided free at convenience stores when you buy lunch. Neatly fold it up and save it for the sticky items you handle during your meal
Rice is at the end. If you have not had enough food during the meal, you fill up with rice Do not expect rice at the beginning, and do not expect rice with your raw fish. At breakfast, rice will always be available.
Low fat -- at home, I do not crave doughnuts, like I can crave a doughnut in Japan.
Fresh fruit is available, but not in the volumes that we usually consume.
Multiple Courses of small portions mount up to a large meal.
Bento boxes come in all qualities - choose carefully
In Hiroshima, the Hiroshima-yaki is a dish best described as an egg-based savoury pancake. They are a pancake, veggies, soba noodles, and meat. Absolutely delicious. We found a great place, thanks to the Lonely Planet, where there were 30 mini restaurants (basically an Edo-style grill). We went two nights in a row for the same type of food in different places. I took some pictures of how these are made. It is an art form to watch and a gourmet meal to eat. These are a modification of okonomiyaki, apparently found in other parts of Japan.
Manners and Very important Japanese words
We left Masao and Mari in the Shinkhansen station, and embarked on a train with standing room only. At one point, I gave up my seat for a mother and child, and was very well received.
Domo Aragato Gozaimas = with many variations, there are many ways to say thank you, but this is the most formal.
Hi = yes
Itadakimas - Bon appetit in Japanese
Nihari (left) Hoko (Direction) Des