Oden reminds me of Yong Tau Fu back home and you can find oden even in convenient stores like 7 – eleven and Lawson in Japan but you wouldn’t find the same thing anywhere else though. Although Yong Tau Fu you pick the ingredients and then they are cooked in boiling water , followed by noodles or no noodles , soupy or dry to be added, this is with broth that had been boiled in for hours.
The difference with Oden and yong tau fu is the broth, while the broth for Oden is soy based, the broth for yong tau fu I think is ikan bilis and also the ingredients , while some is quite similar, you will noticed that Oden’s ingredients are not things we usually add with our yong tau fu.
Oden is usually eaten during the cooler months in Japan and in Osaka, you will find many Oden eateries. They are not only found inside a restaurant but they can be found in market places , out on the street in a street cart. I love the daikon most if I have Oden and then the fish cakes as well as eggs and tofu like things. I also like the meat kind of food that comes in the Oden , because they are so flavorful.
Oden are almost always reasonably priced but it also depends on where you eat and buy them from.
If you are in Okinawa, don’t forget to try this bitter melon burger, you will be quite surprise at its taste because i myself, do not like bitter melon that much but I must say for $3.00 it wasn’t a bad burger at all. Of course, one has to have some goya rings too – at $2.50 a pop, why not?
Menu from one of the fast food restaurant where you can get your Goya fix (bitter melon).
Store front of one of the goya burger fast food store.
Maid cafes are quite the thing to do when you visit Japan, but it is not only for the tourists, they are for the locals as well. Most people who comes to the Maid cafes in Japan only do it for the experience but some are into cos-play and others well, just wants to look at the pretty and young girls there.
Maid cafes are themed cafes obviously and there are so many sprouting in every corner in Japan especially bigger cities like Tokyo. You are usually not allowed to film inside the cafes or take photos but there are some who would let you take a picture of them for a few hundred yens.
There are of course different maid cafes around Japan , and all of them do have food involved as well as drinks. They also dance for you and before you can partake your food, you need to do some singing or dancing or both from what I know. I don’t know if they are popular for the older folks but for the younger folks , both men and women , they seems to have been quite taken by all the cos-play and the cutesyness of the dress up and cos- play.
Oh btw, maid cafes are not hostess hereby they drink with you and you can neither touch them. This isn’t a prostitution ring , no naughty business here, so cheeky old men out there, you can do away with the idea, if you think it is this kinda establishment.
Now the tricky part of one’s experience with the maid cafes are that there is a table charge plus whatever you order during your 1 hr stay at the cafe. If you intend to stay longer, you will be charge another table charge , so the turnover of the tables are fairly quick. You cannot hang around the cafes and not pay for the table charge.
Every year, we send exchange students to Asia so that they can experience what it is like to study in a different country and environment and Japan is one of those that is highly requested. Students stay with a host family and it is customary to bring the host family a gift. In Japan, they have just about everything and to any Japanese you asked , they will tell you that quality is more important than quantity. I usually suggest that they get the host family some Acrylic Dinnerware and Home and Patio Décor Center has Merritt melamine that any Japanese family will and can appreciate.
Of course, you can choose from various price ranges and it doesn’t even need to be a very expensive set. There are some sets that are as little as $32.99 and some as expensive as $299 but you can be sure that the quality of these gifts are equally exquisite and well made. And like I’ve mentioned and cannot stress enough, any Japanese would love quality over quantity, so be sure to buy something useful and not because it’s expensive.
And since summer is just round the corner, I suggest this flip flop wine glass outdoor set for any host family or friends that you are visiting. I’m pretty sure not only the Japanese will love it , anyone would love to have it.
Newly opened at Shibuya , near Meiji Jingu-mae Station – the unagi pie is actually eel – may sound grossed to some people but it is actually quite yummy. Unagi pie has been known to be a very sought after treats to bring home as souvenirs for friends and family.
This is “Rakuzan” Teashop, located in Kagurazaka, one of my favorite areas in Tokyo. And although it is a teashop, they are first and most famous for their great selection of beautiful traditional Japanese handmade teapots of all sizes and designs.
It’s not a very big shop, but I can easily spend 45 minutes in there, looking at all their different teapots, tasting the special teas of the week, etc. A great little shop I recommend visiting if you happen to be in Tokyo. – Easy access to Kagurazaka by JR Sobu Line to Iidabashi Station, or by Tokyo Metro’s Tozai Line, Kagurazaka Station.
Unique or weird dining in Nagoya ? it depends on how you look at it but the first time I was at Kissa Mountain and they came out with this dish, I didn’t know what to make out of it. I’ve never had pasta with whipped cream before, so unless you have a darn sweet tooth and love chocolate, I don’t know if you are going to like this or not.
The dishes varies from ¥700 to ¥900 and a lot of students come here for a snack and break. This is some kinda sweet bean pasta , very sweetttt!!! I swear I had mixed feeling after eating at Kissa Mountain, I wouldn’t say I don’t like that food but it’s different alright.
Someone told me that they can’t find good coffee in Tokyo but there are many good coffee places if you look for it carefully. This is one of the many coffee places that I’ve come across when I lived in Tokyo, Japan many years ago. So if you refused to go to Starbucks by the way is everywhere in Tokyo, you might want to look out for this place in Ginza, open daily even on Sundays for a good 12 hrs a day.
Donpa is the name of this drip coffee place, one of the most authentic coffee places I’ve been to in Japan. 3-4-16 Ginza, Chuo Ward. is the address and it’s not difficult to locate this place. I really think that they do make one of the best coffee in town because of the way it is being brewed. The acidity is so low, I can drink this coffee on a daily basis.
Japan has lots of street food stall but their ramen stores are to die for. So if you are in Japan and it’s late at night , check out the street ramen stores and even though you might need to stand up to eat those hot ramen, you would love and enjoy the experience.
If you are someone who are in Japan for a long time, you will find that you can get pizza just about anywhere in Japan but of course, there are restaurants like the one above that is really like a pizza joint that you get at home in the West.
Please note that they probably don’t taste or look like your regular pizza back home but nevertheless pretty tasty as well. Pizza house in Japan kinda cooked their pizza more to the taste of Japanese and they do seems to have more tomato sauce in most of them.
Of course, they have garlic bread and also pastas in most of these pizza house and most restaurants have a plastic display of what food you will be getting. Plus you will be surprised with the combination of pizzas one can get in Japan. I’ve had one that had hard boil eggs in them.