Japan: The Food


Restaurant-Hunting in Tokyo
 We found a quote in one of our travel books... "The Japanese eat with their eyes, not with their stomachs" - or something like that. In Japan it's all about food presentation.
The windows of many Japanese restaurants are filled with their menu items displayed in plastic. I had heard that creating fake food is quite an art-form in Japan and that the top plastic food artists are sought after.

In the mood for fish? Checking out the plastic food display is one option. We had no idea if what we had decided on was beef, chicken, pork, duck, seal, octopus or eel,  but if it looked good, we were sold.

Other restaurants presented menus with color photos.
And then there were the vending machines...
Restaurant vending machines are all the rage in Japan. First, select your menu item from the vending machine. Then, put your yen in the machine and out pops a ticket. Take a seat in the restaurant and give your ticket to the server who passes your ticket to the cooks. Before you know it, your hot food is in front of you, you eat and you're out of there. Lingering during a meal is just not the Japanese way.

The vending machine market is huge in Tokyo. Not only can you get your basic drinks and snacks but you can also find everyday household items such as vacuum cleaner bags, batteries, subway passes and greeting cards in the plethora of vending machines located around Tokyo.

Sushi bars were popular but many were 'stand-up' sushi bars. By the time it came to eat, this 'lingerer' needed to sit. We eventually did find a 'sit-down' sushi restaurant and although my Texan husband was averse to the thought of eating "raw fish"... I loved it.

Early on in our Japan trip we became keenly aware that as 'Westerners', we stood out like sore thumbs and were watched closely by the servers and cooks in restaurants. I'm thinking they were checking out our facial expressions as we were served the food they had prepared.

This particular dish required a 'poker face'.
...and he will not eat Sushi

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