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my first Japanese meal

Tokyo Travel Blog

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service plate, beer and sake

I breezed through customs and waited for my friend to pick me up at the airport.  Miwako was a foreign exchange student with our family back in high school and I hadn’t seen her in over 10 years.  After she met me, I stopped at an ATM for cash, then we took the Skyline train from Narita airport to Nippori, her nearest station, where her dad picked us up.  I’m glad she was there to help buy a train ticket for me.  I was really excited to stay with a Japanese family because I like how you get to experience the culture.

 

The family had a very nice house and I even got my own guest pair of slippers for the home.  You are not supposed to step up into the home wearing your shoes, likewise, you are not supposed to step down onto the entry level with your socks or slippers.

whitefish sushi and liver
  I dropped my stuff and changed clothes and we went out to dinner. 

 

We ate a local place, which would be the Japanese equivalent of a bar and grill.  You go there to drink and order many small plates of food that everyone shares.  I tried everything they ordered and ate some very unusual foods.  We started with beer and sake and our service plate.  The first dish was sushi – whitefish served with its liver.  It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  It also came with raw calamari.  We had some vegetables and shrimp balls, and then a plate of deep-fried squid came out.  I figured that I liked the calamari, so I should like it deep-fried right?  WRONG! 

 

This was a whole squid, but little, a little longer than your palm, containing the head, body and tentacles.

deep-fried squid
  I watched everyone else and they all grabbed a squid and stuck in their mouths, so I did too.  I started with the head and bit into it.  Ugh, that was disgusting!  All the brains and body juices and whatnot came squishing out.  It was rubbery and foul tasting.  I chewed about twice and took a gigantic gulp of beer to wash it down.  I couldn’t eat any more after that.  Miwako said that it was okay if I didn’t like it because not many Japanese people liked it either.    

 

The next platter was of sliced duck – raw.  Interesting.  Well, I figured it couldn’t be worse than the squid, so I took a piece.  It was very fatty, and was my second least favorite of anything I had eaten over there.

duck sushi
  But I’m glad I got to try those things and very glad I didn’t end up with a whole plate as my main course, by accident.  Surprisingly, I didn't get sick from anything I ate, either. 

 

We had some Sho-chu, which is a liquor made from rice or sweet potato.  It was strong and similar to vodka.  I think with all the liquor combined with my jet lag, I got a little tipsy at dinner my first night in Japan!  But it was a lot of fun.  I’m so glad I had the opportunity to eat a Japanese meal with a Japanese family.  As we were drinking alcohol, it is traditional to serve the rice dish last, so the flavors don’t mix while you are eating.  After a two hour meal and lots of alcohol, we went back where I crashed soon after.  I slept on a futon in Miwako’s small room, after a short first day in Japan. 

bernard69 says:
glad u enjoyed Japanese food!:)))))
Posted on: Jul 12, 2010
binky says:
I guess fatty meat is normal in Japan? I had the same experience which took some getting use to. So cool that you got to stay with a Japanese family.
Posted on: May 19, 2010
mountaingirl says:
Hope you have enjoyed the Japaness meal! They looked good :-)
Posted on: Apr 20, 2010
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service plate, beer and sake
service plate, beer and sake
whitefish sushi and liver
whitefish sushi and liver
deep-fried squid
deep-fried squid
duck sushi
duck sushi
cracking open a new bottle of sho-…
cracking open a new bottle of sho…
wish we had more of these back hom…
wish we had more of these back ho…
china cabinet
china cabinet
Buddhist shrine (?) in home
Buddhist shrine (?) in home
entryway
entryway
lots of settings for the toilet
lots of settings for the toilet
slippers and shoes
slippers and shoes
be sure to use toilet slippers
be sure to use toilet slippers
auto seat lifters
auto seat lifters
Tokyo
photo by: maka77