Japan in My Mouth

 Trying as many different foods as we could was a big part of our recent trip to Japan. Sadly, so was being on a tight budget. But we managed to get some seriously tasty things in our bellies, and a few not so brilliant things. Here is (almost) everything we ate on our trip, in chronological order for some reason. I'll keep the writing brief to make room for the visual feast - enjoy!

Ok, don't judge. The ferry arrived really early and 
nowhere else was open! McDonalds is also the 
second cheapest place we found in Japan for coffee
...after Burger King.
Despite the many, many fast food places,
everyone was so thin - even the pigeons!
Fukuoka is famous for its Gyoza - 
pretty much the same as the delicious Mandu 
we've been eating all year in Korea.
Our budget required us to eat pot noodles and other
such junk from marts for one meal a day, so here
are the chowmein style noodles we grew to love.
Unlike Korean ramen, you drain the water away
so these ones are dry, rather than soupy.
Snacks on snacks! On the left is a "Big Thunder" bar
which is like a bourbon biscuit covered in chocolate.
Yum! On the right are some strange jelly sweets
with weird fruit flavours and a texture not
dissimilar to raw fish...interesting.
Final meal in Fukuoka - ramen. Mine were a spicy kind...
...and Dave's were traditional. The broth was rich and creamy 
with a subtle pork flavour, to which we added pepper, chilli...
...pickled ginger, garlic, bean sprouts and something
else we didn't recognise or particularly like.
Best noodles we've ever eaten!
In Kyoto we found a lovely place to get Bento
boxes for lunch. Rice, salad, coleslaw, radish,
fried chicken, spaghetti and some weird
brown seed jelly. A lovely meal.
We didn't eat here but check out the whole 
octopuses on sticks, the stuff that looks 
like brains and the eels with wiggly spines.
Marinated raw fish on sticks for only £1.50!
Cuttlefish, salmon, tuna and scallops.
Dave tried the tuna in soy and mirin. Not my fave but he loved it.
Kind of like bulgogi beef with onions, on rice...
Which you could then add miso soup to once you
had eaten half, although Dave preferred it before.
I wish we had eaten one of these barbecued quails
but they were sooooo expensive and so tiny! 
Steamy hot sake - perfect way
to warm up at the end of the day.
Tempura shrimp, squash, chilli, Japanese potato
and lotus root - such a light batter.
SALMON! I had been craving this for months and
it didn't disappoint. Fabulous.
Very small, traditional feeling bar where we 
had the above 3 things. What a find.
Our first meal in Tokyo - a McHotdog.
It tasted just as you would imagine it to.
Miso soup and green tea to accompany our...
Sushi! All of this for £6 at a standing sushi bar. 
I'm not a huge fan but it was pretty good and
Dave love it, especially the squid and shrimp.
Breaded pork cutlet/cheesy hamburger on rice
with curry sauce. So much nicer than the Korean
version - the curry had a lovely yoghurty tang.
Lotteria is the poor man's McDonalds.
In Korea, at least, it's horrible.
We didn't go - we have some standards.
Salad, Iranian style steamed rice and Gheimeh, which is a 
traditional lamb and split pea stew, courtesy of our hosts, 
Nazrin and Morteza. Delicious food and such a lovely couple!
A 2L bottle of thousand island dressing.
I think Morteza is addicted!
Lake Kawaguchiko, near Mt Fuji. Second experience
of Japanese ramen, which were ok but definitely
not as good as the ones in Fukuoka.
We also had more dumplings, fried chicken salad,
and a fried fish - for extra protein.
More snacks! "Strong Zero" is definitely the cheapest
way to get drunk in Japan. It's like apple juice but 8%
and after the first taste it goes down way too easily.
The we had some sweets, biscuits and chocolates.
Nothing special.
By far the biggest pot noodle I have ever seen.
Bits of meat and prawns, plus Dave added an egg

and a tin of tuna!
BUBBLE TEA! Anyone who read out China posts
will remember my obsession with this stuff.
This time it was hot and as delicious as I remembered.
I can't wait to go to Taiwan, where it was invented!
More sushi. And at the back is some Szechuan
cucumber which was really nutty and spicy.
Fried noodles and breaded chicken on sticks.
If you remember out last trip to Tokyo, we
ate a a restaurant where you ordered your food
using a touchscreen TV. Well this was that chain,
but we weren't as impressed by out food choices.
Breakfast in Osaka. There is on Subway in Korea
so we couldn't resist. We just wanted the Sub
of the day but it was veggie avacado (yuk!)
so we got cajun chicken, and teriyaki chicken,
which is a Japanese flavour, right?
Osaka should be renamed "O-snack-a"
because it is famous for Takoyaki, a
popular street snack of fried doughballs
filled with octopus. These stalls where
There were more balls on this street
than in a Bangkok brothel!
Dave's first taste...
I didn't have one but I'm told they are really tasty but very rich, 
and since you can only buy a minimum of 6, 
it's best to share them or it can get a bit sickly. 
Sorry Dave, but you know how I feel about tentacles...
Another Osakan delicacy - Okonomiyaki.
It's a kind of pancake made from varoius things, such as 

cabbage, onion, pork and shrimp, that is fried on a 
hot plate at your table. It was good but nothing amazing. 
Still, it was something new.
We went to a famous kushikatsu (see below)
restaurant and had an amazing beef stew for
our starter. It didn't taste Asian, more like a
rich beef stew from home. Of course there was
the surprise Asian twist of tasteless jelly cubes.
Here is the kushikatsu. It is various things on sticks, coated
in a special batter and fried. You then dip it in a "communal" 
pot of sauce that is kind of like water HP sauce.
There is a strict no-double-dipping rule.
We had (left to right) squid legs, beef, quails eggs, 
and a meatball. The best, hands down, were the eggs. 
They were soooo creamy and delicious...I want more!
Remind you of anyone? It's the spitting
image of Ricky Gervais, as David Brent,
about to do his infamous dance!
Cinnamon and black pepper choco sticks
that I think they suggest you use as drinks
stirrers. Very unusual - I am sending some
home for the Pascoe and Moss adults to try.
More sushi! This time from a department store.
Too much wasabi for my liking, but not bad.
WAGU BEEF in Hiroshima! Wagu is the name given
to Japanese beef, famous for the marbled fat.
Kobe beef is Wagu beef that comes
from the town of Kobe.
Here is the beef in all its glory. It was delicious.
A small island off the coast of Hiroshima
is famous for its oysters.
Dave and the other traveller we were with agreed
they were the best oysters they had ever eaten.
Yakitori = grilled meat on stick.
HUGE individual wotsit-esque crisps.
One was crab flavour...weird.
Dave's final meal in Japan - why he wants to
remember this, I don't know. It was a spicy
chicken sandwich from 7eleven.