Until Next Time, Japan…

So I’ve FINALLY finished writing about my Japan foodie adventures. It’s been an amazing and eye-opening trip – probably the best in my life so far. I learnt a lot about myself, met so many unforgettable people (and admittedly, some that I DO want to forget because ew) and of course, ate a lot of delicious food.

I’ve tried my best to recount all the important dining experiences for each post but there were some that I could not find a home for. These included the following:

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Compartmentalised breakfast at the Tokyo business hotel I stayed in on my first night. This sort of stuff is probably the equivalent of a stodgy western breakfast buffet meal plate but better – rice over sugar-laden cereal any day (even if I think the amount of plastic wrapping they used is excessive).

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The plethora of cheap and surprisingly decent quick snacks and meals one could find at any given Family Mart (the Japanese version of 7/11). Those AUD1 rice balls came in handy many times during my trip.

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The random mamma and papa bar I stumbled across just around the corner from Yudanaka Station in the Nagano prefecture. The further out of the bigger cities you go, the less likely you are to find someone who can speak English. This was evident when I trepidatiously walked into this little inn. The lovely lady owner knew no English, my Japanese skillz were extremely poor and the menu was written entirely in Japanese (no photos, no romaji!) but I was able to (just) order my lunch using, funnily enough, my very limited Chinese reading skills.

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Soba and tempura, yo.

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The random donburi restaurant that my companion for the night and I came across after a drunken night out in Shibuya. You place your order using a vending machine, chuck some yen coins in and your food comes out to you at the speed of light.

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Unfortunately, I didn’t quite like my sliced pork with raw egg and garlic on rice (think oyakodon but with pork instead of chicken as well as a motherload of garlic). It had way too much garlic in it – and I normally love garlic.

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And finally, the random alleyway restaurant I stumbled across in Asakusa.

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… that served horse sashimi.

Yup, I went there. It was leaner than horse and had a much cleaner taste. But by cleaner, I also meant blander. I’m glad I tried horse but it’s not something I’d quickly order again. Beef FTW.

It’s true what they say about solo travelling. As clichéd as it sounds, it’s life-changing and liberating and Japan’s the perfect place to start if you’ve never travelled alone before. It’s safe, yet there’s plenty of things to keep you occupied no matter what your interests are. Sayonara, Japan…

… for now anyway.

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