Food, Glorious Food: Rena

As you may know already, food culture is huge in every country. However, in Japan, the Japanese take food and food culture to the next level. From ice cream vending machines to fake food in restaurant street displays, Japan has had its head in the game of the food industry probably since forever. Though I would love to cover all aspects of food culture in Japan, I have not had the time to try all the specialty dishes of Fukuoka as I’ve class everyday which means homework and tests every week.  (⌯˃̶᷄ ﹏ ˂̶᷄⌯)゚Because of this, I spend most of my time exploring the kitchen of my unit. This brings me to my first section of this post- Meal prep!

Meal Prep

I tried meal prepping for the first time 2 weeks ago and it was a success!  I made minestrone soup and it actually tasted decent. I even bought some in a food flask which I bought at AEON (a Japanese supermarket) one day and it turned to be the day I didn’t spend a single yen! The minestrone lasted for about 5 days and I had it with rice.

 

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いただきます! I spent roughly 800 yen ($10nzd) on the groceries. I ended up using 3 packs of bacon, half a cabbage and 2 potatoes for the soup.

 

Desserts

Tenijn has many cafes and dessert shops and there’s a myriad of confectionery to enjoy while you’re here. You can either go for traditional Japanese desserts such as mochi or settle yourselves in a quiet but bustling western café and be served slices of cake or pancakes. I decided to go to a café called Ivorish with my friends because I heard really good things about it before I came to Japan. I also went to a small café that only serves pancakes called ‘幸せのパンケーキ’ which literally translates as ‘Happy pancakes’. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but I honestly enjoyed the desserts at both places. Japanese desserts and sweets aren’t as sweet as Western desserts so if you’re a fan of pancakes, crepes, French toast or cakes, definitely keep that in mind when you’re here!

 

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Even though this café has 2 floors, we still had to line up and wait for 10 minutes. You can easily see why this café is so popular though, the presentation and taste of the food was a solid 10/10!

 

 

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The fluffiest of pancakes! We paid an additional 100 yen ($1.23 NZD) for the scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. So worth it (^▽^)

食堂 ( Cafeteria)

This is where I usually spend my lunchtimes at uni in between classes. We have a convenience store, a café and a cafeteria on campus. The school cafeteria in particular is my favourite place to have lunch because you can mix and match dishes and side dishes every day. We currently have an autumn menu which uses local ingredients that are in season. I usually spend roughly 400 yen ($5 NZD) for lunch and it consists of a main dish and rice.

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The interior of the cafeteria
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A few examples of what the cafeteria offers. You can even get a dinner set during the evenings which costs 400 yen ($5NZD

 

Fast Food:

Like every country, Japan has Western fast food restaurants. So far, I’ve only been to Mc Donalds but I managed to take a picture of the KFC menu here. Besides Western fast food, Japan has a large range of Japanese fast food places. My favourite fast food place is probably Yoshinoya, because their beef bowl is absolutely delicious (and cheap!). Unfortunately, I was so immersed in my food that I completely forgot to take a picture. ごめん!

A fast food restaurant I would highly recommend is ‘くら寿司’( Kula Sushi) It’s a sushi-train style restaurant but it also serves desserts, shaved ice and rice dishes. If you’re a vegetarian, you can indulge in cucumber maki rolls and inari which is made from tofu skin. Each plate of sushi is only 108 yen with tax ($1.35 NZD) and there are plenty of sushi options to choose from! Kula Sushi is different from the other sushi train places because one you’ve had your full, for ever 5 plates that you put in the slot, you have a chance of winning a small prize! Totally not necessary but it adds a touch a fun especially you’re too full to move and just want to stay in the restaurant a bit longer.

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A few fast food places I’ve been so far. The green drink from Mc Donald’s is a green melon float, which is also a popular flavour of soft drink in Japan. Also, shrimp avocado in a sub, anyone?

 

I can’t be the only one who thinks this is low- key gambling(⌒▽⌒)But if it means eating more food to increase your chances of winning an adorable gift, I’m all up for it!

 

Fukuoka Specialty dishes

This sounds terrible and it is but… I haven’t had much of Fukuoka’s gourmet dishes yet. Fukuoka is home to Udon, Tonkotsu Ramen, Mentaiko (salty and slightly spicy fish eggs) and Motsu Nabe. Fukuoka is also famous for its Yatai stalls along the Nakasu River and it home to Asahi Breweries. I will definitely try all of the dishes in the near future so if you would like to see more about Fukuoka’s food culture and its Japanese culture in general, you can follow me on snapchat (chuarenafelice)

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I leave you with this bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen at a small shop 10 minutes away from my dorm. Tonkotsu is made with a pork bone broth and thin noodles. Super cheap and it has lots of flavour!

 

Honourable mentions:

If you’ve made it this far into my post, you will be blown at what vending machines in Japan sell. I’ve seen some selling cigarettes and beer (No age restriction). I honestly think they’re so cool and wish NZ had more of them.

 

 

またね!

Adobe Spark (13)

 

 

 

 

 

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