I could talk for hours about the beauty of Japan, the bright and vibrant cities and the gorgeous landscapes dotting the countryside, but today I wanted to discuss one of the most important things in Japan, the food. I don’t believe I ever truly had a bad meal in Japan. In fact, I could honestly say that almost every single meal in Japan that I have eaten was amazing. When you come to Japan if you are able to I would recommend eating at every restaurant that catches your attention, and also going into ones that you never thought about going into because that is how I found some of my favorite restaurants in the world. Thanks to Zentern I was able to come to a country where food is amazing no matter where you go.
Japanese food can cater to any lifestyle. You can go to restaurants that serve $100 steaks and sushi course, or you can go to your local convenience store and get sandwiches and fried chicken that is only $2, which I highly recommend you do because it is fantastic and a great way to save money. I would advise eating out at convenience stores for small meals and saving your money so you can go to an izakaya (bar) or restaurant for lunch or dinner because that way you are using your money wisely and also getting the best experience of food in Japan.
My favorite thing to do when I am hungry is go to interesting little food spots whenever I am out and about around town. I found that when I had my internship in the Shinjuku area that there are certain parts that are filled to the brim with different restaurants and bars that will happily serve you delicious food. If you don’t speak Japanese, the language barrier can be intimidating but fear not I have one phrase that will help you get food no matter what. What do you recommend or,
- Osusume ha nan desu ka
will allow your server to help pick out something for you to eat. You can also go the route of pointing at something you believe looks tasty on the menu itself, this is a tried and true tactic that never fails and results in getting something delicious. Some of my favorite foods that I have had while I am in Japan are –
- ramen from the world renown chain Ichiran,
- yakitori from ABC yakitori
- grilled meats from a little izakaya in Shinjuku
- sushi in the heart of the Ginza district
- And last but not least fried chicken from my local convenience store called FamilyMart
Zentern has allowed me to have an internship where I not only get to explore a culture different from my own, a country that I have come to love, and use my skills to better my career, but eat my way through food that has me longing for it the second I board my airplane to come back to Texas.
You must come to Japan with an open mind and empty stomach because the food will change your life and give you a perspective on culture that we seldom ever think about. Food is a way of life and experiencing the different foods from all these different cultures allows us to become better connected to other people, plus the food in Japan is delicious which is an added bonus. Having an internship in Tokyo allowed me to become a more well-rounded person and I am more successful because of it and I also can never get enough of sushi now.