Hello everyone :)
Let’s head to our last stop on my Asia food adventure in Japan! The food scene in Japan was just so amazing. You can tell that the Japanese people take a lot of pride in their food and definitely see it as an art. Every piece of food that they make, they present it with great care. I felt almost guilty every time I bought something, because they always wrapped it so neatly, like a present, even if it’s just one dango or bread.
This beautiful presentation definitely contrasts the food culture that was seen in Thailand, in which food and even drinks were packaged in plastic bags.
One of the things that our tour leaders mentioned to us on our first day in Japan was that there’s a large food scene underground in Japan. I never would have expected to see markets in subway stations and just stores of food lined up for miles. It’s better than any food court I’ve visited here in the states, and definitely cleaner than any fast food place you would find in a public transportation area. My mom and I wanted to visit Shibuya station before our afternoon flight, so we headed there in the early morning. Shibuya station is famous for something. Do you know what?
Hachiko! If you don’t know the story of Hachiko, I will just sum it up. It is a story about the love between a dog and his master. Hachiko would always wait at the subway station at the end of each day to greet his master. However, one day the master suffered from a heart attack and died. Hachiko waited at the subway station every day for his master to return until he, himself died. There is a statue that has been erected at Shibuya station and you can take a picture with it. It was so much fun finding Hachiko at Shibuya Station :)
You can definitely tell that the Japanese food scene caters to the commuter populations. One of the most distinctive differences between each country I visited on my Asia trip was the difference between the major means of transportation each country relies on. Hands down, Indonesia has the worst traffic ever. Don’t expect to get anywhere unless you’re driving at 4am or in the wee hours of the night. Thailand also had terrible traffic, but not as bad as Indonesia. Singapore has a wonderful subway system and bus system. It was quite easy to get around. In Japan, their subway system is their main form of transportation aside from walking. Every morning, I would go out to the local Family Mart or McDonalds to pick up some breakfast before our tours, and would see hoards of people walking and crossing the streets and running to their platforms at the subway stations.
These underground subway station food vendors are definitely a means to make food more accessible for people on the go.
So, as many of my friends know, I am a huge fan of Hello Kitty. Seeing Hello Kitty everywhere was the highlight of my trip. Before I left Japan, I was able to come across the most amazing treat! It definitely was the cherry on top of my trip. It was the most amazing find at Shibuya station.
I came across Hello Kitty pastries! That’s right, you heard me… Hello Kitty chocolate and custard filled pastries! It was the most amazing find! We bought only 10, because it was quite pricey. I had intended on bringing it back with me to the states, but we ended up eating it all by the time we reached the airport :(
Let me tell you something…. these Hello Kitty pastries were absolutely delicious! We purchased two flavors: chocolate and custard. It’s very similar to the red bean and custard filled wheel cakes. However, the batter is lighter and crunchier. I loved the chocolate filled Hello Kitty, because there are little pieces of crunchy chocolate inside. The custard had a nice light, sweet flavor, with a smooth consistency.
My Japan adventure was a short one! It was a really expensive one as well! If you plan on going to Japan only, I feel as though you should be prepared to spend a hefty amount of money on food, transportation, and tours. I felt the tours was a great investment, since we hit a lot of the hot spots over the course of the day and was able to see so much. I would love to come back to Japan one day, but definitely I’ll have to be prepared to spend a lot of money once again.
I hope you guys enjoyed my recaps on my Asia food adventure!
If you have any suggestions of places I should visit next and food I should try, please comment below or shoot me an email :)