When I am in Japan, I can eat sushi for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and maybe have a bowl of ramen and some mochi for dessert, but I am quite certain that this is not what a typical Japanese diet looks like. So what do Japanese people eat? I asked my Japanese friend Rieko to tell me about what she would normally eat on a weekday:
Last time I was in Tokyo, I stayed at Akiba Bay Hotel, which is a new capsule hotel, just a short walk from Akihabara Station. You are not allowed to take photos inside the hotel, but the layout was similar to the capsule hotel I stayed at last year. Akiba Bay Hotel is women only, and everything was very pastel-colored and cute.
Kakigori, Japanese shaved ice, is one of the most refreshing treats you can get yourself in the summer. The “flakes” are much lighter than the shaved ice in Denmark, almost like a cup full of snow, and the fluffy texture makes it almost impossible to eat without a spoon.
Back in 2003 I visited Japan for the first time. I was there with Rikke, and in less than one week we managed to party hard in Tokyo, sleep through an earthquake and fly off to Sapporo to meet my friend Mari before heading back to Denmark again. This was my first hectic introduction to Japan, and it was love at first sight.
In a dynamic city like Tokyo, things change quickly, and what’s popular today is often forgotten tomorrow. Calbee is one of the exceptions, which has managed to stay relevant for decades, and the brand’s potato-based snacks never seem to go out of style.
Crepes have been all the rage for quite a while, but these days, the absolute must-eat in Tokyo is the super fluffy soufflé pancakes, and one of the places to get them is at Burn Side St Cafe. So even though it was raining and there was a long line outside, this was where I went, after I was done browsing the shops in Harajuku. I think I waited for almost an hour to get a table. Not sure about the exact waiting time, but it was long enough for me to consider leaving, because I hate waiting, even if it’s for pancakes.
Aoyama Flower Market is a chain of flower shops, and the original store nearby Omotesando station also hosts an in-house café. There’s no doubt that combining a cafe and a flower shop has been a brilliant idea, and Aoyama Flower Market Tea House is outrageously popular among both tourists and locals in Tokyo.
This morning, Poul and I jumped on the busy Yamanote line to Shibuya. Our plan was to visit the cat cafe Hapi Neko, but it was easier said than done, as Hapi Neko was tucked away on the 3rd floor in a building we couldn’t find, and all the signs were in Japanese.Just when we were about to give up, we finally saw a sign that had an image of a cat and some paw prints on it and knew, that we had finally come to the right place.
Purikura are the super-cute photo booths you’ll find in most gaming arcades throughout Tokyo. They come with advanced, beauty-enhancing functions, which will twist your facial features to fit the Japanese perception of beauty: Fair skin, big eyes and a tiny nose. Forgot to put on make-up? Didn’t wash your hair? Don’t worry, the purikura will take digitally care of that.
Being a solo traveler in Tokyo is easy. It’s a very safe city and there are lots of things you can do on your own. Through the week, I had been busy exploring the city, and after my ramen dinners, I usually just passed out in my capsule.