Category Archives: Food

Life in Japan: What Japan Needs from Canada

Jay Dee:

Living in Japan for so long, there are a lot of things I really miss about Canada. This is what I wish Japan had.

Originally posted on I Read Encyclopedias for Fun:

Having lived in Japan for ten years, there are quite a few things from Canada I don’t have access to at all.  Occasionally, I’ll be able to eat a real hot dog in Costco, find Marmite in Union, and A&W Root Beer in Carnival, but there are some things that are impossible to find here. This week’s question comes from stomperdad.

Besides family, what do you miss about Canada that you wish Japan had?

Most of things I miss are food.  There are a lot of similar fast food restaurants here, such as McDonald’s, Subway, and Burger King, but what I really want isn’t available here.

Harvey's burger and fries. Harvey’s burger and fries.

I always loved going to Harvey’s. The ability to customise your burger is missing from fast food places in Japan.  And eating a Harvey’s hamburger was so satisfying.

I’m not a big fan of pizza, since I don’t like pizza…

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My “Traditional” Japanese Christmas Dinner

Jay Dee:

Merry Christmas everyone! I finally had a traditional Japanese Christmas dinner. Check it out!

Originally posted on I Read Encyclopedias for Fun:

Japan doesn’t have a long Christmas tradition, as it’s a more recent trend here.  It’s also mainly done to sell more things and make more money.  It’s entirely commercial.  It’s also a time for couples to go on dates and exchange gifts.  It’s typically not a family holiday, but parents will sometimes give their children gifts.  Also, it’s very difficult to find turkey here, so we have to make do with other things.

And that brings me to my Christmas dinner today.  This is the “traditional” Christmas dinner.  Just take a look.




That’s right, Kentucky Fried Chicken!  We had some regular KFC chicken, boneless chicken, French fries (no gravy in Japan), salad, and a “Christmas cake.”  It was actually a chocolate cake.  To many Japanese people, Christmas means cake.  They’re often very surprised to find out that cake isn’t a big tradition where I’m from.  Sure, people get fruitcake, but…

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Filed under Culture, Festivals & Events, Food, Japan

Wilkinson Mixing Blood Orange

It’s time for another taste test!  This time, I tried out Wilkinson Mixing Blood Orange.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Maybe sweet, but that wasn’t to be.  It wasn’t sweet at all.  Please watch the video.

Have you tried this drink?

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Filed under Food, Japan, Vlog

Mistio Grape

It’s been a while since I’ve done a drink review. But now I’m doing it on video!  I’m going to do some regular taste tests with drinks that can be found in Japan, and here’s the first.

This time, it’s Mistio Grape soda.  Enjoy!

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Wagyu Beef Sukiyaki

Last night, I had something I’ve been looking forward to for years, wagyu beef.  There are several varieties of wagyu beef, some of the most famous being Kobe beef and Matsuzaka beef.  Below is the beef.  10,000 yen worth of it.  Included was sukiyaki sauce.


Look at all that beef. It’s half fat.


The last of the beef.

So, how was it?  It tasted quite good, but there was a problem.  It’s so fatty that it filled me up very quickly, and I didn’t feel very good afterwards.  My recommendation is to eat wagyu beef in moderation.  And whatever  you do, eat it in thin slices.  Don’t eat it as steak.  I’ve heard others say they tried wagyu beef steak, and it was too oily. It needs to be boiled, not fried.  Sukiyaki or shabu shabu are ideal, I think.

Have you tried wagyu beef?


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Spiral Grape

There’s a new drink in Japan called Spiral Grape.  The label says “LIFE needs SPICE.”


Spicy grape?

I’d heard from some people that it tasted like grape and licorice.  Licorice is one of those flavours that you either love or hate.  Maybe I’m strange, but I’m in the middle.  I don’t love it or hate it, I merely tolerate it.  Well, after trying this, I do have to say that I like it.  The flavours seem to match in this drink.  It’s like a grape soda with a dry bite.  It’s not so sweet.  I’d drink it again.


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2012 Picture of the Week (53/52) – Mikan

The mikan (みかん) is a kind of orange native to Japan, but also grown in China and other countries.  It’s traditionally sold around the end of the year in Japan, and you can buy them in large bags or boxes.  Does this sound familiar?  In North America, it’s very common to buy Mandarin oranges in boxes for Christmas.  Well, the mikan is a type of Mandarin orange.  It’s also known as tangerine, satsuma orange, or even Japanese Mandarin orange.


Big bags of mikan.

With this, I close out the 2012 Picture of the Week.  It was one extra, since I did two in one week sometime during the year.  I just haven’t figured out when.  Picture of the Week is not returning next year.  However, I am doing another weekly series that’ll focus on Japan’s 47 prefectures plus the 5 largest cities to round out 52 weeks.  I hope you enjoyed all 53 pictures!

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