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Ivanas final post

Ivana Dokic

Hi everyone, first off, I'd love to just thank anyone reading this blog and just say that I am so thankful to have had to opportunity of seeing Japan. To be honest, the food in Japan has been impeccable. Regardless of the quality, I have enjoyed food from places such at seven eleven all the way to one hundred dollar buffet dinners. Further, I'd like to mention my favourite foods in a condensed form. My number one favourite thing that I tried in Japan was the BBQ Cheetos. I know this sounds lame and ridiculous... But the first time I tried these, I was with Alex, Liam, Emma and Ashley at karaoke in Kawasaki and we each received a little snack bowl to enjoy while singing. Ultimately, I enjoyed my snack bowl while indulging in the Cheetos and I had no idea what they were until a few days later when we all went to seven eleven and I found them on the shelf in the chips isle. Needless to say, Ashley and I each got our own bag and finished it that evening. A second favou…

The End

Hey everyone! I left Japan yesterday morning to continue my travels and I am now in Hong Kong for two days before heading over to Thailand and Indonesia. While I am sad to be finished my time in Japan I am excited to be gone for a few reason. The most obvious being to be able to continue my adventures around Asia, but another is to have some different food!
While I really enjoyed a majority of the food in Japan, I quickly became homesick for the typical food that is readily available in Canada but isn't in Japan. Items such as fruits and vegetables were a lot harder to come by and more expensive than other food items. I noticed that most of the food in Japan is quite heavy and filling. If the food wasn't dead fried or covered in tempura it was carb or sugar heavy. I have noticed while in Japan I would get a lot fuller faster but get hungry a lot quicker and more often then I do back home. I am not sure if this is due to the food I have been eating in Japan, the amount of walkin…

Curtain Call

As with the last post, this one is going to deviate a fair bit from the topic of street foods, but here we go… Most everyone left yesterday, and my time here ends tomorrow. As I said previously, it's somewhat bittersweet, it all went by so quickly, and there's still so much I wasn't able to see. That said, I know with absolute certainty now that I'll be coming back in the future, hopefully sooner rather than later.
So now I sit here in my room at the Senshu dorms, packing my things up and thinking back on my time here as I prepare for my final night in Japan. My rampant over-spending over the past two weeks unfortunately caused me to have to live quite conservatively over the final few days, and so I wasn't able to complete much of my plans I reserved for the extra days, but hey, money comes, money goes, what really matters is that I had a great time with everyone who was also on this little adventure.
Tonight, I'm making a trip out to Yokohama, as I was not able to …

Tokyo Disneyland

Hello everyone!
I'm sad to say that I will only be in Japan for two more days. Seeing as I posted on Friday night (last night), this blog post will be dedicated to the new foods I've tried whilst at the Tokyo Disney Resort today! Today was my first day visiting Tokyo Disneyland, and tomorrow I will once again be visiting Tokyo Disney Sea.

So first let's talk about some of the amazing street food I was able to try in Tokyo Disneyland. I tried two new flavours of popcorn, honey, which was not my favourite, and soy sauce and butter, which was delicious! What I really like about street food in Disney parks is that it is culturally specific. You would never find soy sauce popcorn in Disneyland in California. But of course, as my co-authors and I have been reflecting on, street food is much more than just food! It is a way for a culture to express their cuisine in an easy, quick, fun, and inexpensive way! (Although truthfully, I can't say that the street food in Disneyland is …

Sayonara Japan!

As my adventure in Japan is coming to a close, I can't help but wish I could stay here just a little bit longer! The culture, the people, the places, the food; this place is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Since my last post I have tried a few more amazing street foods. In Ueno, I was lucky enough to catch a festival of Japanese and Filipino street foods. While there was so much to choose from, I ended up trying a delicious crab skewer. I was also able to visit a huge street market selling all kinds of crazy things, from raw fish to refrigerator magnets. This market was unlike anything I had seen before in Japan, so it was exciting for me to experience many of the cultural phenomena that Ueno had to offer. 
Not surprisingly, I continue to find myself drawn to anything that has red bean paste in it. I just can’t get enough of that sweet and sticky treat! Sweet red bean buns could quite possibly be the food I’m going to miss the most when I get back to Canada. In Hakone, I had th…

Ivana's second post

Hello everyone! First off, thank you for staying tuned while we have been on this journey through Japan and learning about its street food. Ultimately, during the last two weeks, the easiest way for us to dine or snack has been through products either sold on the street or in convenience stores nearby. Nonetheless, we got the chance to try amazing food yesterday after a Kabuki show at the national Japanese theatre. You’re probably wondering “where did they go to have this amazing meal”? Well, luckily for us, we got to try the amazing selection of food in the buffet at the prince hotel. I know it doesn't sound too fancy, but it looked absolutely impeccable and tasted even better. The selection at this buffet ranged from build your own salads, to torched wagyu beef on Himalayan sea salt, to freshly plated sashimi. Ultimately, you can see how crabs legs and fresh macaroons beat fried street food. (Not to say that the street food isn't also delicious!) I ended up trying several di…

Watch out for the traps

Hey guys! So we're coming up on our final days in Japan, it's crazy how fast our time here has gone by. With all the activities and things we've seen it's felt like it's impossible we did it all in just two weeks! I've had the opportunity to try a few more types of street food since the last time I posted. By far my favourite was an ice cream cone I purchased while in Hakone after the stone pavement hike. I'm not sure if it was so delicious because it was a reward for completing the hike, I had been starting to miss more familiar foods, or if it was just genuinely that good, but regardless it has definitely been my favourite street food thus far.
As I talked about in my last blog post, we came across a delicious and authentic crepe stand in Harajuku. The crepes there were some of the best I've ever had. Knowing how amazing the crepes are here, you can't blame me for stopping to get another one when I came across another crepe stand in the middle of S…

End of the road

Game over man.  No, but seriously, it's over. Today marks the final day of this Group Study Program, with most of the group carrying on to other things tomorrow. It's kind of a bittersweet blend, wishing it would continue, but I'm also ready to head home. While I personally have a couple extra days in Japan, the past 2 weeks have been nothing short of amazing. I was able to try so many foods I would never have the chance to truly experience back home, and even some things which Japan just manages to out-do in every sense of the word.  While this blog is primarily focused on street foods, this post is going to act as more of a review on the last major meal of the program.
Yesterday, we had our final banquet meal of the program, at a restaurant named "Porto", inside the Tokyo Prince Hotel.  The restaurant is an all-you-can-eat buffet like you've never seen before.  Like, this place is on an entirely different level.  The hotel and restaurant are very high class…

Less street food than I expected!

So we’ve now been in Japan for just under a week and I must say, I have tried A LOT of different kinds of food. However, contrary to my original belief, street food is not something that can be found everywhere. While vending machines are never in short supply, street foods can only be found in certain areas. The first place where I actually found loads of street food was in Asakusa, near a large shrine. Here I was overwhelmed by the amazing street foods. The smell alone was enough to make my mouth water. On this particular day I tried takoyaki, which is essentially octopus deep fried in batter. I was a little on the fence about trying it at first, as I am not crazy about the texture of octopus, but the delicious batter and toppings made this a snack to remember! Other street foods that I found here include skewers of different sorts, melon buns (sweet buns), giant yam fries, cookies, pastries, mochi, and many other delicious local foods.

The next place where I encountered street food …
We are just about one week into the trip so far and I can't decide whether I feel as though it's shorter or longer than that. On one hand, it seems impossible that a week has already passed and on the other, I feel like I've been in Japan forever (probably because we've done so much already)!

To be completely honest, when I first arrived, my initial opinion concerning Japanese cuisine was one of genuine admiration for Asian fusion foods. During the first few days, we ate so much food ranging from donuts in the shape of kittens, to steamed pork dumplings served on top of cabbage. Honestly, everything is utterly delicious! However, as the days have accumulated more and more, my body is beginning to crave fresh vegetables and fruit. Considering that we are in Japan, I figured this wouldn't be an issue with the tropical weather. Ha! Wrong!

Most restaurants here serve mainly carb loaded side dishes and protein by the pound. So unless you're ready to have ramen or st…
Hey guys! So it's almost been a week since we first landed in Japan, how crazy is that? I can't tell if the time has flown by or if the past few days have felt like a life time; we have seen so much, and experienced so much it's hard to believe there's still so much more to see! I would love to talk about everything we've seen and done here but that would be a completely different blog all together so I'll just stick to the good stuff; the food.
I'm slightly surprised with how little I've seen in terms of street food, there isn't as much as I had anticipated there to be. We have however been able see and stop at a few places so far. Mostly I've chosen the street foods that are more dessert style. The first type of street food I tried was strawberry mochi; I believe was it was is deep fried rice flour filled with red bean paste and covered in strawberry flavoured sugar. Not going to lie, it was not my favourite haha. I'll be attaching photos …

Overwhelming amounts of food

Wow, where to begin? Japan definitely knows its food, and in the past week, I've eaten quite a lot of different things, and even someI don't think I would have been adventurous enough to try if not for being here.
The biggest problem I've had with the cuisine here is how inexpensive it is by comparison to Canada.  Why is that a problem?  Well, it's sort of causing me to over-consume and spend more money.  Or maybe that's just due to the novelty of it all.  Or maybe both, who knows.

Of all the food I've tried thus far, I've only had one case where I did not enjoy something, and that was at a sushi restaurant in Shibuya.  Now, I've had sushi that comes topped with salmon roe (fish eggs) before, but this was way more than I'd ever consumed in one piece of sushi, and it was not a very enjoyable experience for myself, taste or texture.  Aside from that though, everything I've eaten has been phenomenal.  From local favorites at Izakayas (pubs), the simpl…

Welcome to our Blog!

Hello, welcome to a Taste of Japan!

Over the next two weeks, we will spend some time in Tokyo and surrounding areas trying out local and popular street foods and reviewing various aspects of it here on our blog. The four authors of this blog are all Canadians who will be traveling to Japan for the very first time. We will be keeping in mind our Western cultural lens when writing about our experiences, in order to minimize biases that we may impose. In recent years, Japanese culture has had major influences into North American society, with food being one of the most prominent. Our research will look at aspects such as etiquette, convenience, quality, cost, cultural significance, among other things relating to Japanese street food. The most common form of "street food" in Canada is found in the form of food trucks that drive around major cities and park themselves to sell food during events and festivals. Among these, the majority of the street foods in Canada are deep fried,…