What do foreign tourists think about Japan, Vol. 3 ~Food~

While my friends from Germany were visiting Tokyo, I realized many fascinating things about Japan from them.
I have been introducing their views of Japan in ”What do foreign tourists think about Japan, Vol.1 ~High-tech~” and “What do foreign tourists think about many events in Japan, Vol.2”.
I’ll explain what foreign tourists think about Japanese food and the differences between Japanese food and German food, from my experience of staying in Germany to study.

2016-10-21   Culture, Tokyo,

“Yes, we want to eat other Japanese food besides Sushi!”

Many foreign people think sushi when they hear Japan. Sushi is now very popular throughout the world. My friends wanted to eat it, but also requested other Japanese food they can only eat in Japan.
I took them to a popular chain restaurant for a ‘beef-on-rice’ dish. This beef-on-rice dish is regular fast food for Japanese people. My friends loved it!

 Their first beef-on-rice dish. “It’s delicious!”
Their first beef-on-rice dish. “It’s delicious!”

They were amazed at the kind and speedy response of the staff, the many menu items, cheap prices, and the opportunity to chose how much rice you want.
I noticed the meticulous customer services and hospitality of the restaurant staff that I have never noticed before, thanks to my friends.
A popular fast food in Berlin are currywurst; grilled sausages seasoned with curry powder and doner kebab. It’s typically served as a sandwich or a wrap with slices of roasted meat and a lot of salad and sauces.

Fast food in Berlin
Fast food in Berlin

They got caught up in making Takoyaki!

They have been a wanting to make takoyaki after seeing takoyaki vendors at Japanese festivals in Berlin.
Takoyaki are diced octopus-filled balls made of batter with Japanese Worcestershire-style sauce. They’re made by cooking the batter and octopus on a special takoyaki griddle and turning them over it as they are being cooked until they became shaped like a ball.
I invited them to my apartment to make takoyaki one day.

A fun time making takoyaki
A fun time making takoyaki

I prepared octopus, wienerwurst, cheese, and the red ginger they love, for the takoyaki filling.
In the beginning, they had a hard time turning the takoyaki to make them into perfect balls.
They gradually got better and said, “How wonderful it is that there is such a fun and delicious food!”
They became hooked on making takoyaki and wanted to bring a takoyaki griddle back to Germany.
It seemed that making takoyaki became a special memory for them.

Is tea in your country sweet or bitter?

Tea around the world
Tea around the world

Japanese tea is a familiar drink in Japan.
When my friends drank ordinary Japanese tea in Japan, they were surprised, because it was not sweet.
In japan, we commonly drink several different Japanese teas such as green tea, barley tea, whole-rice tea, and roasted green tea without sugar.
However, German people commonly drink Japanese tea with sugar.
While I was in Berlin, I didn’t like this sweet Japanese tea. My friends have never gotten used to sugar-free Japanese tea during their stay.

I was happy to understand the difference of each country’s taste according to the environment.

They love Japanese convenience stores.

A baker in Europe
A baker in Europe

“Convenience stores in Japan are open 24 hours and sell delicious convenient food!”
They were enchanted by Japanese convenience stores this time.
They went to a convenience store every morning to buy various onigiri rice balls for breakfast.
When I was in Berlin, I reminisced about the convenience and high quality of Japanese convenience stores.
There are liquor shops and bakeries open late at night in Berlin, but those shops don’t carry various daily necessities such as stationery, simple clothing, and cosmetic products. 24-hour Japanese convenience stores sell foods and daily necessities that are very convenient for busy Japanese people.

Other than convenience stores, they were also surprised at supermarkets in Japan.
There are a lot of deli-style dishes! Supermarkets in Berlin don’t have many deli-style dishes.
My friends said “The large selection of delicious deli-style dishes in Japanese supermarkets are perfect!” “Moreover, are the cheaper prices than that of convenience stores.” “Going out to eat would be expensive during our stay, but the deli-style dishes at supermarkets are a great help to us.”
Supermarkets and convenient stores in Japan which exist in accordance with a busy Japanese life style are fascinating, as well as the popular spots that are frequented by international tourists.

Memories of Japan
Memories of Japan

See you soon, Japan!

My Belgian friends from Germany had many experiences and found many differences between Germany and Japan. They returned home saying, “We were embarrassed at first, because there were many cultural differences.” “The kind Japanese people helped us a lot.” “Japan has many surprises and is really a wonderful country.” “We’ll never get tired of Japan not matter how many times we visit.” “We’ll definitely be back again!”

I was able to find a “Japan” that I didn’t know from their point of view while spending several days with them.
It was a great opportunity for me to see the convenience and beauty of Japan within my everyday life.

Hearing them talking about Japan and how it keeps international tourists entertained, I, as a Japanese person, want to know more about Japan myself.

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I have experience studying abroad in Germany and traveled 17 countries before. Love Korean food, Love Astronaut, Love Croatia. I will send everyone exciting information of Japan! Enjoy it!