July 15, 2024
Tokyo At Night / bwb-images

For some travelers I know, food is one of the top priorities on their journeys.  I have to admit right up front – I am NOT one of those travelers.  For me, I want to see things, experience things, meet people, and do lots and lots of photography.  Sampling the local cuisine is very low on my list of travel priorities. ( I have eaten at some of the finest and strangest McDonald’s all over the world.) Still, I always try to check out a bit of the local fare in the interest of experiencing the culture.  It is part of the adventure of travel.

Yes – I admit it – I ate at Micky D’s in Tokyo / bwb-images
Interesting Menu – Thank God for the pictures!


It  was this spirit of adventure that seated me at a small sushi bar in Tokyo one evening.  I had summoned my nerve and entered a totally local / native establishment and was the sole foreign diner in the place.  Now you have to remember, I’m from the mid-west.  Sushi and such never really crossed my radar, if you know what I mean.  I was truly out of my element in so, so many ways.  I speak no Japanese and there was very little English happening in my restaurant that evening.  Fortunately, most Japanese eating establishments have menus with delightful photos of their offerings – indeed, most have plastic models of their items on display at their entrance.  So I spent the evening sitting on one  side of the bar (with the chefs on the other) pointing to the photo of the item I desired and then watching the chefs do the preparation.  It was really quite an experience.  Of course I really had no idea what I was eating that evening.  (Later research revealed that my menu selections included  Sushi, Shashimi, Wasabi, Yakitori, Gyoza  and a variety of strange sea creatures in Tempura) Some were delicious – and some were truly odd.

My Chefs – smiled and laughed all night but not for this photo! / bwb-images

Over the course of the evening the chefs and I developed a sense of camaraderie, smiling and laughing as we went through this selection and tasting routine.   A bit of sake added to the experience no doubt. One chef warned me off of one of my selections with a big smile and a rapid negative shake of his head.  Having already tasted a few items of questionable culinary value – I quickly heeded his advice.

It was a great experience.  Truly a bit of international sharing.  Something that I would never have encountered at McDonald’s.  All of it just goes to show that you’ve got to stretch a bit when traveling – get out of your comfort zone.

Have you sampled any interesting local cuisine on your travels? Care to share?


Try Some Food ……….And Enjoy The Adventure!

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