Safe and Sound!

So I am here in Japan. I made it in one piece, and am now sweating buckets because it is very very hot and humid where I am living! This is a good and bad thing. Good: I've got a bikram studio in my apartment. Bad: I sweat all the time!

I don't have much time on the internet, as my home internet is not hooked up yet, and won't be for awhile, but I really wanted to do a quick post of some of the AMAZING food I've been eating.

First of all....convenience stores are conveniences stores wherever you are...but in Japan, alongside the crap, you can find seaweed salads, regular salads, dry roasted chestnuts, ice cold green tea with no sweeteners, and nori and umeboshi rice balls. So even when you are stuck for time, you can pop into a conbini (convenience store), and grab something delicious.

Here is some stuff I found at a deli in a department store:

Some sort of lotus dish (delicious!) with a sesame oil dressing.

A seaweed dish, I think mostly hiziki (hijiki?).

I think this was kinpira with burdock and carrot:

Some mochi, handmade by a cute little old lady at a kitchen store. Mochi is pounded rice, and this had red bean on the inside. She just came up and gave it to me as a present, and it was delicious! Not too sweet, just perfect.

This is my first meal I made for myself: steamed veggies, rice with umeboshi and nori, and seaweed salad made with FRESH! wakame.

Check out this huge mother of a salad that I created at a salad bar restaurant. And yes folks, that IS shredded kabocha. I ate this with a miso paste dressing they had...and wished you were all there to share my excitement!

Top Three so far in my Japan Food Love Affair
1. Kabocha. It's everywhere, and they sell it already baked and/or steamed. Delicious!
2. good! And so cheap here!
3. Lotus. The way they prepare it here is delicious.

What have been your favourite food discoveries while travelling?

As soon as I have permanent internet up and running, expect more Japanese food photos and interesting ingredients. It takes me approximately 10 minutes to figure out most ingredients on packages here, so grocery shopping is a big event, to say the least.

Until we meet again, I\ll leave you with a tip (hehehe) from a Tokyo subway poster: