When you go to a Japanese restaurant in Australia, or Brazil or Dubai, you are offered a veritable cornucopia of feasting options, including many different types of food. I had no idea that when we got to Japan that all of these delicious foods would be segregated from each other, in restaurants which specialize in one or two dishes. That is not to say that these restaurants have limited choices. They have a plethora of choices, but usually of one type of dish.
If you go to a ramen bar, there will be many different types of ramen and maybe a few side dishes. When you go to a sushi restaurant, it is just sushi and when you go to a soba restaurant, it is usually soba and tempura. I’m not sure why these two go together, but they invariably do. There are okonomiyaki restaurants and yakitori restaurants and even Japanese curry restaurants.
I found this a little difficult when we first arrived. I have a son who loves unagi and prawns, and a daughter who doesn’t eat either. My daughter loves okonomiyaki, but my son doesn’t eat it. I eat most things, but struggle with wheat, so the ramen is out for me. We found we all liked omurisu. (A very yummy inside out omelette, filled with spicy chicken rice- or other varieties) and we all LOVE tempura.We also all love donburi and sushi and matcha soft serve and lots of other Japanese food.
Izakayas are a great option for choice, a bit like a Japanese pub, but can be very smokey (it is still legal to smoke in restaurants in Japan). While on the subject, I found it so incredible to be in a swanky office building, in the basement where all the restaurants are, in a Subway, with people smoking their heads off.
One of our favourite choices was Daimaru basement, where you can buy all kinds of foods, often by weight and get it packaged to go. This means everyone can get whatever he or she desires… It is worth noting that the Japanese find eating on the train or in the street pretty rude. A park or taking the food back to your accommodation is probably the best option with this “take-away” type food.
I have never had a bad meal in Japan. The food is always good, even if you buy it at the kombini (convenience store). ENJOY!!