Archives for the day Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Yassy’s Japan Trip Diary November 2012; Day 4 Part 1

 The 4th day in Japan, our family woke up with beautiful sunrise you could see through the hotel windows in Nagano prefecture.


Sunrise in Nagano prefecture..

 Me and my husband, my sister’s family had our own room to stay at the hotel, we have set up the time to gather at my parents’ and my grandmother’s room before heading to the breakfast room.

 If you stay at the hotels in Japan, often times, you could find traditional Japanese breakfast menu such as fresh cut up fruits,white steamed sticky Japanese rice,miso soup, broiled/grilled fish, boiled egg,scramble eggs,rolled omelet (Ta-ma-go yaki in Japanese),Tsu-ke-mo-no (pickles), nori (seaweed), natto (fermented sticky soy beans), dairy such as yogurt and various kinds of bread plus regular white bread for toast with selection of spread from butter to jam.

 As for drink,usually you find green tea,coffee,British tea,and fruit juice.

 You will hand the breakfast ticket you got at the front desk when you check in to the hotel staff standing at the door to the breakfast room, and you will receive the food tray to put the plate on.

 After that, you will pick up a clean plate, and put what you like to have on the plate and you can go back to get more of what you had on the plate if you wanted to.

 There is no reserved tables so,you can sit at anywhere you like.

 It is a buffet style breakfast with a choice of Japanese/western food menu although it would not have pancake,waffles,french toast,biscuits or bagel where many people here have it for breakfast.

 Also, we do not have the food similar to “breakfast style sausage” in the states. When you tell Japanese people “sausage”, they would understand the word because there is a food called “sausage” but the sausage we think is what American people call “wiener”.  We do have Frankfurt as well,and it is one of popular ya-tai (small food street vendor) at the festivals.

 Our breakfast is savory meal, not sweet desert-like breakfast menu.

 My husband often says that our typical breakfast is more like a small portion of dinner because even if we eat a slice of toast, we eat cut up fruits,salad,and some savory side dishes to go with it.

 For school kids,and family members who commute to work,as you have read in the previous entry titled “Bento box culture in Japan“, mothers will be making homemade lunch for them (Bento box) every morning waking up at very early in the morning.

 In Japanese, lunch
box is called “Bento”. It is part of Japanese culture and,usually,
parents get up early and make Bento box for kids to bring to school.

 School usually have Bento box day once in a while and when they have
special events like sports festival, parents bring the Bento box for
family members and when kids got lunch time break from events, kids and
parents sit around the Bento box and eat them.

 School lunch system continues up to junior high school year and, when I
was a high school students, we students brought Bento box every day.

 High school did not have cafeteria. Instead, vendor visited school
around lunch time and offered drinks ,pre packaged Bento box, Onigiri
(rice ball) or sandwich for those who could not bring own bento box.

 At university I went to had cafeteria, and staff cooked meals there, and
also we had vendors coming to offer drinks,pre packaged Bento
box,Onigiri (Rice ball), and bread.

 At university years, I lived on my
own close to university. Therefore, at lunch time, I went back home and cooked
lunch and relaxed till next class time and I went back to class.

 Bento box culture does not stops at University years.

 Many people who
go to work also bring Bento box. My father brought mother’s homemade
lunch box every single day. Mother woke up very early in the morning and
when I needed Bento box to bring to school as well, she made 2 Bento
boxes for us.

 She made Bento box for years and years. Very long time. I
make Bento box for my husband too. I do not make cute artistic Bento box,
but he does bring homemade lunch everyday to work.

 What are in the Bento box depends on each family, but ours were usually
rice ball or bed of rice, some meat dish, some vegetable dish and
fruits. When I was very little, I remember mother put piggy faced flan
for Bento box as special desert. Or I remember seeing bunny apple as
fruits;sliced apple peeled like bunny. .

 Octopus shaped or crab shaped grilled wiener was also popular lunch box menu.

 I came across youtube video where you can watch how to make mushrooms,heart,and cute octopus with eyes and nose on,and I thought it is fun to share it with you.

 If you have a kid, you could make them go “Wow”

How to make Bento box lunch – Octopus sausage and more..

 If you were a blog subscriber, please click here to watch the video.

 Typical American breakfast sure was one of culture shock for me too,when I visited my friends in the states during summer or winter vacation from school long time ago.

 I had pop-tarts,bagel,waffle,sugary cereal mixed with canned fruits,pancakes..

 My very first time visited the states was at high school year (10th grade). I did home-stay in Washington state.

 Each high school in the prefecture was asked to pick 1 student to go for the home-stay program and,I was the one from our high school.

 There were several more high school students from other high schools, and we were paired up with a  student from different high school, and each pair was assigned to stay at local family house for 2 weeks.

 I had so much fun!

 I thought American breakfast was very different from typical Japanese breakfast.

 This is the picture of what we had as breakfast.

 It might be a little hard to see but, since I am a big fan of croissant, I have put it on my plate,and thought I would have croissant,egg, fruits,salad and drink.

 However, I found some broiled/grilled mackerel in sweet teriyaki sauce,which I loved so much.

 Therefore, my tray looked very strange because I had bread and a bowl of rice with several vegetables,fish,potato salad,fruits and croissants

 I did enjoy them though.

Hotel breakfast meal..

 The lake Suwa view from breakfast room was beautiful.It was nice sunny day although it was a bit chilly day.

Lake Suwa view from the hotel’s breakfast room..

 After the breakfast,we have headed to visit 1,400 years old historical temple “Ze-n-ko-u ji”.

 You will read about it next time. Stay tuned!

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Apr 02, 2013 | Comments are off | Uncategorized