Japanese Culture Shock

Hello everyone! In this guest post for the cook’s blog I will tell you a little bit about my recent adventures into a previously unkown (to me) culinary world.

A few weeks ago I moved to Fussa, a small city on the outskirts of Tokyo. After jetlag had put my exploring on the back burner for two weeks, I was finally ready to head out into town and sample the local culture. There happened to be a festival in town that weekend, so I put on touristy sportshoes and hit the road.

The festivities celebrated the memory of the dead and sent well wishes to them by means of lots of colourful streamers, blown-up versions of Pokémon and it was, as celebrations usually are, accompanied by lots of food. While some of it I was not brave enough to try (see the picture above) it was mostly a delight to the senses. I sampled some of the yakitori sticks (deliciously grilled chuncks of beef) and enjoyed watching people in traditional dress and wondering if that tattoed guy (a big nono in Japanese culture) was a member of the Japanese Yakuza mob. But most of all, I was amazed how far you can get with counting on one hand, a big smile and using only one simple phrase of Japanese; arigato (thank you).

 

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