One thing I noticed after being in Japan for sometime was that, not only is the language different, the content of daily conversation also has a particular Japanese twist to it. (duh.)
For example, the subject of cute clothes, cute celeberities, and food seemed to come up almost every day.
Food. Yeah, we talk about food in the states too, but it seems different in Japan (like just about everything else). For example, whenever I told someone that I lived in Nagoya, the next thing they asked me would be if I have ever tried Misonikomi Udon, or Kishimen. These are foods that can pretty much only be found in Nagoya. There is a list of some of the different ‘Aichi-ken’ foods, you can see some of the yummy treats. Heh.
Along the same lines, if you go to Osaka, you gotta eat Takoyaki, if you go to Hiroshima, you gotta try their famous ‘noodles inside’ okonomiyaki. You had also better be sure to bring something back for your friends or anyone close to you… Nagasaki has SaraUdon, Kobe has Kobe-gyuu, every place has something famous.
It seems like anywhere you go, you can find some food that that certian area is famous for. I think you call them the 名物 ‘meibutsu’ of that area. Even when I went to Korea the first thing people asked me when I got back to Japan was whether or not I ate Kimchi…. In fact, when I asked people what they wanted as a present from Korea, most people wanted some type of food…
I mean, yeah, these things are tasty and kinda cool, but it’s not the first thing that I personally think about when traveling to a new place.
Of course, we have some of this in the states as well, but I don’t feel that it is as profound. For example, if you go to Texas, I hear you gotta try the steak. If you go to Boston, you gotta try the Clam Chowder… I think Clam Chowder goes for California as well. If you’re in Iowa, yeah, you gotta try the corn! Not that it tastes any different… but hey, it’s Iowa. Other than that though.. I think that’s pretty much it. Idaho has potatoes, yeah, but who really cares? If I go on a trip to Idaho I would be shocked if my friends wanted me to bring back some potatoes…
Anyway, food seems to be a very important part of Japanese culture… ah, not to ramble, but food is even associated with the seasons in Japan it seems.
In the winter, you gotta eat Nabe. This not me, it’s just another Random Gaijin
In the summer, you gotta eat Curry… why you would want to eat hot, spicy curry in the summer escapes me… but whatever. My friends tell me that you eat curry in the summer because it helps you sweat, and the sweat evaporating from your body helps to transfer the heat away from the surface of your skin, and that cools you down. I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t like sweating. That’s why I work in IT. Heh. You can keep your summer curry!
Man… I need to take a journalism class and learn how to write or something…
Anyway, if you have anything to say about this, come discuss it in the forums.