Squid Chips


It’s Friday, I’m starting on my way home and I was hungry for a snack so I bought a bag of tempura fried squid. They look like potato chips or some other salted carbohydrate snack. Apparently, if you’re not eating them, they don’t smell so nice. I was eating them out of the bag when I got on the train and instantly all the women around me covered their faces with their handkerchiefs. One woman moved to another part of the train. I took the hint and twisted the bag shut until I got off at my stop then ate the rest in the open air.

Next time, I’ll wait to get home to eat them. Tony likes stinky food so we’ll eat them together.

Sembei with holy frikkin’ WASPS in them!

This is the kind of news from Japan I suspect is the norm. Am I right or wrong? I’ll admit that it’s a fact, as reported a few days ago by the Asahi Shimbun, that that a town called Omachi in Nagano Prefecture is selling rice crackers with wholesome waspy goodness baked right in.


But if you come away with only one new bit of knowledge after reading my blog, I hope it’s the realization that this kind of stuff makes the news because it’s not normal.

All the weird, zany, wacky news from Japan like this you read on blogs? Most of it is considered weird here too. I’ve seen and eaten all kinds of sembei throughout my 18 years of living here, but you could live out your whole life in this country and never come across any kind of food with bugs in it on purpose. The thing is, I bet if I started posting news like this more often, my readership and Google ranking (currently 4, which is pretty darn good) would increase. I refuse to do that. In fact, I try my best to do the opposite: show you what daily life is really like (i.e. kinda boring, really).

But I have to admit, I’d love to try jibachi sembei. If it passes for “food” somewhere in the world, I’ll eat it. Whenever there’s something on a menu that’s outrageous or I don’t know what exactly it is, that’s what I order.

And please, call them “sembei,” not “rice crackers.” It irks me it when people call food by its description instead of its real name.

McDonald’s is mobbed


It’s lunchtime, swimming just let out and the department store shoppers are also hungry. The line to the register snakes through the restaurant and out the back door.
I have nothing better to do while waiting in line, ergo, I’m unnecessarily blogging. Who knows, maybe somebody out there was wondering what a McDonald’s in Japan looks like.

Dinner with Oliver


We’re at an izakaya ordering all the bizarre foods: sliced pig snout, raw horse meat, fried chicken skin, grilled bait, and potatoes with fish egg sauce.
And, of course, we’re giving our livers a workout: beer, shochu and now sake.