Japanese Food (and Drink) Pictures

Here are all the photos from the other pages that prominently display food (well, with a few restaurant shots included). I have sorted these thematically, rather than by location. Go to the Photo Index to view these in their proper context. That said, enjoy these mouth-watering pictures of ... food.

Curry Pan, or Curry Bread, is
a popular Japanese treat
consisting of a Japanese-style
meat curry filling
inside deep-fried bread.
This store these are from is the original creator
of curry pan in the world.
(One of these pans is "extra spicy";
hence the difference in shape.)

Beautiful fried round curry pan.
Made by the originator of curry pan,
these lived up to their elite status
and were exceptionally tasty.

According to the packaging, this particular store
invented the precursor of "curry pan"
in about 1927, when they started
selling an item called "Western style bread."

Also note: in Japan, all bread
is called "pan"
(probably from Portuguese),
weird but tasty Japanese inventions
like melon-flavored bread
("melon pan").

Roasted sweet potatoes are a
traditional Japanese food
(for some reason said to appeal
to women in particular -
so much so that is is a stereotype).
In olden days,
vendors would bring their (hand-pulled?) carts
down through the street and (presumably) shout,
the low-tech equivalent
of ice cream trucks.
Of course, these days...

...this guy in the camo outfit
announced "yaaakiii imoooo" over loudspeakers
as he drove slowly up the street
in this modern truck.
At least the way he yelled
sounded very traditional.
Here he is picking out some hot sweet potatoes.

The sign on the side of the truck
reads "yakiimo."
Sadly, yaki imo vendors are apparently
getting to be quite rare.
Another reason I had to
buy some real yaki imo from this guy!

Here's a close-up
of a small but tasty
hot and sweet yaki imo.
Three bigger ones are in the bag.
I was bummed because
I was already pretty full
and this was my last day :(
Cultural note: plain "imo" is "sweet potato" and "jaga-imo" is a plain potato.
Kinda weird, eh?
It says something about
the order in which those foods
were introduced....

Mito Natto
(wrapped the old-fashioned way
and brought triumphantly back to Tokyo).
Natto used to form naturally when
wrapped in straw (rice straw, the 'net says) like this.

Natto, opened
(Yum ... or is that yuck?)

An apple tree
in a farmer's orchard near Nagano.

Big, tasty, Nagano apple.
Home-grown (by a farmer in the family).
Hands are held up for size comparison.
I believe every apple is
individually covered in a bag
while still very young on the tree.
This is the picture of an authentic
Nagano gift apple,
huge and juicy and sweet.

Peeled persimmon wedges with seeds.
These were brought to the hotel
by the guests for snacking:
home grown, and very sweet.
Two different varieties.

Expensive, HUGE, veggies.
Actually, the daikon is tiny by Japanese standards,
but the shiitake mushrooms are ginormous.
(Takashimaya basement.)

Expensive, HUGE fruit.

More expensive, HUGE, fruit.
Too bad it wasn't peach season.
Japanese peaches are the best!
Here is someone else who agrees:
Japanese peaches are nearly impossible to match!

Shoppers checking out a vendor.
(Takashimaya basement.)

Mmm, fruit-veggie healthy smoothie.
Was actually very good, but
I wasn't really allowed to walk around
with it.

Japanese creme soda!!
OK, sadly this cream soda at Narita
was pretty bad. However, overall,
Japanese cream sodas
(creme sodas?)
taste very, very nice.
They have a rich, delicate fruity
aspect lacking in their American counterparts.
(Yes, they are supposed to be green.)
These days they all seem to be
called "melon cream sodas."

Dried fish display

I'm told this stuff is
that famous poisonous puffer fish
(fugu) on display as sashimi.
The price seems about right (eep)...

The camera can't capture the
truly fresh-fish color and sheen,
but I had to try!

Very fresh-looking fish
inadvertently artistically displayed.
(At marketplace.)

Check out the tuna head
in this photo. The photo doesn't do it
justice, but it's BIG.

A spice merchant
(Japanese pepper)
Note the gourd-shaped wooden containers.

Tons of food vendors
line the crowded streets,
selling all sorts of food.

Mmm grilled squid!

Octopus vendor.
I just noticed they're selling beer and sake
in addition to octopus, chicken, etc.

Small kids pose for a photo opp
with this food vendor styled in
traditional garb.
Note they are flashing the V sign.

Chestnut rice lunch at this...

...popular Obuse restaurant.
(Across the street from the sculpture.)

This soba (buckwheat noodle) restaurant...

...had the BEST handmade
soba I've ever had. Try the roasted sesame
soba dip.

A handsome young hotel man
serving rice (the staff
generally leaves the room between
courses.) Today, the hotel's owner
actually came in to give a short spiel.

Part of dinner
(it kept changing, as there were
essentially multiple courses)

Yet more dinner.
Note how much has changed from before.


Exterior of udon shop,
advertising "topping self-service."

Shop interior,
featuring a late lunch crowd.

Yum, udon... containing
fried (tempura) "kisu" fish,
tempura scallop (hotate),
and half-eaten croquette on the side
(with some inappropriate pickled ginger).

A bento (Japanese lunch) store
in the Tokyo Eki (station) vast store complex.

Restaurant fake food display
on way to Kiyomizu

Close up of some of the
tastiest-looking plastic (wax?) food.

Drink vending machines,
elegant and futuristic and clean.
(I much prefer Japanese drinks to the usual
cola/soda/pop selection of American ones.)
These drink machines are EVERYWHERE!
I even bought a nice corn soup can from one in Kyoto.

Check out the cup -
"Washed Up" doesn't always mean
what they think it means.
The hotel provided slippers (including take-home ones),
hot-water thermos, guest robes,
toothbrushes, hairbrushes, razors,
shaving cream, shower caps....

One of the small cute
farm fields (well, veggie garden)
outside of Tokyo, on the
way to Narita.

Lotuses growing in water near Tenryuuji.
Lotuses are strongly associated with the Buddha,
but these were looking a bit bedraggled
probably because this was November.
Lotus root is edible.

This personal koi pond
in a front yard required netting
to keep hungry birds out!
(OK, not human food,
but they ARE edible....)

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Text and photos copyright 2003, 2004 Eri Izawa

Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.