japanese food cafe lunch

Favorite Strange and Surprising Japanese Finds

Sharing curious finds from my Japan travels. I’ll stop going to Japan when it ceases to surprise and delight me. Estimated date: no time soon.

Blue beer from Abashiri Hokkaido Japan

In Hokkaido, I tracked down this rare blue beer from Abashiri city. It’s made with flowers, seaweed, drift ice and yam and thankfully, tastes like a light, sweet lager rather than fabric softener.

square watermelon japan

Every year, the small town of Zentsuji in Shikoku Island produces about 200 cube-shaped watermelons. They were originally created to fit easily on refrigerator shelves, but today, they’re marketed as prestigious ornamental fruits. Each one costs about 20,000 yen. They’re harvested unripe and last up to six months. And apparently taste “blah”! Zentsuji is the only place in Japan that grows these watermelons. It involves a patented method using square boxes.

Japanese foot bath Zentsuji Shikoku

My friend Naomi Shiota enjoying a free warm foot bath in Zentsuji. A treat on a cold autumn day. Naomi runs the Fuku Fuku guesthouse in the nearby town of Marugame.

Japanese shiba inu dog

Hokuto, Naomi’s Japanese shiba dog. I specially requested to spend time with him. Shibas are known as the “cats of the dog world”. They like to stay clean and are quite aloof. Hokuto didn’t acknowledge me once but I admired his cuteness.

Canal with koi Tsuwano Shimane Japan

Koi carp swimming down a street is not an everyday sight. This canal is next to old samurai homes and storehouses in the town of Tsuwano, Shimane. Shimane is the least visited prefecture in Japan.

japanese food cafe lunch

I enjoyed this simple but beautifully presented cafe lunch in Tsuwano. Rice in broth topped with wasabi is a popular local dish.

I’ve always wanted a gambling machine in my hotel room. This was in the charming port town of Mojiko, Kyushu Island. Oh, Japan 🙂

Nataraj indian restaurant Ginza Tokyo

My first Indian meal in Japan. My Hindi Melbourne friends reported they were very impressed with the quality of Indian vegetarian food in Japan. Nataraj in Ginza, Tokyo uses organic vegetables from the restaurant’s own farms.

See you soon, Japan! XXX

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