One of the things we were both extremely excited about when getting the chance to live in Tokyo was having a kitchen. Yes, we know that might be a little odd to some of you, but we were excited. On all our previous trips to Japan, well on any trip to anywhere really, we always enjoy heading into a grocery and to see what different items they have that we don’t get at home. We’d always find some interesting looking stuff but never had a place to cook and try it. Now we would!
Episode 5: https://youtu.be/n7X_z2GZMBQ
The was the first time we were going to get the chance to experience this in Japan, and it’s probably one of the places I was most excited about having a kitchen. I’m always engrossed with the variety of awesome looking foods you can find in a Japanese grocery store.
There are of course all the packaged foods; canned goods, curry packs, sauces, condiments, etc. etc. We’ve often picked up some of these and brought them home with us. But there’s a whole different level of fresh foods to chose from. Not just fresh meats, vegetables and fruits, which always looks enticing, but also a very large variety of prepared fresh foods that are just waiting to be heated up and enjoyed at home. This probably is what excited us most.
The options are usually endless, especially in the larger grocery stores. Lots of different bentos to chose from and other prepared dishes you just pop in a microwave, as well as prepared foods you can grab a few items of and make up a meal with.
This is what I did for dinner in the accompanying episode. I picked up from deep fried items, a chicken cutlet breaded and deep fried, and a mystery deep fried item which you’ll have to discover by watching the episode. These with a curry pack and some fresh rice and I had a fantastic dinner.
Nicole opted to go in the other direction and get some fresh meat and produce and make up a soup noodle dish. She started with an interesting base for her soup which some might find surprising, but it was delicious. And her nice thinly sliced beef was fantastic.
On top of finally getting to enjoy our kitchen we also had a fun day exploring around Ikebukuro Station, this time on the West side. Check out the accompanying episode to follow along!
There were several locations featured in this episode
- Kushiage Kushitei – Another department store restaurant find, this one serving kushiage, otherwise known as kushikatsu. Skewers of various items, like meat, cheese, vegetables, breaded and deep fried. Not something we have often, but something I love and this restaurant didn’t disappoint.
- Toshima Tourist Office – A well stocked tourist office across the street from Ikebukuro Station. A little more focused on the Toshima area, it did have a variety of information for Tokyo and Japan as a whole. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area to get some ideas.
- Tonkatsu Takeaway – Food stall in Ikebukuro Shopping Park specializing in katsu.
- Fish Store – A little grocery store specializing in seafood where Nicole picked up her shrimp and octopus, also located in Ikebukuro Shopping Park.
- Butcher – Ikebukuro Shopping Park, as you can probably tell, had a lot of options for groceries, including this butcher shop where Nicole got her thinly sliced beef.
Thanks for watching/reading!