Food / Japan

Day 9 (part 3): Lunch break!

After a jam-packed morning, we finally broke for lunch in a seaside city before our next activity.

Little did we know, we were going to experience our first traditional Japanese meal: 和食 washoku. for those who don’t know what that entails, it’s basically lots of raw seafood and fish with some side dishes of pickled veggies, rice, miso and egg soufflé.

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Simon looking unconvinced about the benefits of eating whole shrimp

Being unable to eat raw foods, I had to explain to O-san that I couldn’t eat the meal that had been prepared for us. This caused a bit of problems for the staff who thought I was being ‘picky’ by not ‘liking’ raw fish when in fact, I truly cannot eat it (you’ll surely recall my post about the first day in Japan and falling terribly ill after having been to a sushi restaurant). Ultimately, O-san specially ordered a bowl of udon for me which saved me from going hungry. The udon came with two small jars of spices: ‘normal’ and ‘ultra spicy’. They suggested I take the normal jar, due to the other one being so ‘overly spicy’ and risking to burn a hole in my stomach. I followed their suggestion of putting in the tiniest amount possible (which was measured by the most ridiculous miniature spoon you’ve ever seen). Of course, this wasn’t nearly enough to my taste, so I gave up on the spoon and just dumped the contents of the mini jar into my soup (much to the waitress’ distaste). She and O-san both gasped dramatically pointing to my soup saying it won’t be edible anymore due to the spiciness. This is when I discovered that Japanese palates are obviously more sensitive than ours. In the end, the soup was perfectly fine, it still didn’t taste like much and, to their surprise, I ate the whole thing (they were quite shocked by my spice tolerance).

After that traumatizing lunch experience, we had some free time to roam the shops downstairs for a while. Sophie and I wandered over to a shop specializing in traditional goods and found some nice lacquerware.

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Red and black Japanese lacquerware

We met a cute little boy while we were looking at the dishes. He told us that they were 古いもの (old objects) and seemed quite bored by them. He took us to a little museum of sorts where there were mini models of festivals on display, explaining the history of the region. We met his parents and younger brother who asked us all sorts of questions (where are you from? how long are you here for?). The eldest boy asked us if we could speak カナダ語 (Canadian language). We told him that we speak フランス語 and 英語 (French and English) rather than ‘Canadian’ (he was so adorable ^^).

We left by bus again for our next destination: the aquarium! The drive over was so beautiful, we couldn’t resist snapping pictures all the way. Sophie and I literally threw ourselves out the window to take a picture of a protruding rock in the sea while we were driving by (and at a good speed too).

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Almost killing ourselves was worth it for this picture haha

I was so excited at the prospect of going to the aquarium, I couldn’t stop talking about it and asking questions (are we going to see dolphins? Are we going to see whales? Can we pet the animals?). I can only hope that it lives up to my expectations!

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