One of the must-do activities when traveling in Japan is staying at a ryokan(traditional Japanese inn from the Edo period.) The reason behind this is the tradition. Unlike modern-style hotels and inns, ryokans have tatami floor mats for the rooms. There are communal baths (which can be a weird and exciting experience for Westerners) and yukatas(summer-weight, casual kimonos) are provided for guests to wear around the ryokan, and traditional food is served.
Now, keep in mind, it’s expensive to stay at a ryokan. I stayed for one night at a less-traditional, more-modern style ryokan from the standpoint of the bill and I opted-out of the traditional Japanese dinner. However, I did pay for the traditional Japanese breakfast. This… was an interesting experience. Why? The food!
I mean, I come from America where breakfast food is eggs, toast, waffles, pancakes, cereal, bagels, sometimes muffins, yogurt, and other pastries depending on the day and the time and how much of a hurry you’re in. Aka, I’m used to a pretty sweet breakfast. Japanese traditional breakfast? Nothing is sweet! 0.0
Traditional Japanese breakfast actually reminds me a lot of Japanese dinners. Common staples of Japanese breakfast are steamed rice (without soy sauce because they think Westerners are weird when they do that. >.>), miso soup, grilled fish(with the bones still in it. No idea how to properly eat that one with chopsticks >.>), tamagoyaki, and a variety of other small side dishes. My particular breakfast also included tofu in a hot bath with a sauce to… dip it in? No one explained. So, I was just kind of going with it. :p There were a dozen different veggies, some pickled (bleh!), and some in strange sauces. Also, green tea was the drink of choice(or the only drink really. Haha!)
Let’s be honest, do I have any idea what I actually ate that morning? Uh… No. I can name some of the food and perhaps what their original states were before preparation, but not what they are now or where their strange flavors came from. Still, it was a very interesting experience. I only wish I could have shared it with someone so they would understand my confusion and distress when eating such a wide variety of unnameable foods. :p
Have you ever had traditional Japanese breakfast? What’d you think of it? Tell me in the comments below! ^.^