I think you’d be hard-pressed to find yourself far from a fantastic place to eat in Japan. The Japanese people have a love for good food (quality, not necessarily quantity, though occasionally you can find both). And all you have to do is take a drive to see that reflected in their culture. I of all people can appreciate that in a country.
Every Sunday morning, my wife and I go to the city of Oita, a drive just short of an hour from where we live in Usuki. And every time we drive home, it is past the time we normally eat lunch. And I see food shops EVERYWHERE!
I mentioned it my wife several times, almost every time we drove home in fact. However, it was about two months before I got curious enough about just how many restaurants and food shops we were passing.
This last week while on the drive back, I decided to do something about it. With me behind the wheel and my wife armed with a notepad and pencil, we set off for home. While it wasn’t easy to drive safely and try to find every single eating place along the way with my wife scribbling furiously beside me, I think we just might have found the most of the eating joints along the road.
Here are the results of our less-than-an-hour-long investigation:
A bread shop
Two pizza places
Two Joyfull restaurants (Japanese version of Denny’s)
Two katsu shops
Two gyudon shops
Two “All You Can Eat” Buffets
Two McDonalds (yep, Japan has the Golden Arches too)
Three fish shops
Three okonomiyaki shops
Three curry shops
Three coffee shops
Four udon shops
Five Bento shops
Nine fried chicken shops
Nine yakiniku restaurants
Nine shops specifically selling ramen
Ten other noodle shops
And ten generic restaurants
For a grand total of: 83 individual restaurants and food shops, not including convenience or regular grocery stores, which are also packed with all sorts of goodies. Not bad for a 50 minute drive.
And I can’t wait to eat at every single one of them.