Food Land

Katsu Curry, a popular Japanese dish

Katsu Curry, a popular Japanese dish

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 steakhouses

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.

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