Shopping in Japan
In Tokyo, the most expensive stores are located in the Shinjuku quarter, on Aoyama-Dori Street – Tokyo’s Champs Elysees. Young people prefer to dress in the Shibuya area, where there are many inexpensive super fashion stores. Department stores in Japan are called “depato” (from the English department store) – they are truly huge here, much larger than the Parisian Gallerie Lafayette and Printemps. The most important Japanese department stores – Mitsukoshi, Seibu, Matsuya, Isetan, Keio and some others are located in the Ginza and Shinjuku districts. Working hours: 8:00-20:00 (21:00).
Characteristic Japanese souvenirs are samurai and geisha dolls, painted fans depicting sakura and landscapes, panels with hieroglyphs, national costume items, ceramics and porcelain. A real expanse is here for fans of anime and manga: a bunch of magazines, books, CDs, posters and T-shirts.
What is definitely worth buying in Tokyo is jewelry and bijouterie. Their prices, however, are not lower than European ones, but quite reasonable, but the design is amazing. It makes sense to purchase pearl masterpieces at the Tasaki Gallery. Pay attention to the various accessories, there are many of them. Nowhere else is there such a selection of gloves, hats, scarves, socks, knee socks, etc. The Japanese are the biggest lovers and connoisseurs of accessories in the world. Read more here: shopping in Tokyo.
In Japan, it is not customary to bargain either in the markets or in stores. New collections of many European designers appear first of all in Tokyo. You can also buy souvenirs at the airport before departure: prices there will not differ from prices in souvenir shops in cities.
100% natural Japanese cosmetics based on pearls, algae and shellfish extracts are popular. And finally, not souvenirs, but worthwhile goods that can be advised to bring from Japan – all kinds of electronics, gadgets and computer games. You can read about all the popular gifts and souvenirs here: shopping in Japan. See other countries beginning with J.
Cuisine and restaurants in Japan
In Japanese cuisine, fresh or raw foods are widely used, its “three pillars”: rice, fish and seaweed. The most popular dishes are: “sushi” (or, in Russian, sushi) – more than 200 types, “sashimi” (sashimi) – slices of raw fish, which, like sushi, are served with soy sauce and wasabi green horseradish, as well as “sukiyaki » (fried beef), vegetables and bean curd tofu. In general, there are a lot of soy-based dishes here: the second bread, to be sure!
Even in Japan, you can try the “marble meat” of the bull and taste the heated sake rice wine with a strength of 16-19 °. The number one national soup is “miso” made from fermented soybean mass and fish broth with the addition of seaweed, mushrooms, tofu, meat and fish. It is worth feasting on “tempura” – pieces of fish or meat fried in batter in boiling oil. For gourmets without prejudice, we recommend the most tender pork chop in breadcrumbs “tonkatsu”, as well as mini-kebabs “yakitori” (from poultry) and “kushiyaki”.
Japan has a large selection of street food at reasonable prices: a burger costs about 300-400 JPY, a milkshake or dessert – 350-400 JPY. In a restaurant, it is most profitable to take a business lunch, which is offered for 700-900 JPY. Dinner for two (main course, salad, serving of alcohol) on average by the level of the establishment will cost 4000-5000 JPY. Tariffs for seafood dishes are very pleasing: soup, rice, pasta or pizza with sea “reptiles” are sold for 500-1300 JPY.
The gradation of Japanese restaurants deserves special mention. Establishments differ not only in price levels, but also in the type and composition of the menu. For example, traditional sushi can be tasted at Sushi-ya and the more democratic Kaiten-juschi. The most expensive and respectable places that are not available to every Japanese: Tempura-ya, Sukiyaki-ya, Shabu Shabu-ya and Teppanyaki-ya. There, customers are offered quite exquisite seafood and meat dishes prepared by skilled chefs.
Sushi in Japan
Perhaps the most famous culinary “masterpieces” of Japan are sushi and sashimi. These seemingly simple dishes are actually quite difficult to prepare properly: sushi masters spend years learning how to cook rice properly before mastering the art of choosing the best fish and removing all the bones from it.
Sushi terminology is extensive, but the most common types in Japan are:
- nigiri – an oblong ball of rice and a piece of fish covering the rice;
- maki – fish and rice wrapped in nori and cut into tiny pieces;
- temaki – fish and rice wrapped conically in nori;
- gunkan – oval-shaped sushi, framed by a strip of nori;
- shirashi – rice mixed with seafood.
Almost anything that swims or lives in the sea can turn into sushi, which is why most Japanese restaurants have a handy multilingual list hanging on the wall somewhere with descriptions of each fish. The most common ingredients guaranteed to feature in any restaurant are maguro (tuna), shake (salmon), ika (squid), tako (octopus), and tamago (Japanese omelet). And more exotic options are uni (sea urchin caviar), toro (tuna fish oil) and shirako (fish milk). In Japan, fish oil comes in two varieties: o-toro (very fatty and expensive) and chu-toro (less fatty and cheaper).
In Japan, it’s perfectly acceptable to pick up sushi with your fingers while dipping the pieces in soy sauce. Wasabi is usually already present in sushi, but it can also be used in addition to taste. And pieces of pickled ginger (gari) and green tea are always available for free.
Even in Japan, sushi is considered a delicacy, and the bill for “chef sushi” at the most expensive restaurants can reach tens of thousands of JPY. Otherwise, you can order the so-called “moriawase” – assorted sushi and sashimi, the prices of which are much lower. Even cheaper sushi can be bought at the ubiquitous kaiten, where plates of food “ride” along a conveyor belt and cost about 100 JPY.
- What is the difference between traditional Japanese cuisine