Hey, long time no post!
Per this time of year, I’ve been really busy with the semester at University. But here’s what I’m up to…
What I’m listening to:
Sakanaction “Wasurenaino” (Can’t Forget)
Sakanaction is one of my favorite Japanese bands not only because of their catchy music, but because of their easy to follow lyrics which makes them great for learning Japanese.
They’re known for mixing electronic synth sounds with a traditional rock background, and in this song they take a step back to the 80’s proving that “NeoRetro” is not exclusive to the US.
What I’m drinking:
Ume boshi (梅干し) is a popular plum that is usually pickled and very bitter, but there’s a variation where people take the ume (plum) and add sugar to make a sort of juice out of.
Usually homemade, the flavor reminds me of Powerade.
What I’m eating:
I know you’re thinking, “C’mon R-man! Bread ain’t special!”, but Japan has a surprising love for bread and all things baked. This can be shown by the surprising amount of bakeries in about every train station and mall across Japan. These bakeries have much more variety of breaded snacks than your average Panera, and you’ll find yourself drifting towards a “Panya” (パン屋) if you feel even a little hungry and smell their sweets.
The history behind the abundance of bakeries is pretty interesting. Japan, as you know, is a rice eating country. During WWII, the USA destroyed most of Japan’s infrastructure, and afterwards they then turned around and had to feed the country and aid with rebuilding. Part of rebuilding included keeping the citizenry fed. The US doesn’t have a lot rice, but what do we have a lot of? Wheat. And grains. We started shipping over processed and unprocessed grains which made bread become a staple of the Japanese diet at the time, and has stuck around since. That said, bread is more of a snack than part of a meal these days.
Japanese bread does have a lot more sugar, and you’ll be hard pressed to find anything besides white bread. And even when you do find bread, good luck finding American sized slices.
Until next time, STAY AWESOME!