Several years ago, I visited Japan. We went to some amazing sights, including the iconic Kinkaku-ji or Golden Pavilion in Kyoto:

Golden Pavilion in Kyoto; temple made of golden layers at top

I also highly recommend the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo, especially for fans of Miyazaki:

Giant stuffed Totoro behind glass booth

Per my usual travel aspirations, I explored the food around me. The variety of mochi was excellent—even in the train station!

Trays of different mochi, including ones with fresh strawberries on top

I also really enjoyed the fresh, locally-sourced food found in the obanzai dishes of Kyoto.

Wooden basket with small dishes of seasonal foods in Kyoto

Plus, I admired the ubiquitous bento boxes (both the outside and inside) for on-the-go eating.

I did hit a few food snags. For a while, I kept looking for a Japanese curry restaurant. I suppose it’s not as typical of an offering—my Japanese friends cooked it at home but didn’t really go to specialty eateries for curry. Finally, though, I found a place in Tokyo to try. The curry base was different than what I’m used to in America but still tasty.

In Japan, I also had a few lost eating opportunities. One was the elusive curry pan. There was this shop my friend recommended, but our schedule was so packed, I had the hardest time fitting it in. One evening, I thought I’d made it. I rushed to the shop, only to find it’d just closed for the night!

Another miss was omelet rice. There’s something that seems comforting about eating rice wrapped in an egg. Although I didn’t get a chance to try it in Japan, I finally scored some omu-rice closer to home. Verdict: oishii.

Omelet rice dish: rice wrapped in fluffy egg layer and topped with fried chicken cutlet; tomato-based sauce on the side

The rice can be paired with different topics, and I opted for the chicken cutlet. I liked how the egg is super soft and fluffy. The sauce was more tomato-based than I’d anticipated, but I still enjoyed it. It’s a hearty, savory dish.

Have you had any lost eating experiences?

P.S. I once went to Hawaii and also kept missing this one shave ice truck!

Boba Tea and Mystery
FAB Long Beach

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