Cravings I Can’t Satisfy in Japan

As you may know, I live in Japan.  I’m from Canada, though.  Japan is a great place, and I love it here, but there are some things that I can’t find here that I crave often.  And by things, I mean food and drinks.

First of all, let’s look at the restaurants I want to go to.

  • Harvey’s: think grilled hamburgers Subway style. You choose your toppings.
  • New York Fries: I really want their fries and gravy.
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken: There are many in Japan, but they don’t have Canada’s fries and gravy.
  • Panago: Love their pizza.  I don’t like pizza sauce, so Panago is a great place for me, since I can choose any sauce I like.

I know, it’s all fast food.  Now, for the individual foods.

  • Raspberries: Difficult to find in Japan.
  • Dill pickle potato chips: Not an option in Japan.
  • Old Dutch Arriba taco flavoured tortilla chips: Again, not in Japan, though there are taco Doritos.
  • Rice Krispies: Can’t find here, and cereal tends to be expensive in Japan.
  • Kraft Dinner: Also known as Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.  Not available in Japan.
  • Decent pepperoni sticks: There are spicy salami sticks in Japan, but they are not as good as in Canada.
  • Beef stew: Proper beef stew, not the stuff that you find in Japan, which uses demiglace sauce rather than gravy.
  • Butterfinger: Love that chocolate bar.
  • Hot dogs: I can only find good hot dogs in one place in Japan, and that’s in Costco.  Most hot dogs in Japan use these skinny little sausages.

And now for the drinks.

  • C Plus: There’s orange Fanta, but it’s just not the same thing.
  • A&W Root Beer: I can find it in a few stores here, but they’re not easy to access much of the time.  Also, A&W Cream Soda.
  • Chocolate milk: I found Nesquik in one store, but otherwise, this is something hard to find.  It’s not a popular drink.

But you know, there are some things that just can’t beat what you find in Japan.

  • Sushi and sashimi: It’s the real thing here.
  • Curry and rice: I think all you get in Canada is Indian or Thai curry.
  • Fanta varieties: There are so many seasonal flavours, it’s rather interesting seeing what they come out with.
  • Doria: It looks Italian, but it was created in Japan.  Doubt it’s available anywhere else.  It’s rice with cheese on top and baked.
  • Nori potato chips: Seaweed!  It’s actually quite delicious.
  • Wasabeef potato chips: Wasabi and beef! Great stuff!
  • Pepper Lunch: I love this restaurant’s steak and rice dishes. You cook it yourself.
  • Shabu shabu: I doubt you can find it this good outside Japan.
  • Soy sauce: Although regular Kikkoman soy sauce is available in Canada, there’s an incredible variety of soy sauces in Japan, each with its own purpose.
  • Shrimp tempura: This stuff I could eat all day.

I can keep going on, but I’ll stop here.  If you live in a country or area of your country that’s far from your hometown, is there anything you crave?

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