I subscribe to a YouTube channel called Texan in Tokyo, and they made a video called 3 Popular “Japanese Things” that don’t exist in Japan! Watch it first, and then I’ll add some of my comments about these three things.
Finished? Okay, let’s look at these things.
First of all is the sweet green tea. I’ve heard that’s become common in North America, but since I’ve been in Japan for nearly eleven years, I really have no idea about it. However, that stuff just does not exist here. I can confirm it. I’ve told people about it, and they thought it was strange. And why would you want it sweetened anyway? Real green tea is great!
Second is the hibachi grill restaurants. As it said in the video, they exist in Okinawa, but the rest of Japan doesn’t have them. There’s something called teppanyaki, but it’s not the same. You don’t see the performance done by chefs at your table like in hibachi grill restaurants in North America. Actually, one of my favourite restaurants is Japanese Village, which is a teppan grill restaurant, as they call it, but it is not. My wife found the whole experience strange when she went there. None of the food was Japanese. And there’s no such thing as shabu shabu soup. Shabu shabu is a kind of Japanese cuisine, but it’s not a soup.
And the third one was the North American version of sushi. I agree, roll sushi (maki) is more popular in North America, but is not so common in Japan. You can find it in supermarkets and sushi restaurants, but they are not the most popular. Nigiri sushi (fish on top of a rice ball) is real sushi. Thankfully, Tokyo Express in Edmonton serves plenty of nigiri sushi.
A lot of this is what makes me want to search out authentic Japanese food in Edmonton. Places that are authentic will likely see business from me more often.
What are some stereotypes you have about Japan? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll let you know what the reality is.