Like Myanmar people, it is said that Japanese people love festivals. There are many enjoyable festivals in Japan all the year round. Many Japanese traditional food are sold in many different kinds of foodstalls during the festivals. Japanese traditional food is collectively known as washoku, this literally means “food of Japan”. The first character “wa” refers “Japan or Japanese” and also represents harmony and the second character “shoku” means “food or to eat”. So, three features of washoku are various fresh ingredients, balanced nutrition and seasonal aesthetic presentation. Although there are so many kinds of Japanese traditional food, I would like to express some good ones that I have ever tasted during our Japanese food industry tour. They are as follows.
I think sushi is one of the most popular Japanese food and the one I have had in my very first dinner in Japan. Sushi is famous for its unique flavor and appearance and well-known in all over the world. Sushi plays an important role in Japanese food world. Mostly, it is made with fresh fish, seafood and meat, but nowadays, it is also eaten with preserved fish and called modern sushi. I have heard that sushi becomes very good in taste when it is mixed and eaten with a kind of soy sauce or wasabi. Although we do not have a habit of eating fresh fish and meat, we got a good experience of eating sushi with fresh fish, seafood and meat in our very first day in Japan. It is a pleasure for us.
Japanese tempura is very similar to our Myanmar traditional fries. Although the tastes are different, the rules and the ingredients to make tempura and Myanmar traditional fries may be the same. In a Japanese tempura dish, components of tempura may vary concerning season, but the ones we have ever eaten during our tour include prawn, crab, sweet potato, pumpkin, eggplant and a kind of sweet chili. Japanese tempura is mostly eaten with a sort of soy sauce. Many different kinds of our Myanmar traditional fries is almost eaten with tamarind sauce mixed with chili and cabbage. As the tastes are not different a lot, I enjoyed Japanese tempura a lot during our tour.
I have never tasted ohagi before. But, we had a big chance to visit a farm at Kyotango in Kyoto area. That farmer is growing many hectares of rice land and producing many tons of rice yield. He is performing a good practice of sixth industry experience that means combining agriculture, manufacturing and service sector in one or the same area. He grows rice himself and makes some rice value-added products like ohagi at his own private company in his farm area. If someone asks me “what is your favourite Japanese food?” I will definitely mention “ohagi” as my favourite. At his farm, we all got a rare opportunity to make ohagi by ourselves. We could learn how to make two types of ohagi. One is rice ball coated with soy bean paste and another one is rice ball inside which includes soy bean paste and over which is coated with soy bean powder. Among them, I prefer the one coated with soy bean powder.