Eating in Transit

[In keeping with the current theme of transit and travel, I thought a post on Japan’s version of fast food meals would be appropriate. Alas, I don’t have any photos of the meals I’m about to discuss, so you’ll have to use your imagination.]

To me, food eaten “on the go” generally has a negative connotation, conjuring up images of wan French fries, prepackaged sandwiches composed of a slice of ham and an inordinate amount of mayonnaise, and mealy apples purchased in an attempt to be healthy. However, fast food here in Japan is quite a different story.

Early in my stay here, Steven and I were at Tokyo’s Haneda airport and needed to grab a bite of lunch before a flight. He suggested that we eat before going through security, because the food options would be better. I found myself wondering, “how much better could it really be?  It’s an airport, right?”  After browsing a number of takeaway shops, we settled in the food court, which was populated by about five restaurants, each serving a different specialty. None of the offerings were particularly fancy – there was katsudon (a bowl of rice topped with a fried pork cutlet and egg), karē raisu (curry rice), soba, and that famous Japanese fast food, ramen. When I peeked behind the counters of each shop to take a closer look at the food, I was amazed by what I saw.

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