Sunday, March 19, 2017

Japanese Things That America Needs

I love America. It's my home. But sometimes, America could be better. And some of those improvements can come from Japan. So here's a completely, 100% opinionated list on Japanese things that America needs!

Fish Shaped Soy Sauce Dropper

If you ever bought grocery store sushi back in the US, you know the struggles of opening the soy sauce packet without it flying out of the packet and onto your shirt or all over your hands. Here, in the homeland of sushi, grocery store sushi (which is amazing by the way) comes with this fish shaped container filled with soy sauce. All you do is unscrew the little, red cap with no fear of it going all over the place. Then you can evenly distribute the soy sauce to all the sushi pieces, instead of the one soggy piece of sushi and the other one dry. Having this simple device back home will solve a lot of grocery store sushi struggles.

May or may not have bought sushi just for this picture.

Disney for Adults

Japan is obsessed with Disney. I'm ok with that. I, too, am obsessed with Disney. Back home, the Disney Store caters to kids. Costumes, dolls, light sabers, and other (mostly) kid only items fill the store. Heck, my mom even went to Disneyland recently and couldn't find a Rapunzle t-shirt there that was for someone my age. Here in Japan, the Disney Store is filled with items not just for kids, but for adults as well. In fact, there's not a costume in sight in the Japanese stores. They are filled with phone cases, train card pass holders, dishes, jewelry, and many other items catered towards an older demographic. It's a very nice change. Needless to say, I have some new Disney stuff now.

Tsum tsums galore! They even have Japanese exclusive heres, like the Rescuers! 

Public Transportation

American isn't know for it's public transportation. I don't even know how to use the bus in Knoxville. Hirakata City, my home for the semester, has a population that is less than Knoxville, but yet the bus and train system is better than Knoxville's. It's nice to be able to go to other cities, like Osaka and Kyoto, whenever I want via the trains. The bus is a great way to get to one end of town to the other in record time. Imagine being able to cross America by a bullet train. Going to New York to LA would be faster than by car. It'll be a great, cheaper, faster way to explore America.

The Keihan line takes you to Osaka and Kyoto!

Heated Toilet Seats

Now, I know this list is 100% opinionated, but I will argue with anyone how disagrees with me on this subject. Heated toilet seats have saved my life. You don't know what you're missing until you experience it for yourself. Japanese toilets also come with a range of buttons on them, from a perfume button to a bidet button. The plain ol' American toilet just isn't going to cut anymore. This is just something you'll have to experience to believe.

There's a button for everything next to the toilet.

Real Japanese Restaurants

Japanese restaurants in America are one of two things- sushi or hibachi restaurants. Japanese food is so much more than those two types of foods. There's the Japanese savory pancake, okonomiyaki. There's the ever popular ramen. There's yakisoba, fried noodles. In other words, there's a lot more to Japanese cuisine than what's present in America. I would love for these unique foods to showcase themselves in America. Sure, maybe fried dough ball filled with octopus (takoyaki, my favorite food so far) might be a little much for the average American, but I think they have place here. After all, we like our fried food here in the South!

Ramen is delicious when not out of a packet.

Various Flavors of Kit Kats

As my roommate knows, I really like Kit Kats. In Japan, Kit Kats are extremely popular. They are usually used as a gift to students taking exams due to the name being close to the word for good luck. Their popularity resulted in many flavors, some normal, some not so normal. I've had everything form sakura with soy bean to ginger to green tea. So why does America need so many Kit Kat flavors? From an economic standpoint, I think having multiple flavors would bring in more revenue for the company. Cookie and Cream Kit Kat bar would do really well in the US if it exists. Also, I would just like to have them. They're really good. My favorite so far are the sakura with soy bean and pistachio with raspberry.

Kit Kats in picture: Butter, Green Tea, Strawberry Maple, and Pistachio and Raspberry.
Butter was surprisingly not bad. Definitely tasted like butter though.

 A rare find: Sake Kit Kats. At first, I thought it was sake that tasted like Kit Kats. 
It's actually Kit Kats that taste like sake. 

Starbucks filled with Sakura

For a limited time, most popular chains in Japan introduce a sakura, or cherry blossom, flavored good. McDonald's has sakura McFlurries, fries, and soda. But the best sakura flavored food item comes from Starbucks. This year, they released a Sakura frappiccihno and latte. They are the best thing I've ever had from Starbucks. It's incredibly creamy with a very subtle cherry flavor. It's very sweet, but so good. If this was back home, I would drink it everyday. My waistline would hate me, but the taste is worth it. I'll miss it once I come home. If you every come to Japan around sakura season, be sure to check out all the sakura flavored foods!

It's so pretty too!

I know this post was a little different from the others, but I had midterms this week and didn't really do much besides study. But good news! Next blog post will be about my spring break in Tokyo! Be on the look out for it!! See you guys then!