Travelling Japan: Bar Food and Hotel Buffet

I took a long train trip out to visit a friend who I had not seen since she moved to Japan about five years ago. The night I arrived she treated me to dinner and drinks at a very popular izakaya (a style of Japanese bar/pub that is known not only for their drinks, but their good food). When I go drinking in Vancouver, pretty much my only veggie option is yam fries — unless I want to dish out a hefty $15 for a chickpea burger… So, I was pleased to find an assortment of steamed vegetables on the menu! There was also mushroom tempura, which I of course had to try.

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Japanese sake rice wine with lime juice
Japanese sake rice wine with lime juice

The next morning, back at the hotel, they served up a gorgeous buffet breakfast. There were of course the typical Western style foods like eggs and sausage, but I was pleased to find a generous assortment of plant foods including buckwheat noodles, salads, tofu, rice, pickled vegetables, and fruit.

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And, of course no good Japanese hotel would be complete without the infamous array of very creative vending machines. Among which, I spotted this “hot menu” machine which served up hot dogs, fries, rice balls, fried chicken, takoyaki, and stir fried noodles.

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