Lunch in Japan by Soo Hyun Hwang

One of the things people may think is interesting in Chubu is the scene at lunchtime. All college students share the same lunch time and almost all of them make a line in front of what we call shokudo, convini or makku. Shokudo means cafeteria in Japanese; although cafeterias are not uncommon in America, the lines at convini or makku in Japan are uncommonly long. Here, convini is a convenience store like CVS in America, and makku is McDonald’s, which is the sole food franchise company in Japan, even more so than in America.

I would say it matches with the eating custom of Japanese, mostly. Japan has a lot of their traditional food, but they also eat a lot of food from Western countries, like McDonald’s. However, even they are originated from foreign countries, most of them being mixed in Japanese flavor, and reborn as Japanese style fusion food. For example, the McDonald’s Texas burger reminds me of curry with some chilly-like spice rather than usual spices in America. It is the same with pasta. It seems Japanese created a lot of sauces to use in their ingredients rather just using sauces such as marinara or alfredo sauce.

Some exchange students started to like these new flavors of Japan, however, most of the exchange students are not fan of the Japanese cuisine, except for bento and sushi. Many places sell many kinds of bento, but most of the time, you can just walk into a convini. There are numerous kinds of bento, including onigiri–rice ball–and other products like cupramen and miso-shiru. Sushi would be a favorite part of this trip to exchange students in Japan since it is one of the best items that you can purchase that is cheaper than in America.

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