Personal Space

(Fast) Food Nation: Part 2 (Stories from our trip to Japan)

(Click here for Part 1)

We did a short excursion trip to Kyoto during our stay in Japan.

Summer in Kyoto is hot. Being a tourist in Kyoto means lots of walking as well as standing around waiting for a bus (the public bus system in Kyoto is absolutely wonderful and tourist-friendly, by the way). We consumed a lot of bottled waters and iced green teas from konbini, but also quite a few servings of kakigori (shave ice). Every temple’s approach path was lined with cafes offering kakigori along with souvenir shops. My kids had kakigori at every temple we visited. In the photo, my kids are about to enjoy strawberry- and blue Hawaii-flavored kakigori.

While in Kyoto, we also had okonomiyaki (savory pancakes filled with noodles, bacon and vegetables) and ramen noodles. These are all inexpensive, delicious, and very Japanese, selections.

Japanese fast food chains did not disappoint.


We had a lunch at a gyudon (beef bowl) chain Sukiya one day. We enjoyed katsu-curry (a breaded and deep-fried pork chop and curry sauce over rice), yakitori-don (teriyaki chicken over rice), and gingered pork. They were all really good, and affordable. My daughter was especially impressed by the katsu-curry.

MOS burger is the epitome of Japanese burger chains. Along with the “regular” burger (which is loaded with the signature sauce that is somewhat teriyaki-like), they serve teriyaki burgers, katsu sandwiches, and “rice burgers” (rice patties, instead of ordinary burger bun, are sandwiching the burger and sauce). There is a MOS burger outlet right by my folks’ house. My kids had burgers for breakfast twice during our stay. We went there for lunch once, also.

Mister Donut, although originally founded in the US, has become quintessentially Japanese. I enjoyed one of these bear-shaped, maccha-iced donuts at a shopping mall food court near my folks’ house one afternoon. Their coffee was excellent. It may be as good as Tim Horton’s.

Speaking of maccha, Starbuck’s in Japan sells maccha pastries. Three Frappuccino’s and a pastry cost us about $25, though. I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t have the “two free drinks of any value” coupon that was mailed to my mother as a stockholder perk. The pastry was pretty, but like so many Japanese pastries, it could use a lot more sugar.

(To be continued)

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