Rest Stops, Japan and Omiyage (Souvenirs)

First, I apologize that I have not been posting. Getting to a new place (Japan for the next couple months), and figuring out exactly what I want to do with this blog, has taken me some time.

The Journey to Japan


These last few days have been awesome. Husband and I arrived at the Tokyo Narita airport on the 27th of December. The flight was so long... I fell asleep, and when I woke up I thought we would almost be there.... but nooo... We were not even halfway. I was bored out of my mind. I watched Attack on Titan [MINI MOVIE REVIEW: It was horrible, the anime is a thousand times... no, a million times better The acting was bad, they added unnecessary romance, and there was way to many slurping and crunching noises… and the cast was not from many races like in the anime and manga], the dog movie called Max [MINI MOVIE REVIEW: It was beautiful, simple, and had a feel good feeling. I liked it better than most dog movies because the dog was shown as an equal and not a pet]. Other than watching movies, husband and I took turns resting our head on the others lap to sleep and watching movies.

When we arrived, we got picked up by the in-laws at Narita airport and went to a rest stop to get food. I chose katsudon. It was delicious. I have found that I really love eggs on rice, it is definitely one of my comfort foods.

[caption id="attachment_77" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Oyakodon from rest stop just a bit away from Narita Airport Katsudon from rest stop just a bit away from Narita Airport[/caption]

Japanese Rest Stops


I discovered that the rest stops in Japan are pretty amazing in some things they provide. In America, rest stops are basically a place where you relieve your bladder, and you don't see people there terribly often (running the rest stop) but in Japan, it has everything you would need. There is food, bathrooms, snacks, and gifts.

Food and bathrooms are great, but the part that really fascinated me was the gifts. They had one shelf that was devoted to things from that area. Typically in Japan, you bring gifts/souvenirs (or “omiyage” in Japanese) from the place you traveled, back home to your friends or coworkers. Also, typically these souvenirs are food items that are commonly produced in the place you travel to.

I never thought about this, because at least where I am from in the U.S. we don't bring gifts back home to our friends from a particular state, and if I get souvenirs, they are normally for myself. However, when traveling to Japan, our returning home from another country, I try to bring gifts from each country that cannot be found in the U.S. to my close friends.

Come to think of it, I don't even really know what each state is popular for in the U.S. I know Idaho is famous for potatoes... and that's it.

My Challenge for Myself (And For You)


Perhaps we should take the time to know our state, our even our city a little better, and what food items they commonly produce. Possibly then we can bring this omiyage (souvenir) culture into our lives. It would be fun!

~Everyday Joey~

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