Monthly Archives: March 2012

Japanese School Lunch

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Prior to moving to Japan, lunch time was something I looked forward to. It was that special time when I was able to take a break from class or work, have something good (or at least okay) to eat and relax.You know, be one with the food. Well…then came Japan. I’d say that probably after a week of eating Japanese school lunch I realized I wasn’t too into it. As the weeks went on, my ‘not too into it’ only got worse. I started seriously dreading lunch time.

Students in Jamaica have options at lunch time. There’s the standard cooked lunch (also known as box[ed] lunch) as well as patty, hot dog, pizza etc. If you have as good a high school cafeteria as I did, then the options are endless.

Unlike Jamaican students, Japanese students have no options. Everyone eats the same lunch. Everyone. Principal right down to students. Kyushoku (school lunch) is a meal usually comprised of a soup of some kind, a starch (normally rice though there are exceptions, and sometimes you have more than one starch), protein (usually meat though it is sometimes tofu or egg), milk and often a fruit or vegetable salad. Each day there is a different meal, but whatever it is, you either eat it or go hungry. No other choices for you. See some for yourself:

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I don't even remember what type of soup and meat these were.

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I think the soup was pumpkin and seaweed. The meat was fish.

Tiny fried fish with peanuts, soup, bread and fruit salad. The salad was the meal's highlight.

Closer look....tiny fried fish with peanuts. Dear Lord...

Thickest slice of bread ever, tuna salad, egg and creamy potato soup. This soup is one of the two things I actually enjoy on the kyushoku menu.

Kare raisu! Curry and rice is by FAR my favourite thing on the menu. In fact, it is one of the few meals I enjoy in Japan, period. Japanese curry is delicious.

Does anything you see tickle your fancy?

Until next time,

Minny

P.S…I gave up kyushoku at the end of the last (my first) term. Hoo-ray.

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