Gaijin on Getas Blog


There’s Something Fishy Going On With The Food Here…

Posted on November 23rd, 2012 by Rachel Moore

We will often get questions from people who are interested in taking our tours if it is possible to avoid fish in their meals.  There is so much more to Japanese food other than sushi and sashimi, but escaping fish all-together is near to impossible in Japan.  After all, it is a staple in Japanese cooking and the Japanese eat more fish per capita than any other country in the world!  You can avoid eating the actual pieces of fish, both raw and cooked, but there are so many things that you may eat and not even realize that there is fish in it.  I have enjoyed a lot of meals in Japan where they use fish broth and fish essence, and it often didn’t taste like fish was in it at all. By definition, here are a couple items that you may be unaware of. Read the full post »

Movie Review – Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Posted on September 15th, 2012 by Mike Roberts

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

At first glance, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” is a foodie’s dream. A documentary made by David Gelb, it tells the story of 85 year-old Jiro Ono, generally considered to be one of the best, if not the best sushi chef in the world. The Japanese government has designated him as a Living National Treasure. His small, unassuming restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station with only 10 seats has become the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious three-star Michelin Guide rating. Sushi lovers from around the world go there, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar.

Read the full post »

10 Ways to Save Money While Dining Out in Japan

Posted on April 21st, 2012 by Mike Roberts

 One of the biggest misconceptions about Japan we run into commonly is the idea that food in Japan is very expensive. While some things such as fruit are much more expensive (but usually much better), there are many things that are not. And there are many things you can do to save money dining out while you are in Japan. After all, you’ve got to ask yourself: the per capita income in Japan is a little lower than in America. If food was so expensive, how could the Japanese live on that income. (Then again, maybe that’s why there are so many thin Japanese.) But seriously, there are things you can do to cut costs, and still enjoy the wonderful Japanese food. The secret is simple: do as the Japanese do. Read the full post »

Instant Ramen Museum

Posted on February 3rd, 2012 by Mike Roberts


Instant Ramen Museum

Instant Ramen Museum

According to a poll taken in the year 2000, the Japanese believe their best invention of the 20th century was instant noodles (the second best was the Walkman). In 2010, it is estimated approximately 95 billion servings of instant noodles were eaten worldwide. It all started in the sleepy town of Ikeda located in northern Osaka. In 1958 Momofuku Ando of Nissin Foods, introduced the first instant noodle dish known as “Chicken Ramen”. In 1971, he introduced the even more popular “Cup of Noodles”, an instant ramen dish prepared by adding boiling water to a polystyrene cup to cook the noodles and other ingredients.  Read the full post »

Sake Brewing in Fushimi, Kyoto

Posted on January 24th, 2012 by Takako "Tammy" Ota

Gekkeikan Sake Brewery

Gekkeikan Sake Brewery

Sake making began about two thousand years ago when rice planting was introduced to Japan. Fushimi is one of the biggest sake producing areas in Japan. When Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the lord of Osaka Castle, built Fushimi Casle in the late sixteenth century, the sake industry in the surrounding city of Fushimi flourished. Many sake breweries including Gekkeikan started brewing sake here during the Edo Period. Today there are about 20 sake breweries in Fushimi. When you walk around Fushimi the fragrant smell of sake floats on the wind. Read the full post »

New Years Dishes

Posted on January 15th, 2012 by Takako "Tammy" Ota

Herring Roe and Black Beans

Herring Roe and Black Beans

Osechi Ryori, (New Year’s dishes) are specially prepared to be eaten during the first three days of January. They are cooked and  preserved for three days so that housewives don’t have to cook during that period. The yellow in the grey dish is herring roe representing fertility. Bean in Japanese is ‘mame’ which has the same sound of ‘working hard’. So the black beans in the yellow dish reflect our wish to stay healthy and to work hard. Each of the dishes has some auspicious meaning which reflects people’s wishes such as longevity, prosperity and fertility.  Read the full post »

Sake – The Basic Ingredients (Rice and Water)

Posted on December 15th, 2011 by Mike Roberts

In this installment of our discussions on Sake, we will discuss the basic ingredients of Sake, the different kinds of ingredients and how they affect the final result. These main ingredients include:

  • Rice
  • Water
  • Yeast
  • Koji

This installment will concentrate on rice and water, the most important ingredients by volume only. Yeast and koji will be discussed later. Read the full post »

Sake – Part 1 – The Brewing Process

Posted on November 27th, 2011 by Mike Roberts

Cedar Sake Barrel

Cedar Sake Barrel

This is part one of a series of discussions on Sake. Hopefully these discussions will help you better understand, and ultimately, appreciate Sake more. Many people who have tried Sake outside of Japan often say they did not like it. It is important to remember that the quality of the rice and the purity and quality of the water have a tremendous effect on the eventual quality of the Sake. So if you have tried Sake produced from outside of Japan, it will be much different (and usually not as good due to the difference in the water) as Sake made in Japan. To truly understand Sake, you first need to understand the brewing process. Read the full post »

Japanese Teppanyaki – It’s Not Your Father’s Teppanyaki

Posted on October 25th, 2011 by Mike Roberts

I may be dating myself, but my first exposure to Japanese food came long before anyone in America even knew sushi existed. Like many my age, my introduction to Japanese food came at a teppanyaki restaurant. I know you have all been to one of these restaurants where the cooking of the food is as much entertainment as it is food preparation.

 While teppanyaki is popular in Japan, I’m sure it is not surprising the menus at Japanese teppanyaki restaurants are much different than the typical beef, chicken or seafood teriyaki and fried rice served at American teppanyaki restaurants. What you may not know is there is no food throwing, knife juggling or cooking oil induced fires up to the vents at Japanese teppanyaki restaurants. While there are exceptions, teppanyaki  in Japan usually means Yakisoba and Okonomiyaki. Read the full post »