Eating in Tokyo: Extra Tips

  • Most sit-down type restaurants can be expected to locate a fork if your kids don't handle chopsticks well, but for smaller places you might do best to bring your own.
  • Big paper napkins are rare, so bring some paper towels or wipes.
  • You can drink the water everywhere without undo risk. Supermarkets and convenience stores sell bottled water if you prefer that.
  • Most foods that use salt are pretty salty, while most sweets are less sweet than what most of us are used to in North America.
  • You can get red bean and green bean ice cream in most ice cream shops and convenience stores. It tastes OK, sort of bean-like and is a weird color.
  • Most soups are drunk from the bowl without a spoon, a rare example of my kids' crappy manners finally coming into line with reality.
  • Be very careful about any food allergies you or the kids may have. Few products are adequately labeled in any language, and almost never in English. Fish and/or fish broth appears in many Japanese dishes. Peanuts are not a big part of Japanese cooking, but a friend whose kid is allergic to peanuts tells us that many Japanese chocolates and candies have some peanuts in them.

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