Since the Olympics are in Tokyo I have been thinking of tonkatsu which is one of my favorite Japanese meals.

Ton Katsu, Japanese Food, Travel, CuisineHere is a very traditional tonkatsu meal at a restaurant in Tokyo. It is a very common lunch choice in the many small restaurants in work areas. Tonkatsu is usually served with shredded cabbage and miso soup (bottom right under cover). Many small restaurants have their own secret recipe for the sauce that is served with the tonkatsu.

Tonkatsu means pork cutlet and of course you can see the cutlet which is cut into strips.

Tonkatsu is a classic example of yoshoku or foreign food that has been brought into Japanese cuisine. Of course, they incorporate their own style into dishes from other countries.

tenderloin, zesto, pork tenderloin, sandwich, fries, teaFor my friends from the Midwest, think of a delicious Iowa tenderloin that is cut into strips. Of course, no bun or fries and definitely not ketchup. However, it is often served with a spicy mustard.

Katsu-Don, Katsu Bowl, Breaded pork cutlet, fried egg, onion, riceOne of the variations of tonkatsu is katsudon which is the cutlet served on top of a bed of rice and topped with egg and vegetables. I also really like this dish.

CoCo Curry House, Ichibanya, Ton Katsu, Rice, Curry, Japanese CuisineKatsu curry is another great variation as the cutlet is served over rice and with a large helping of curry. At CoCo Curry House you can choose the heat level of the curry. I like it somewhere in the middle of the range.  You can also order the katsu with different meats like torikatsu (chicken), hamukatsu or bifukatsu. You should be able to figure out the last two 🙂

Korean Food, Pork Katsu, Korean New YearTonkatsu is also popular in Korea. I had this dish at a Korean restaurant near my office. Since Korea was once occupied by Japan some of the dishes they have are similar.

I have had tonkatsu in many countries at either Japanese or Korean restaurants. Let me make a list: Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, Australia, Canada and the USA. I may have left out a country or two 🙂

Now I am hungry for tonkatsu.




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Taking the Shinkansen in Japan

Today I have been thinking about the train system in Japan. During several of my trips to Japan I have taken the high speed rail or Shinkansen.

If people from around the world had been able to go to the Olympics this would have been how many of them would get around the country if they went sightseeing before or after the games. I wish that more Americans would experience the convenience of high speed rail and that it would become more popular here. At least here in California we finally have a system under construction.

Here is what I wrote during my last trip to Japan in 2019.

After a busy day in our Tokyo office on Monday I took the Shinkansen to Osaka.

Shinkansen, Tokyo, Osaka, Japan, high speed trainThe Shinkansen is probably better know as the Bullet Train, and is a major mode of transportation in Japan. The system connects most major cities of Japan and is much faster than flying.

Shinkansen, Japan, Sign, Train, High Speed TrainDo I have the right train? I am at the right platform, so it should be.

Shin-Osaka, Shinkansen, Japan, High Speed RailOK, now I feel better, I see my train number and my destination.

Train seats, shinkansen, japan, high speed railThere is plenty of legroom for the 2 hour and 23 minute trip to Osaka.

I was on an N700 Series Shinkansen which has a maximum speed of 300 km/h. For Americans, that is 186 mph. The train also tilts so that it can take curves faster.

The route between Tokyo and Osaka is very busy and you often hear a train pass in the opposite direction. Two 16 car trains pass by each other in just seconds.

Unfortunately it gets dark early and soon after departure I could no longer see anything out the windows. But, then I was able to nap a bit 🙂

Bullet Train, Shinkansen, Japan RailwayI did not get a good shot of the nose of the train, but it is definitely designed to cut through the air.

When I arrived in Osaka I then had to figure out how to get to my hotel using the subway. Fortunately, it is easy to navigate the subway system as they have good English signage and instructions for the ticket vending machines.

Caution Sign, selfie stick, railway, electricity dangerI will close out this post with a warning sign that I saw. I am a bit curious as to whether this happened and they made the signs, or whether they just knew that it would be a possibility and were proactive.

In any case, I have seen a lot of selfie sticks so far on the trip.


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