Gaijin Life: Yakiniku

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In Japan, meat is usually so expensive. One of the more expensive meats here is beef and one of the cheaper meats is chicken. I thought this to be strange when I first arrived here because back home in Canada, it is quite the opposite. Chicken is expensive and pork or beef are cheaper. I grew up eating red meat almost everyday and that has to be one of the things I miss the most about Canada. How cheap the beef is compared to Japan!

However I will share with you one of my best kept secrets! Japan has restaurants where there are Tabehoudai and Nomihoudai which basically means all you can eat and all you can drink. This style of buffets usually come with a time limit of 2 hours. When I am feeling slightly sad about my red meat intake, I will go to a restaurant with tabehodai (all you can eat) and chow down. BUT, the most important factor is what style of food you choose to eat. Have you ever heard of Yakiniku ? The Japanese word yakiniku literally means grilled meat. The idea of barbequing red meat on a grill in the middle of the table probably originated from the western idea of barbeques. So yes, my guilty pleasure here in Japan is going to a yakiniku restaurant and eating plates of meat sometimes resulting in meat sweats..

There are many different styles of meat you can choose from along with different cuts and marinates. They also offer more than just red meat. Also offered on menus are: chicken, cheese filled sausages, vegetables, and other sides like salad, French fries, potato salad, etc. I will warn you that these types of restaurant are usually not cheap and range anywhere from 1800円 and up but they are well worth satisfying your homesickness! Another tip, these places usually get pretty smoky even though they have vents above the grill to try and suck up the smoke. They will leave your clothing smelling like you sat in front of a barbeque for two hours (like you probably were). In Japan, they actually make a spray especially for people who eat yakiniku. It is in an aerosol can that sprays on your clothing and breaks down the smoke particles in your clothing to take away the smell. If you`re going to eat yakiniku, wear something you don’t mind getting smelly unless you are going to be laundry relatively soon. Also, you will eat until you’re probably have a food baby or fall into a food coma, wear comfortable pants! Something with an elastic waist, sweatpants, or loose fitting jeans, and a loose fitting shirt is the best.

Recently I went myself to a yakiniku restaurant that is a small, old, and cute place. It is called CAMP. It has the cheapest and coolest nomihoudai in Yokohama. It is 600円 for all you can drink for one hour. The best part is, you make your own drinks. They have a huge open bar where you can make a classic drink or you can get creative and mix yourself up something unique. I do recommend reading Japanese. Hiragana or katakana should be okay since a lot of the bottles without labels have a sticker with Japanese writing on it. A lot of locals go to camo to drink, smoke, chat, and eat yakiniku. The place is quite tiny so it does get pretty smoky the later into the night it gets but the atmosphere is unlike anything else in Yokohama.

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bathroom wall scribbles
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bathroom wall scribbles

These are some photos from my night filled with eating meat, meat, and more meat. Enjoy! If you are hungry, I am sorry you have to suffer staring at this delicious food.

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Ta-ta for now,

Jennifer

XOXO

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