If you don't speak the lingo, you can't read a Japanese restaurant menu. It's just that. But here's what you can do:
For a non-speaker of the language, how on earth would you order from a menu like that one? Believe me, it was super hard.
This menu is what was handed to us in Sasebo while visiting my sailor in Sasebo station. We had no interpreter so we were definitely confused as to what to order.
No seriously, an interpreter will help you a whole lot if you are not a meat eater and you're cruising around the country.
Yup. There's an app for that now. Your smartphone can be your very own interpreter.
Oh yeah, the struggle was real. There wasn't really anybody who can tell us what the heck to order. All we could do was order based on the pictures on those glossy pages of the food brochure.
I found it so funny, I just stared at it, laughed and at the same time I was dumbfounded, in fact, both of us were!
The Japanese restaurant menu was filled with mouth watering pictures of food but we could not tell what they were and how much they cost.
So did we starve?
Nope. Never. So it wasn't totally vegetarian I ate but it wasn't an obvious meat. I had the best sweet red rice ever and I got to grind the sesame seeds for the sprinkles.
By the looks of the menu, there were actually plant based dishes in there so we had to go by the photos. It's been said that pictures say a thousand words and that was that!
So that's what we did. We were really hungry after a grueling 16 hour flight from New York to Narita, then the bus ride to Sasebo! We picked a lot of food from that menu.
It's so much better traveling these days though. You can look no farther that your smartphone for your interpreter. You download an app that interprets things for you. Easy as that.If you are traveling often, might as well start reading a book like this one: Japanese from Zero! 1: Proven Techniques to Learn Japanese for Students and Professionals. (Volume 1)
Japanese food are really super delicious. Though, you just gotta know how to read the menu. But being Asian myself, I have familiarized myself with most of those.
Just to be on the safe side, rice based Japanese food are usually vegetarian.