Friday, December 2, 2011

it's lunch time









Before coming to Japan, I was a bit worried about what the lunch food would be like. From Japan expat blogs that I used to read, people have mentioned that the food was cold, seafood was served way too many times and well, you don't have a choice on what you eat -- what you get is what you eat.

I'm going to go right ahead and say it: I think Japanese lunch food is the BEST!! Seriously, I don't know what these people were complaining about (then again, I think schools in the big cities serve pretty lousy food compared to those in the country.) Japanese school lunch is nutritious (well, except for all that white rice) and extremely filling. This is seriously the best time of the day for me! I go without eating food for four straight periods. When lunch time comes, I'm so dead hungry!! I'm ready to eat! 

A little explanation about school lunch in Japan; it's definitely very different from what I was used to in the states. First off, in all my JHSs, the lunch is made off school grounds. It's delivered to the schools during fourth period, which is the period before lunch time. The lunch delivered is divided by grade and class, so each class will have an exact amount of plates, bowls, milk cartons, etc. For my elementary schools, lunch is made on school grounds. 

Now here is what really surprised me when I came to Japan, it's the students that serve the lunch. There are no "lunch ladies" here. The students on the lunch serving team go to pick up the lunch for their homeroom class, then they serve the lunch in the classroom. (Oh yeah, there are no cafeterias at any of my elementary and junior high schools.)

Students are expected to eat everything on their plate. Nothing is to be wasted. With that said, there are things that my students hate to eat: certain vegetables and beans being just a couple. Sometimes right before eating (or after), students like to give away the things that they don't like to students that do like them. There was a girl at my table and she hates carrots, so I asked her that she can give them to me. She had the widest smile on her face! Then, later on as she was eating, she noticed that there was one carrot still left in her soup. The expression on her face when she found it was absolutely hilarious! She had to eat it... and it took her forever to.

There are things that I won't eat. I won't mention them now though...

I'm going to start up a weekly column called, "School Lunch Fridays." Every Friday, I'll post pictures of the lunch eaten during the week with descriptions of each lunch. I love school lunch here, so I figured it would be fun to post about it. Hope you'll enjoy! 

1. White rice! Rice is served every Mon/Wed/Fri. Bread is served on the other days.
2. The students serve the lunch.
3. Life will be tough for vegetarians unless they bring their own lunch. Even the salads have meat in them. This has ham. 
4. An exact number of plates and chopsticks are supplied.
5. Oden! I love this. It's a winter dish that has chunks on tofu, carrot, konnyaku, radish and potato in a soy based broth.
6. Serving rice. 
7. The 4th class of 38 first year JHS students. The boy staring at me is Takuto. This kid. He seriously wanted to get into the picture.
8. Lunch being served.
9. My lunch and it was so~ yummy!!


  1. same here I don't eat it anymore too may calories for me, it's fine for the kids since they are so active but a no no for me

  2. Sadly, I need all the calories I can get! There a few boys of mime who will eat and eat and eat. I'm just amazed at how much food they can chow down.