Four far-flung meals in a Zippy cartoon yesterday — Indian tandoori, Italian-American eggplant rollatini, and Ethiopian and Peruvian breakfasts — led me to recall my first experience of traditional Japanese breakfasts, at the Hotel New Otani in Tokyo during the 13th International Congress of Linguists. Since then I’ve enjoyed the experience in several Japanese (and non-Japanese) hotels in the U.S. And become addicted to miso soup for breakfast.
A photo of the meal from another traveler to the New Otani:
A traditional Japanese breakfast consists of rice, miso soup, poached egg, pickled vegetables, salad, cooked fish, and nori. (caption)
Plus a view:
Japanese buildings are designed to ‘connect’ with nature. Here is the view outside the breakfast window at the Hotel New Otani. (caption)
Somewhat more breakfast detail from Wikipedia:
The normative Japanese breakfast consists of steamed white rice, a bowl of miso soup, and Japanese styled pickles (like takuan [daikon radish pickle] or umeboshi [pickled sour plum]). A raw egg and nori are often served; the raw egg is beaten in a small bowl and poured on the hot rice to make golden colored tamago kake gohan, whilst the nori (sheets of dried seaweed) is used to wrap rice. Grilled fish [for instance, salty salmon at the high end] and Japanese (green) tea is often served as well. [nattō (soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilis) is another frequent ingredient; many people find its strong smell and its rather slimy texture off-putting, but I'm fond of it]
I arrived in Tokyo with a fever, anemia, and digestive unhappiness, and was taken in charge by Vicki Fromkin at the airport, and then by former Ohio State students living in Japan. Ultimately, a satisfying trip, aided especially by the miso soup for breakfast.