Eating Japan: Donburi at Yoshinoya, Sukiya and Katsuya

If you’re looking for a quick one-bowl meal, get a donburi.

On the days I felt all the symptoms of a lonely solo traveler, I would opt for a small, humble meal. It felt all the more lonelier to sit at a big table with a party spread, just by myself. For times like that, I would buy some riceballs from a konbini or eat donburi.

You’ll see Yoshinoya everywhere. 20170303_194312.jpg

Ordered a small butadon (pork don). I only know the choices on the left, which are small and big size. No clue what the options on the right are. Maybe one of them is with an egg? And the other is a combo meal with soup and salad? Not sure. If I had the stomach space, I would have ordered one of the mystery options on the right. 20170303_194525.jpg

Thin slivers of fatty pork simmered with onion. Shit, now that I look at it, I ordered a large. I think I ordered a large out of the habit that a regular-sized anything in Japan always leaves me famished an hour and a half later. But here, a large is a large. That bowl is deep.20170303_194605.jpg

Sprinkled some spices and ate with pink-orange pickled ginger. You don’t get any side dishes unless you order them.20170303_194719.jpg

Another time, in Kyoto, I went to Sukiya.

Depending on the city, you’ll see more locations of a certain brand. Probably because the brand first started in the city, or a city nearby.

Sukiya menu20170317_150937 at sukiya.jpg

I only wanted a bowl, but the server thought I wanted a combo. Large bowl is 470 yen, and add 150 yen for a combo. This whole thing was 620 yen. Cheap, but very filling. Too filling for me. 20170317_151312 모르게 세트 시킴. 대자 470엔에다 세트 150엔. 총620.jpg

I’m never the one to leave crumbs or rice grains. The bowl tells me that Sukiya originated from Yokohama. Somewhere in Japan.20170317_153657.jpg

Ah, yes, I remember another donburi time. On a windy day in early March in Tokyo, I went to Katsuya. I saw this chain so many times in the Akihabara area. I had woken up at 4am as usual (the damn jet lag). I had nothing to do so I walked to Ueno Park and back and had early lunch…at 9:50am in the morning.

I don’t think I’ll ever go to Japan again (30 days is enough for my lifetime), unless there was an amazing job opportunity. Or I fell in love and he had to go to Japan for work or something, and I couldn’t bear to be apart from him. Well, that was a random thought about whether I would go back to Japan or not.

When I walked into Katsuya, I didn’t know what it was. I had seen people lining up to get in here the night before, so I thought, it must be good. Only when I walked in, I knew that it was a katsu place. Most people were eating the tonkatsu meal set that comes with soup and shredded cabbage. People here eat breaded, deep-fried meat for breakfast. How do they not fall asleep while working?

I didn’t want such a heavy thing for breakfast, and I didn’t feel like walking out and finding another place. So I tried to order something not deep-fried. Good luck doing that at a Katsuya. I thought the one on the left looked interesting, so I ordered it. 20170302_094906.jpg

Ummm….this looks heavy. And very deep-fried.20170302_095554.jpg

So much for ordering light. I had ordered a donburi with katsu slices (which were juicy, crunchy and heavenly, btw), shredded cabbage, mayo, topped with deep fried garnishes of spicy, crunchy batter. It was the most artery-clogging thing they had, and I had ordered that as my light, breakfast option. Gotta love not being able to read a language.20170302_095914.jpg

They had slices of oshinko that went really well with the rice and katsu.20170302_101459.jpg

I left with a very full stomach and wandered around the Akihabara area. 

Arcades in Akihabara. Pew pew pew pew. Ding ding ding ding ding. Zoing zoing zoing. *hollers of unidentified phrases in the Japanese language*20170302_105338 sega.jpg


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