Sunday, January 10, 2010


Let me preface this little piece with two disclaimers. Firstly, whatever impression I am about to give we basically like Japan and are having a good time. Secondly I am in no way a health food fanatic. But, eventually if you eat moderately badly for a little time (as in Oreo snacks followed by seven-eleven sandwiches on white bread for a train picnic) your body starts to tell you what it would like to eat.

The day before yesterday mine was saying, "A piece of fruit, please." Yesterday it was saying, "Where is my fruit? I want fruit." Today it was yelling "STRAWBERRIES. NOW." At least until it gave up and started sobbing, "There is no fruit in Japan. Anywhere. It is a barren, fruitless place." It is only because I found a bottle of Tropicana 100% sweet orange juice and a jelly containing mandarin pieces and no doubt about a gazillion additives in a Seven Eleven that my fingers have agreed to co-operate with the typing of this.

Dennis decided that Japanese do not eat fruit. They eat dried fish instead. But this is not true. According to the New Zealand government (who are cock a hoop at the extent of their fruity exports to Japan), Japanese eat 56Kg of fruit per annum. Fruit consumption is lead by apples at 16kg per person, followed by watermelon and mandarins at 11kg per person. Of course they eat apples. Think about it. Where do you expect that Fuji apples come from, huh?

But, hang on a moment. The New Zealand kiwi fruit exporters might be making assumptions. I believe them when they say that they send NZ $ 225 million worth of their little hairy gooseberries up to Tokyo each year. It does not mean that anyone is eating them. They may well be sitting rotting in some modern art exhibition for all they know. I can safely say that there is not a single kiwi fruit in any city centre shop in Hiroshima. There is a lot of dried fish, Haagen Daas ice cream, Cadbury's Fruit and Nut chocolate and Pringles. But no fruit in Hiroshima. Anywhere.

Except the apple I took from the lounge at Sydney airport and slipped into my hand luggage and forgot about until just now. Oh bliss. Fruit.

1 comment:

Sue Dennis said...

Helen there is fruit in Japan- very expensive in some areas. But if you go down to the basement of the large department stores to the food halls you will find all sorts of goodies to sample, photograph & buy. Pity you are not eating the wonderful Japanese food on offer- another time!