My preconceptions about Japan proved false in thinking that I would not particularly care much for the local food.  I only thought of sushi and raw squid.  We have been pleasantly surprised how diverse and delicious Japanese restaurants are.  I think I only miss Chick-fil-A.  While you can get high priced sushi here, we have recently been enjoying bowls of steamed Chinese noodles, known to “poor” college students in America as Ramen.  The winter here is cold and dry, but relief can be found in a 500 yen bowl of awesome.  Of course the ramen is very diverse here, much more than the cheap instant noodles I was used to.  The Japanese add different base broths depending on which region of the country you are in, but usually it is a soy based broth, whether miso or soy sauce.

They add anything you can think of to the soup bowl, including seafood and pork.  You do get a spoon to slurp up liquid, and you are expected to loudly slurp the warm, delicious noodles.

Traditional Japanese noodles are not the instant Chinese delicious ramen, but are wheat based known as soba and udon.  Soba is thin buckwheat noodles that are best in summer cold, in my opinion.  Udon are thick wheat base noodles that are sort of chewy.  I usually do not order udon, but bought a curried udon in Kyoto last weekend when it was -5 Celsius out.  It was great and warm, but not what you would expect as far as traditional pasta is concerned.  So despite what you may think about Japanese food, it is in fact very diverse.  Our eating experiences here have been great, and we are enjoying trying all the new food!