Coming to Japan we expected the food to be mainly raw seafood with some Chinese instant noodles.  We were a little surprised to find curry shops everywhere, as we are in Asia but very far from India.  Trying the curry, however, we discovered Japanese curry is very different from the Indian and Thai varieties… but supremely awesome.  Curry rice is a national dish and can be found everywhere you go in Japan.  You can get it over white rice, with udon noodles, and even inside baked bread.  Ordering what looked like a coconut flaked doughnut one morning we discovered it to be filled with vegetable curry! Who knew?  Not quite spicy hot, Japanese curry generally has a few vegetables in dark powder sauce, with a few traces of shredded beef sneaked in.  Being Japan, there are of course regional varieties generally seafood themed, with the wildest being whale curry from northern Japan.  The history behind curry in Japan is not that ancient, as it has been traced to English merchant ships in the late 1800s introducing a shipboard variety which was dubbed “Western Curry.” This has evolved into today’s curry available literally EVERYWHERE you go, including vending machines.  Fast food here in Japan involves real food over the greasy mess served in America.  The Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force traditionally serves curry on Fridays, and we have discovered on base at the Japanese air terminal delicious curry rice with a more peppery sauce than we usually find out in town.  I could seriously eat curry rice everyday… it has been a pleasant surprise find here.  Pictured below is a delicious seafood curry with calamari and shrimp.  Come visit and taste test, nothing like it in the States!