One of the reasons I enjoy Japanese food so much is because we get to eat it using all these wonderful tiny little dishes. It makes me feel like I'm five years old again and playing with my tea set, LOL! Look at this place setting, for example. Nearly a dozen charming plates and bowls! I also love how all the dishes are not matchy-matchy. Each one is unique. This set dinner was prepared for us at a hot springs resort in the Japan Alps.
The next photo is of a restaurant where we had some tempura, miso soup and cold noodles for lunch. It was a standard lunch by Japanese standards but not by North American standards. When asked later if he enjoyed lunch, one of the men on our tour grumbled, "I didn't have lunch. I had an appetizer."
Beef is not a staple in Japanese cuisine like it is in Canada. So about a week into our tour, everyone was seriously jonesing for some beef (except the vegetarians and vegans, of course). Then our prayers were answered! At a Japanese BBQ restaurant, we were given several plates of thin raw beef to cook right at the table. You can see our round inset grill on the left of the photo.
There were various cuts of beef on the plates, including (as I learned after the fact) tongue. As a dedicated picky eater, I would not ordinarily have touched tongue with a ten foot pole. But ignorance is bliss, as they say, so I wolfed it right down. And how truly delicious it was! *yum yum*