Japan’s School Lunches

I’ve mentioned it in passing before, but I feel it is finally time for kyuushoku or, school lunches, to get the attention they deserve: and entire post.

In Japan, elementary and junior high schools have set lunches. Every day a lunch specially prepared for the young, active student is served. It is less ideal for the desk sitting, lazy ALT, and will inevitably cause weight gain due to the large serving size and abundance of calories. I have photographed my lunches for the last few days in order to give you an idea of this unique aspect of Japan school life.

school lunchOn June 18th we were served fish cakes. I hate them because, as a mostly non-fish eater, I have trouble with the small bones in them. I mostly just mush it around so it looks like I ate some and then throw it out. Some egg soup, and of course, some rice. Itadakimasu.school lunch
On June 20th we were served one of my favourite on the kyuushoku menu. Delicious sqiud rings, which sound so much worse than they really are. Delicious rice and potato and bacon (and veggie) soup. No trouble eating this one up! Oishii!school lunch
I always mistake these fried balls for fried chicken, but they are actually a fried assortment of random crap. Not my favourite, can you tell? The udon is delicious, and I always take the bread home for next days breakfast, and am often offered the leftover bread from the other teacher’s lunches too. “Rachel-sensei, for breakfast, OK?”kyushoku
A rare sight in school lunches, but a delicious treat, is these burger paddies. A nice change from the usual fish, I gobble these up without problem. The bacon and potato and veggie soup makes another appearance. Whats not to love – besides the flavourless veggies underneath the burger paddies…kyuushoku
On the 26th of June we were served some miso soup and rice; it doesn’t get more Japanese than that. In that little bowl is some chicken and vegetables in a delicious sauce. I quite enjoyed that.kyuushoku
Some sweet and sour shrimp – not to bad, but I can’t eat it all, it gets a bit to fishy tasting. Hiding behind that bread is some chips, the first time I have ever seen them at school lunch. Kids loved it. Again, save the bread. Not complete without an overserving of some OK tasting noodles and vegetable mixture.kyushoku
The final image in my kyushoku files is lunch on the 6th of July. Some red bean rice, some egg and noodle soup, and some fried vegetables mixed with fish make this not the worst of the menu, but not the best. I have heard rumours of a school lunch consisting of naan and curry, and I anxiously await it’s appearnce, however it is elusive and possibly a myth. I’ll keep you posted.

Have you heard about my next adventure yet?

Until next time,
xo R


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