From raw fish to sausage and beans

FOOD is a problem for many Japanese in Britain. Youngsters may be happy to eat steak and beefburgers, older people are not: they miss their noodle shops at lunchtime, and dislike dairy products.

'I like smoked salmon very much, but I can't eat steak and kidney pie,' says Kaoru Itoh, 40, of the Industrial Bank of Japan. 'If I had to eat only British food for three weeks, I would feel some difficulty. There are too many potatoes and sometimes no taste.'

Yoshio Kojima, at Hitachi in Aberdare, agrees. 'Welsh food has not good taste. Too much boiled, too much volume.' A book on sale in Tokyo is called British Food is Delicious - Japanese irony, Mr Itoh explains.

Tomoo Mitani, at Sony in south Wales, is an optimist. 'I've found sausage and beans is not so good for my body,' he says. 'But after a year I may like them.' He and his wife eat Japanese-style about half the time. There are no Japanese shops in Wales, so she has become expert at finding the nearest equivalent in Tesco.

Sony, which has been manufacturing in Wales for 20 years, is particularly keen to be seen to be local. The canteen does not serve Japanese food because, Mr Mitani says, it does not want to create barriers. 'If we eat raw fish in the canteen, they would feel there is a wall.'

In London, Japanese food is available, but only at a price. 'It is three times more than it is in Japan,' says Masami Sato, who works for a trading company. The wife of the stockbroker Hisao Yamaguchi uses the large Japanese supermarket in New Malden but tries to buy as little as possible there because of the prices.

Cost is also the big deterrent to eating in Japanese restaurants. Even though there is a choice of 65 in London, Mr Itoh uses them only when clients come visiting from Japan. 'They are very expensive and not as good as in Japan,' he says. There is one Japanese restaurant in Cardiff, but the managers from Sony avoid it: it is expensive, Mr Mitani says, and they are unwilling to drive back. Like most Japanese, they find Chinese restaurants a reasonable substitute.

(Photographs omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee