There are few other countries in the world where people appear to be so conscious of what they eat as they are in Japan.
That respect for food seems tied to respect for the body, as it is rare to see anyone who is overweight. It is something we have lost in the West, where being overweight is almost the norm. It is hard to escape the conclusion that there is a connection with the love of food, in the best sense of the term.
The Japanese certainly love food – but it is usually healthy. They eat lots of fish and vegetables, and such healthy food is an important part of their culture and daily lifestyle.
That respect goes through the whole food chain. One evening, when I was walking through the electronics area of Tokyo, I saw this food delivery man on his bicycle (above). I was amazed. The bowls he was precariously balancing were straight from the kitchen, still steaming hot for the customer’s table. Even a bowl of noodles is treated here as important.