As I sat there scanning the menu in the restaurant we chose to have our first meal in Japan, I could feel the sigh of disappointment slipping from my lips. Yes, they had an endless selection of fresh sushi and sake, but there was no dessert section to be found. I thought Japan would be different than the dessertless country I currently live in, also known as, China. (Okay okay, China does have some desserts, but none have met my standards so far…)
I am the biggest sweet tooth you will ever meet. If I had known that China did not do dessert, I do not think I would have moved there. I can bake like no other, but sometimes you just want someone to do all the hard work for you. So you can see why I was just a tiny bit sad when I realized that I had picked another dessertless country to spend my vacation.
After a wonderful meal, I trekked back to the hotel room and decided that I didn’t need desserts and that I wouldn’t let their absence ruin my trip. The next day I woke up and hopped onto a train headed to Kyoto. The train ride was enjoyable and the people watching was fantastic. (People watching is my second favorite thing to do, after eating desserts of course.)
When I got to Kyoto I needed to find a restroom. (Hey, it was a long train ride!) I followed the restroom signs and headed into what looked like a department store. Oh my. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Look at what I found on my innocent journey to the restroom…
I think I froze mid stride. My jaw must have hit the floor. This couldn’t be real. I must be hallucinating. Where am I? Is this some kind of sick joke? Then I looked around and noticed people going about their errands like this wasn’t the most incredible place in the entire world!
I forgot all about the restroom mission and headed towards the illuminated display cases. They were beckoning me and I couldn’t resist. The sweets looked to pretty to eat, but people were buying them left and right.
When I got back to my hotel room I started scouring the internet to find information about these dessert department stores. It turns out that these decadent stores are all over Japan. Sweets are meant to be bought and then taken home to be enjoyed in the comforts of ones home. It all started to click. This was why there was not a dessert section on the menus. Desserts were too good for the menus. They deserved their own mega stores with shiny display cases and posters. In Japan, desserts are super star divas. They do not mingle with the other meals and must be savored at home. This my friends is why I will be returning to Japan in the very near future. We could all learn a little something from Japan and the respect it has for Dessert.