I love Japanese food, but sometimes I get cravings for good, authentic ethnic food. I grew up in the US where we had food from all over the world on every street corner. Sometimes I need a burrito or some good old Indian curry.
I live in Chiba, which is a medium-sized city, but you’d be surprised by how much good ethnic food there is here. The simple reason is that Japanese people love food. They love their own food, as well as food from every corner of the world. God bless ’em!
Not too far from Chiba station there are a couple of excellent Indian restaurants. Back home, we always had Indian buffet places where you could stuff yourself full of nan and different kinds of curry, usually pretty cheaply.
In Japan, Japanese-style curry is very popular. You can get curry everywhere; family restaurants, convenience stores, you name it. But for the real deal, you have to look a little harder.
There are a couple of Indian buffets in the Chiba Chuo-area, between the JR lines tracks and Parko, where there are a few streets of shops. In this same area, there are several southeast Asian places that serve Vietnamese and Thai food at a reasonable price.
It’s tough to know where to go, but at the station you can find little free papers that have pictures and maps. They usually have a magazine rack somewhere full of these free magazines with restaurant listings. They’re all in Japanese, but there’s pictures and maps. What more do you need?
Another great place for restaurants is the area around Kaihinmakuhari Station on Keiyo Line. A little ways from the station you can find all kinds of good Indian, Italian, Thai and authentic Chinese food. There is an area information desk at the station (actually, most stations have these), and I know for a fact that at least one of the ladies working there speaks English.
It’s like a game you can play. Think of what you’d like to eat. “Man, I could go for some Mexican food!” And, the search begins. Ask everybody. Look on the web. Walk the streets thinking about that fish taco. In any medium sized city you can find what you want.
I have a friend who lives in Ibaraki Prefecture. For those of you who don’t know, it’s kind of the Arkansas of the Kanto region (sorry to all the Arkansans out there!). But, even in a place as rural as Ibaraki, he’s found a good Mexican restaurant and a German place!
Near my house, in downtown Chiba, there’s a guy that runs a little kabob stand. It’s pretty cool, because I love lamb and I always missed it. Plus, the guy speak English so I can hang out and chat with him while I eat. It’s just like being back in home!
Turn over some rocks in your local area, and it’s amazing what kinds of food from all over the world you can find. Happy hunting!