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Hi, my name is Robert Buchanan and I have held a keen interest in Japan, its language, cuisine and culture for many years now. I have been to Japan a number of times since my high school years, and it was in Japan that I developed a liking of Japanese food.

In my country New Zealand, in the past there used to be very few Japanese restaurants. When eating out, New Zealand people were used to going out for Chinese food, Italian, or the traditional New Zealand “fish and chips”.

Why? Because that’s all there was. Nowadays, with a large influx of foreigners into New Zealand and its transformation into a multicultural society, the options for eating international food in New Zealand has grown enormously.

We can try Malaysian, Peruvian, Turkish, and of course Japanese food. Supermarkets have international food sections which means we can cook this food at home too. My mum for example can make an excellent butter chicken!

In the case of Japanese food however, although Japanese restaurants existed in the past, now New Zealanders are able to try a range of different Japanese foods, and not just the typical and stereotypical sushi. There are various restaurants specialising in different dishes, such as yakitori, donburi, ramen and sushi.

Also, although somewhat expensive, supermarkets have an excellent range of Japanese imported foods, from yakitori sauce to seaweed to Demae Iccho ramen!

Despite Japanese food being far different to New Zealand food, New Zealanders have really welcomed the unique taste of Japan.

Not only are there a large number of Japanese restaurants in New Zealand, they are often full with both Japanese people living in New Zealand, and also native New Zealand people wanting to try out another dish from Japan’s large menu of great dishes.

Robert Buchanan
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