[food] school lunch…is it delicious?

Working in an elementary school in Japan, I have to opportunity to eat school lunch. Now from what I remember, school lunches are really disgusting. The typical sloppy sloppy joes, cardboard pizza, gluely mac and cheese. Yuck. So it took me a little while to think about being stuck with eating lunch at school.

My mother convinced me that school lunches in Japan are pretty good. And they have been nothing but great.

Fried fish, cabbage and seaweed salad, rice, milk, green tea. 

Lunch is FRESHLY made DAILY! None of the sealed in plastic bags and reheated crap like American schools. They talk about how ‘expensive’ and ‘time consuming’ making lunch is. But the same amount of time and A LOT more effort gets you delicious and HEALTHY meals.

Raisin bread, chicken, potato stamppot, vegetable/seaweed soup, milk, green tea.

We have a staff of 5 or 6, depending on the demand of the menu. The kids do not get a choice and almost all of the kids eat the school lunch. Keep in mind there are 700 students at my school plus 40 teachers to feed. So 5-6 people cooking lunch for 740. Americans would say it is impossible, it happens every Monday to Friday at my school. No excuses.

Mapo Tofu, rice, rice noodle soup, orange jelly, milk and green tea.

Did I mention that the variety of the menu it extensive. There are things I only eat once a year but usually up to 3 times will some of the menu items rotate. The salads are rotated regularly, but the main course is always changing…..No such thing as Pizza Mondays or Hotdog Fridays.

Rice, seafood curry, corn and cabbage salad, yogurt, milk and green tea!

The portions are teacher portions and the students get a smaller portion. You are also allowed to go for seconds if there is anything left. Each class gets a portion of the lunch, the kids work as ‘lunch staff’ and dish out the food on the plates. All the kids wait until everyone has their food and they all eat together in the classroom.


Did I mention that it is only 235 YEN! That is around $3.00 USD! So it isn’t even expensive. What is up with American lunches? French fries and peanut butter sandwichs……step up America.

Shishamo (pregnant fish!), cabbage salad, rice with carrots and bamboo shoot, milk, green tea.

Shishamo…..eggs in the middle!

One of the lunch items that a lot of people can’t eat. Shishamo. But really I like it a lot. It’s not like you can really feel the eggs. I like to eat them head first.

School lunch is delicious, it can be delicious and it SHOULD be delicious but also HEALTHY!

cheers and happy traveling,





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