My dearest friend H-chan visited me in Fukuoka from South Korea over the weekend. It was after about ten years to meet her since Siddharth and I attended her wedding in Seoul in 2007. We are friends since our early 20s at the time H-chan was an overseas student studying in my university.
Being with her brings me many learnings always. She is one of the purest and the most true-hearted people I have ever known. She has a keen attitude of "listening" and "understanding" the person in front of her deeply, which would heal my soul. Also, away from Japan for about two decades, she still tried her best effort in speaking Japanese with Mother. I have full respect in her.
We shared a lot of fun moments during her stay with us, and one of the most exciting things was her choice of souvenirs! She shared me the following Naver search, recommending the best selections endorsed by many South Korean tourists to Japan.
Keyword Search on Naver: 후쿠오카 쇼핑
Hakata Station Supermarket "Food"
Among those recommendations I heard from H-chan, I felt particularly interesting about the following items. Here we go:
Tamago-ni Kakeru Oshou-yu (たまごにかけるお醤油)
Soy sauce specially made for the boiled rice with raw egg poured on it (tamago-kake gohan.) We found a featured shelf for this product in a supermarket in Hakata Station, around which was crowded with Korean tourists.
Tamago Sandwich at 7-Eleven (たっぷりたまごサンド)
Egg and mayonnaise sandwich. Simple as it sounds, yet the taste is deep and flavourful, H-san says.
Strawberry Sandwich at 7-Eleven (いちごサンド)
Dessert sandwich; juciest and yummiest ever!
Mochi-shokkan Roll (もち食感ロール)
A rolled cake of soft and slightly sticky texture. I didn't have an idea which convenient store could be selling this dessert so finally, we could not find before her departure. Yet, I guess this was one of the eagerly sought items for my friend!
Gummy and juicy candies of real fruit flavors.
Crispy fried (claimed-to-be) squid snacks. H-chan said it goes well with a glass of beer!
Being with her souvenir shopping was for me a rediscovery of Japan. I start feeling like to sample all these snacks and desserts!
Finally, I want to share the most notable quote from my friend H-chan: "When I came to Japan as a student 20 years ago, Japan's economy was the way forward, and thus it was a costly country for us. Now, on the other hand, the price standards of both South Korea and Japan are almost equal, and in that sense and considering the quality standard, I feel Japan is rather a cheap country."
Even living in India, I agree with her that Japan is getting one of the cheapest developed nations.