task: find traditional Japanese food that seems appetizing and food that just doesn’t.
First thing that comes to mind: natto. Its made from fermented soy beans and is famous for putting off foreigners. These beans stink, have a strong flavor, are slimy, and look like a spider made an extensive web all over them. All in all, a completely unappealing package.
Now for the other end: I’m not sure if this would count as traditional since it originated in 1935, but it has spread in popularity very quickly and is now one of the most iconic Japanese dishes: Takoyaki. Its balls of wheat flour with some vegetables and octopus inside, brushed with takoyaki sauce. Japan has amazing festival food, and I don’t have much experience with octopus, so this is a dish that I am eager to get to know better. The little balls look perfect size to eat while walking around, and I would probably end up devouring a dozen or more. I can’t exactly tell from the pictures but I hope the outside is crunchy and the inside soft. The sauce also looks like it will provide nice contrast. A little bit of coolness to balance out the heat inside.
So those are my top two hit and miss Japanese dishes just from reputation and appearance. That being said, I think I would try both if given the opportunity. You never know what crazy food might be your favorite.