When Darren Miller read the Daily News of Open Water Swimming article [here] about preparing and eating squid, he was reminded of his own journey with his brother Matthew to Japan when he successfully crossed the Tsugaru Channel.

My brother, Matthew, and I are quite fond of Japanese cuisine as we regularly dine on it back home. Nothing could compare to the fresh sushi, sashimi and other sea life which was prepared for us in the Tappi Misaki Hotel overlooking the Tsugaru Channel.

It was much more delicious than anything we could receive land-locked in the United States. I was training one day down along the harbor near Minmayatatsuhama when we spotted an elderly woman collecting food out of the ocean in order to prepare a dinner for her house guests. While swimming, I kept thinking about how her relatives have been preparing fresh food this way for centuries – it was very memorable point during my trip.

Matthew could eat Japanese for breakfast, lunch and dinner, while I prefer to stick with lunch or dinner, and have something more ‘Americanized’ for breakfast. The kind chef at Hotel Tappi was willing to prepare a breakfast for me. [The contrast is shown on left with Darren’s plate of eggs, ham, bacon, chicken and slaw versus Matthew’s traditional Japanese seafood fare.]. They did not have bread at the Hotel, as this was not traditional. Therefore like Stephen Redmond, we obtained some thick-cut, white bread from a gas station market about 30 minutes down the road. I used this to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to snack on between meals, along with fresh apples and bananas we purchased.

I urge any swimmer looking to tackle the Tsugaru Channel to understand the cuisine in Japan is incredible. However, if there is something you desire from back home, make sure you bring it along.

If you are used to a high-carbohydrate diet, make sure you bring bread, or noodles along with you. There is only rice being used in this part of the country. As much as I loved the food, I needed additional dietary needs which I would not have been able to locate if I had not brought them along
.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association