Arguably, the best food in Asia is Japan. High, medium or low-end, Japan eats are hard to beat. Even American fast food in Japan tastes better than the original in the US.
In 1964, arguably the best food in Japan was in Yoyogi. Apparently, the dining halls of the Olympic Village were all the rage. Where else could you sample the best cuisines of the globe in one place.
The main dining hall was divided into two sections – Fuji and Sakura dining halls – which could feed up to 1,000 people at a time. Each dining hall was subdivided into six rooms with a capacity of 108 people each, so considering the two halls, there were 12 equally sized dining areas. The various country delegations were divided into 21 groups depending on common dietary requirements or custom, with one dining room designated for each of those groups.
Since these dining rooms had specific hours, one dining hall, known as International Dining Room, was always open for business. Actually, as the Japan Olympic Committee charged each country’s Olympic committee only $6 a day for room and board, this would have been a lousy business. Instead, it was considered a memorable part of the Olympian experience in Tokyo.
For the weightlifters and wrestlers who needed some 7 to 8,000 calories a day, it was like being a kid in a candy store. For those runners and swimmers who had to stay slim and trim, the dining halls were a blessing and a curse.
Canadian field hockey center forward, Victor Warren, told me the food in Tokyo was so good, the athletes dubbed these games The Eating Olympics. “The food was excellent! For a bunch of young bachelors who are presented with a food fest, you can go crazy. You needed to be disciplined or you’d blow up like a blimp!”
Said Hermann Rusch, food consultant to the US Olympic team, to the Associated Press, “Never before have I seen anything like this setup. The Japanese are terribly efficient and wonderful cooks.”