Ok, so before I left for Japan I'd heard really mixed things about peoples' weight changes. You would think that since it's Japan, you would lose weight but that's definitely not the case. In fact, one of my other exchange student friends said that she had even gone on a diet after gaining weight. Personally, I lost 10 pounds after I left the US but gained back 6 or 7 of those pounds... probably in muscle from my training that I have to do every day for Kyuudou (Japanese archery). However, the Japanese make probably the best pastries/breads I have ever tasted. THEY ARE SO GOOD! Even in this tiny city I live in there are at least 5 different bakeries all selling really high end looking cakes, etc. Everything is full of fruit and chocolate and...deliciousness. I've avoided them, however, because they are rather expensive but it's sooo worth it. Students here are really obsessed with cakes and breads and everyday on their way to school stop at 7-11 (even the cakes they sell there are awesome) and pretty much fill their bags with stuff to eat during the day. I'll turn around to see people eating the end of coffee cakes and baguettes about twice the size of their heads!
Besides that though, my eating habits completely changed. In the US I was rather picky, ate really slowly, and could only eat half of an average sized meal at a time. After a few weeks here I started to eat more than even my host father and in record time. He always jokes around and tells everyone I meet that my favorite past time is eating (Just to be clear I'm not fat)
Anyways, everyone is different but caution should probably be exercised (besides my friend my host mom has also told me stories of her previous exchange students going home a little bigger than they were when they came).....
This is a bread shop in Ureshino that's famous throughout the entire prefecture.