Ewww - it's seaweed?!!!
You might think it's yukky, but seaweed is really fantastic! Not only is it healthy, but it is tasty, too. There are so many different kinds of seaweed that Japanese eat and many different ways of eating it, too. Think of seaweeds as sea vegetables, and you get a better idea of the yummy variety available.
The most popular seaweed in Japan, that many people around the world are very familiar with, is nori. It is known as laver in English. Nori is used commonly in making sushi, so it has become well known throughout the world.
But perhaps the most common seaweed in Japan is, in fact, kombu. Kombu is an edible kelp. There are many varieties of kombu, but they are extremely common mostly because it is used as a flavoring - dashi - in soups and other cooking. The kombu is cooked, simmered, in water, to form a broth, which is then used in making miso soup and many other dishes. Kombu is also eaten, especially in winter, but the broth is one of the most common throughout Japan. You may have eaten it many times without realizing it.