‘Washoku’, or Japanese cuisine, was designated as a world intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO in December 2014.
Vegetarian and Vegan Food in Japan
What is the history of vegan and vegetarian food in Japan? What is Shojin Ryori? And what are Tokyo's best restaurants for vegans and vegetarians? Read it here!
Japanese Fermented Foods and Drinks
Fermentation is a technique that is used all around the world to preserve food and drinks and to give a new flavor to what we consume. Japan has some originally Japanese fermented foods and drinks that are all good for your health and stamina.
There are old-world wines from France and Italy, new-world wines from California, South-Africa, and Chile, and then there is wine from Japan. How did wine end up being made in Japan? Which grape varieties are used? And where are Japan's wineries?
Wasabi is a spicy condiment that is usually eaten with raw fish dishes like sushi and noodle dishes. It is derived from the root of the wasabi plant and had its uses as a food preserver.
Japanese Green Tea
Did you know that Japanese tea originated in China, and was then slowly cultivated to different kinds of tea that is still enjoyed throughout Japan and worldwide these days? There are 6 main types of Japanese tea, which differ in leave treatment and harvest time.
There are several ways to eat unagi, the most common one being unadon, eel over rice. The eel itself is usually slathered with a thick, sweet-savory sauce made of soy sauce, mirin, and sake, and then grilled on hot coals.
Harajuku Special Cuisine : Tapioca & Crepes
Harajuku doesn't just offer fashion, but it's also the place to go to satisfy your sweet cravings. You can find all kinds of delicious desserts that are loaded with all the kawaii energy of the area. Two of Harajuku's most famous desserts are tapioca drinks and filled crepes.
The Sushi Train: Kaiten Sushi
Sushi is a Japanese food that came to be appreciated worldwide ever since the California Roll was invented in the United States by a Japanese chef in the 1960's in order to get Americans acquainted with eating sushi.
During the summer, temperatures in Japan can be quite high and the atmosphere gets very humid. This makes finding ways to cool down indispensable, and how to better do this than with fresh shaved ice?
Beer has a shorter history in Japan than it has in most of the rest of the world, the reason being having been isolated from the rest of the world and its techniques for centuries. It is not that Japan didn't have its share of alcoholic beverages before beer made its entrance, as sake and shochu have been around for a long time.
Wagashi are Japanese sweets that look more like a piece of art than something to eat. Wagashi have a very long history that goes back to more than 2000 years ago.
Sake and Sake Breweries
Sake is sometimes called 'rice wine' in the West, but this is actually an inaccurate term, as the brewing process of sake is a lot closer to beer than it is to wine.
Local Foods of Osaka
To Japanese people, Osaka is known as the capital of gastronomy. There are some dishes that were born and bred in Osaka and spread out into the rest of the country from here.
Hiroshima Style Okonomiyaki
Japan is a country with one of the richest cuisines in the world, with endless dishes to choose from. One of the most famous in the Japanese archipelago is the "Okonomiyaki" of Hiroshima.
If you want to eat noodles, Japan in general, and Tokyo in particular, are paradise. There are many varieties to choose from, not only when it comes to the type of noodle but also when it comes to the ingredients.
Gyudon Japanese Beef Bowl
Gyudon beef bowl is maybe not as famous as some other types of Japanese food, but it is definitely a must-try if you come to Japan and you like meat.
Japan's traditional New Year's food osechi ryori has a long history that began in the Heian era, as back in the day it was taboo to cook on the first 3 days of the year.
Ramen became one of the iconic foods from Japan, having gained a lot of popularity outside of Japan in recent years. This is no wonder as ramen noodles are affordable, quick, and delicious.
Sukiyaki is a typical Japanese wintertime dish featuring beef, tofu, scallions, cabbage, and mushrooms. They are all put together in a pot, seasoned with soy sauce and sugar, heated and then dipped in raw egg and eaten.
Shabu shabu is still a relatively new dish, being a dish inspired by the Chinese style hot pot that was brought to Japan by a restaurant named Suehiro from Osaka.
Tonkatsu was invented in the late 19th century and it became a very popular dish in Japan. This Japanese version of the German schnitzel was inspired by the Western food boom in the late 19th century.
Many people don't know that tempura is actually not an original Japanese food and that it has a long history. Tempura was first made in Japan in the early Edo era when foreigners could barely enter Japan.
In Japanese culture, it is important not to waste any food, and the onigiri (rice ball) is a great example of how this goal is reached. In home-made bento lunch boxes, it is very common to stuff last night's dinner leftovers in a rice ball and pack it in a piece of seaweed and it makes for a tasty, popular lunch.
If you want to eat something new that you can likely not find in your home country while you are in Japan, give oden a try! It is not only delicious but healthy and low-calorie as well.
Nowadays, tofu is becoming a well-known staple food in the West, especially now more people are interested in eating vegetarian food, but it wasn't always like that
A Kaiseki meal is not just a meal, it is a quintessentially Japanese experience. Often served in ryokan as a part of your stay there, it is a multi-course high-end meal that tries to incorporate the locality and season as best as it can.
Soba and Udon
Two lesser-known types of noodles from Japan have deeper Japanese roots, and these are udon and soba. Udon are the thick, white wheat-based noodles, and soba are the thin, brown buckwheat-based noodles.
Just like most Japanese dishes based on meat, yakitori also doesn't have a history that goes back for many centuries because of Japan's Buddhist tradition that made eating meat a no-no until the Meiji period in the late 19th century when Japan opened its borders for foreigners.
Izakaya: Japanese Pub Food
Whether you go to a tiny village's little center or to Tokyo's most famous areas, everywhere you will be able to find izakaya. An izakaya is the Japanese equivalent of a pub
Japanese Soy Sauce
Soy sauce, or shoyu in Japanese, is an indispensable ingredient for Japanese cooking. The origins of soy sauce can be found in China, where they used salt and a base of fruit, vegetables or grains to pickle foods so they could be kept longer.
If you go to a good sushi restaurant anywhere in the world, you will often finish your meal with a small bowl of miso soup. Miso soup is so important in Japanese cuisine that people used to say that you can see that someone would be a good home cook if their miso soup tastes good.
Bento is the Japanese word for a meal served in a box. Bentos form an integral part of Japanese food culture, which cannot be simply traced from a packed meal. The word bento means the 'useful thing', 'convenient', and it has a double meaning, standing for both the container and the content.
Hanaoka Sake Brewery in Kumamoto
After taking a bite, the gentle flowery flavor of the sake Hananoka burst in my mouth, just as the name is translated as 'the fragrance of flowers' in English.
The Japanese tea ceremony is called Chanoyu, Sado, or simply Ocha. It is a choreographed ritual of preparation and the serving of a type of Japanese green tea called matcha, along with traditional sweets to balance the bitter taste of the tea.