Using your tastebuds as your compass through Japan’s culinary landscape is about the best way you can experience the Land of the Rising Sun.
A key cornerstone of Japanese culture is, of course, its food, and to travel through Japan without experiencing some of the land’s greatest culinary achievements is akin to travelling to Rome and skipping on the Colosseum!
So read on and find out how you can eat your way through Japan and try the dishes that will leave not only a delicious taste in your mouth, but incredible memories that will last a lifetime…
Where to eat the best ramen in the country?
In Sapporo, Tokyo and Fukuoka
Essentially Japanese noodles in a flavoursome broth and often topped with pork and veggies, you’ll find ramen literally all over Japan, but some of the best cities to try this soothing staple of Japanese cuisine are Sapporo, Tokyo and Fukuoka.
Not only do these cities have the most ramen shops in the country, but they’ve each developed their own distinctive style of this Japanese soul food. For example, Sapporo is famous for its tangy miso ramen, Tokyo is famed country-over for its delicious shoyu ramen, and Fukuoka is awesome at creating fabulous tonkotsu ramen.
Where to experience a traditional tea ceremony?
The cultural capital of Japan, it’s no surprise that the best place to experience a traditional tea ceremony is in Kyoto.
For an amazing introduction to this traditional artform, Maikoya in Kyoto is highly recommended. During the 40 to 90-minute workshop, you’ll learn all about the history and etiquette of this ancient ceremony whilst wearing traditional kimono robes, drinking tea and tasting some traditional Japanese sweets to match the tea’s flavour.
Where to eat chiragaa?
Would you like fried pig face with your rice, otherwise known as chiragaa? No joke, but this is what you may encounter in many restaurants in Okinawa. This grilled delicacy originates from this part of Japan and is often served with veggies.
It is also sometimes smoked to give it a jerky-like texture and served in thin slices or added to soups. Are you game?
Where to eat at a robot-themed restaurant?
In Tokyo (of course!)
Okay, it’s a little different to be sure, but where else in the world can you dine whilst robots shoot lasers at each other? Hint: nowhere else in the world, bar Tokyo.
Located in the Shinjuku area, Robot Restaurant is a multi-sensory show you’ll never, ever, forget.
Where to eat delicious okonomiyaki?
Basically the Japanese equivalent of a savoury pancake, okonomiyaki is filled with pork or seafood and cabbage, and topped with dried aonori seaweed, bonito fish flakes, a dark sweet sauce, and mayonnaise – did we say mmm!
Hailing from Hiroshima, it’s here that you’ll tuck into the finest okonomiyaki, despite what the locals from Tokyo and Osaka will try and tell you. However, no matter where you try it, do keep in mind when ordering that it’s one of the most filling dishes in the culinary landscape. Less is definitely more when it comes to this savoury delight…
Although it’s a popular street food all over Hiroshima (and Japan in general), it’s also possible to cook it for yourself in many restaurants in the city. Check out the restaurants Micchan Sohonten Hatchobori, Hassho and Imada for the best Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki in the city.
On the subject of street food, make sure you try yakitori (skewered chicken) anywhere you can in Japan, and if you’re in Osaka, try some takoyaki, or octopus balls – they’re absolutely delish!
To discover more of Japan’s culinary delights visit the website here.
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